Old Man Wants To Get Serious About SF5


I’m 35 and have been playing SF in since SF 1 But never went farther than a button masher. I decided to get into SF 5 but I want to do it seriously. My execution of normals and specials is on point. I’m a scrub ken player and can do a Tatsu in my sleep. But I cant combo or even find character guides that help with the next step of execution. I honestly don’t even know what I don’t know as far as Ken goes or next level gameplay past the basics. I’m reading “From Masher to Master” right now and have been watching some videos but most are either basic execution or high level combos stuff that I can’t do. Can anyone recommend how or even where to learn a character once you have the basic execution of the game down. To put it in other terms. I play league of legends as well. There are guides that tell you the basic theory of what you want to try and do to your enemy and what to avoid. I have yet to see something like at on SF. Thanks.


What you want to do to start out is to figure out which ranges and which situations your moves are useful, and start applying them to those situations. Also make sure to practice anti-airing with different moves from different ranges, and learn how to close the distance between you and an opponent without being punished (this often comes down to what your opponent is focusing on at a given time).

For learning combos, there are two aspects of them that matter: the actual execution of the combo, and understanding how combos can be landed. For the actual execution, I recommend breaking the combo up into segments, and then practice individual bits of the combo before putting the whole sequence together. If you’re struggling with, say, a particular link or a cancel, practice only that until you have it down, and then do the rest. Start out small; learn a couple of easy ones before you start trying to learn the big, optimized ones.
As for landing combos, that’s usually the hard part for beginners. Since people, in theory, can just block and not risk eating your fat, flashy combo you practiced in training mode, you need to get people to not want to block. In SFV, a very applicable method here is centered around throws. If someone’s blocking, they can be thrown. If they start trying to tech the throw, you can either hit them with your combo starter as they’re inputting the throw, or walk out of their throw range, react to the whiffed throw animation, and punish the recovery.

There are guides on general SF-strategy out there, but as I personally don’t play SFV I’m wary of posting them since SFV focuses on other things than previous SF-games. I can still post a couple of links later if you’re interested, but if someone has something specifically aimed towards SFV in general or specifically SFV Ken, that’s probably better.
However, I’d recommend watching videos of high level Ken players. Momochi, Chris T, Julio and Brentt are well known Ken-players. Pay attention to what options they use at which ranges and how they approach/defend, first and foremost.


You tube and the in game training mode/command list in pause menu.
Muscle memory is naturally obtained but it is up to user to put in the time and effort for such.


Yes, you can! You just need to practice and take it one step at a time. I’m almost as old as you and I didn’t touch a fighting game from 2000-2010. It’s a difficult thing to finally say to yourself “I’m going to learn how to do a combo and how to play properly.” But you can do it.

As for character guides, they are all right here - http://forums.shoryuken.com/categories/character-discussion-sfv
The Ken guide has a beginners thread, a combo thread, match up threads, etc. Read as much as possible and then try to apply some things you’ve learned in training or in a casual match. Even if you lose, it’ll help in the long run. No more mashing, practice clean.


There are two main aspects that carry over from any SF-Game (or fighting games in general) which will make you a better player.

  1. Reading your opponent: if you can predict what your opp is gonna do next, you can counter them effectively. i.e. you know they will jump, you AA. You know they will walk or dash in, you poke. You know they will throw fireball, jump over it. You know they just sit there scared, walk or dash up and throw. This list can go on endlessely, and you will obviously never get a 100% read on somebody. Taking away some options from your opponent through good spacing or wakeup / frame advantage situations makes this a lot easier though, but this is a chapter on its own… Reading your opponent is a skill that no guide in the world can teach you, this is what you have to develop by playing a LOT of games against humans (not CPU). What you also should do is learn about frame data and basic game play of other characters. The more you know about their options, the better you can predict them.

  2. Execution and muscle memory: you can predict your opponent all you want, it wont get you far if you cant apply your knowledge in a real match. Execution is not just combos. It begins with such simple things like walking into poke range and hitting the right button. Dashing and even blocking is part of your execution, so is anti air. Most of it will also develop while playing matches, but you can speed up the learning process very very much by practicing stuff over and over again in training mode.

While there are more aspects for sure, the 2 above are the most basic and important ones in my humble opinion. As a fellow Ken Player, I would recommend you to practice the following things in Training mode:

  • Hit-confirm: st.lp, TC1 x HP shoryuken. It is Kens easiest and most reliable hit-confirm. Practice this in the beginning of every session. You should be able to do it at least 10 times in a row on both sides. After you land from your DP, get in the habit of always V-Skill run immediately. If they quick rise, you can meaty them again with st.lp. you should literally just always do the run, since it is safe and allows for mixups (i.e. you can meaty, throw, block, shimmy). Practice until it becomes second nature, its not hard really.
  • Its called hit-confirm because you have to confirm into the combo after your st.lp hits. Obviously, if your opp blocks the st.lp you don’t finish the combo. Practice this by setting the dummy to random block. If he blocks your attack, follow up with a throw, a frametrap or whatever you feel is going to work (this feeling will develop as a part of your reading skills). So just set dummy on random block and practice. If you finish your combo, V-run at him and meaty . Rinse and repeat to get a taste of some set-play.
  • DP / Crush-Counter Punish: st.HP (Counterhit) x VSkill run, TC1 x HP shoryuken. Practice like the hit-confirm-combo above. Remember to always run after the Combo for the same setup. I would recommend to record a wakeup DP on the Dummy instead of setting it to always counter hit, to make the situation more realistic.
  • Punish sweeps. Every sweep in the game is punishable if blocked. If you block one, always punish with your own sweep. Get in the habit of canceling your own sweep into run after you punish, so you get in their face when they wakeup.
  • Anti-air with mp-DP. Record the dummy to move around or jump at you. Practice anti-airing with mp-DP or EX-DP. Again, you can run after the DP for a meaty setup.
  • Block. Set the dummy on Ryu and record a basic blockstring: jumping mk, st.mp, st.mp (or cr.mk) x Fireball. Now block this string from different distances to condition you to be patient and not to panic in pressure situations. Don’t hit a button, don’t jump, dash or anything, just BLOCK. You will need this patience in real matches.

