Psychic jump ins


I try not to spam fireballs, infact I throw them out very sparsely if i’m in my opponents jump in range.

However it seems that against some opponents they have some kind of 6th sense and immediately know when to jump in.

I feel fireballs are important against characters like Bison and Balrog who gain alot of horizontal ground with most of their footsies and as far as I know its impossible to stuff these kind of attacks with any of Akumas footsie options, and I consider fireballs to be the best answer.

But it seems the second I throw a fireball, i’m being punished for it every single time against good opponents.

I’ve searched but haven’t found a viable answer to my problem, I obviously wouldn’t mind if they were jump happy because then I could punish them for it. But it seems they know the exact right moments to jump.


You get predictable and you need to bait more. Also know what ranges are safe and unsafe.


Could you explain how I would go about baiting? I understand the basic concept of it (having them do a move and then punishing them for it) but I don’t really understand how I would go about baiting and punishing the horizontal ground gaining moves.

Usually against shotos, I walk in and out of their footsie range and try and punished whiffed attacks but characters like Bison and Balrog have such great range on their footsies that this just doesn’t seem feasible.


if your getting punished from a fireball you throwing them to close. so obviously its unwise to throw fireballs from less than half screen away…
once your opponent gets close to you you