You should practice the basics above for about half of the time of your playing session. Say you have spend half an hour in Pmode, now its time to turn on the fight request for ranked matches. I don’t recommend casual since ranked is more rewarding, as you will eventually see results by ranking up. The matchmaking is also very good by now, so you should be matched against players with skill similar to yours most of the time. You now work on a gameplan like the following:

  • While learning to read your opponent, you should first try to put them in rough categories: is he offensive? How does his offense look like?
  • If he jumps a lot just anti-air him and use the meaty setup with run. Is he mashing reversal on wakeup? Be ready to punish with the CC-Combo. Is he pressing buttons on his wakeup? Use the meaty you practiced after DP-> run. Is he blocking patiently? You guessed it, throw him.
  • If he dashes in like crazy -> poke and keep him at bay with your normals or fireball. This may lead to him getting frustrated and jump at you. So be ready to anti air if you sense frustration. Just don’t focus too much on AA, it is ok to block a jumpin from time to time instead of AA. Remember not to crack under pressure, and just block like you practiced. You can also mix between blocking low (you stay in place crouching) or high (you often simply walk back out of the pressure if they don’t use low-hitting attacks). The worst thing that could happen is that you eat a throw. Then just quickrise to reset the situation to neutral most of the time.
  • Is he really defensive and runs away from you? Slowly follow him by walking him down until he is in the corner. Dont jump at this type of guy. Chances are he corneres himself in a few seconds and has nowhere to run. Be ready to AA as soon as he gets close to the corner. Don’t let him out. Kill him.
  • Is he pressing a lot of buttons in neutral, keeping you out on the ground? You can either whiff punish him with your own normals (which is kinda advanced) or you stay right outside of his range and throw Fireballs (easier but more risky). Don’t stand too far, stay just outside his poke range and throw FB. This tactic is likely to frustrate them, so they may start jumping. Be ready. If they tend to whiff really slow normals (heavys) you can also jump in on them for big damage.
  • Is he doing unsafe specials (like Necallis or Balrogs Rush punches) to get in on you? If this is killing you, hit Training mode to find your punish timing. You can basically punish everything that is -4 on block with TC1 X HP.dp. You should look out for this, and always punish these moves on block.

Applying this basic training routine and gameplan will carry you to Silver League for sure, maybe even Gold if you put in the time and effort. For getting good it requires a lot more than this obviously, but this should give you a basic understanding of what to practice. Just don’t expect this to happen in a few days or weeks, if you are a total beginner it will take some months filled with losing and pain, but also with progression and fun. Hope that helped.


Nothing beats going to locals to get better, and if there are no locals in your area as a 35 year old it is easier for you to start a scene cause you have that grown man tech


Im a 43 year old player that has been playing since SF2 and was pretty much the same up until SF5. Now I’ve been taking it more seriously and the things that I have found that helped me the most is Youtube videos and playing locals. On Youtube type in “SFV basics Ken” and that will give a good start there. Also the Challenge mode in the game is another great spot to go.


I’m 30+ too, its definitely possible to be older and still be viable. If you’re in United States and wired connection we can practice together. I can help you out. Shoot me message if you’re interested.

Edit: This also goes out to anyone who is struggling to get into Gold. I can help you get into and past gold.


whoa posted a vid in the wrong section lol,but yea,never to late to learn.so many great resources now a days it can be overwhelming,pretty much watch high level play of your character and see how there being used in situations.

@BMsirhc1313 gonna take you up on that offer lol



watch matches, watch ur matches, practice


reaction times decline slowly with age…You shouldnt even really be disadvantaged at your age. you just need practice and training


I’m in the same situation. I’m 35 years old and I got my first fight stick in Feb when SF5 came out. I’ve been pretty devoted to the hobby though and I have every fighting game that’s major right now plus 4 fight sticks that I’ve modded heavily. Just keep playing and practicing. If you don’t play online at least play against high level CPU if you can handle it. Fighting games are amazing and I regret not seeing the magic in them earlier on. Granted a lot of the older fighting games are kind of clunky but CvS2, SFA3, SF3rdS, and others are pretty good and I even play those now. Anyway keep moving and plugging away at it and above all have fun!


If you’re having combo issues, hit training mode and find a combo you feel comfortable using, even if it isn’t the most optimized. A lot of the game will come down to figuring out matchups via watching people play it or playing it out vs others. You eventually learn what you need to do to be in a position to land those combos. But you def need to practice some basic combos to get you by. Then you can worry about Street Fighter theory.


OGs are taking back Street Fighter. I like it. Newschoolers need to play Mortal Kombat or Smash or some shit.


35 is old?

Pfffffft you a youngin fam.


This thread essentially describes me. I’m not old (29). But I’ve been playing since the WW days. My favorite was Third strike so it’s the SF I’ve played the most. Played a lot of Marvel. However, I never took it seriously beyond learning the rather obvious (I.e. how the game works at its core like frame data and such).

Trying to learn Balrog and Zangief. My CFN is legaleagle7187. I’d really appreciate reviews/tips of my 2 most recent matches. Thanks!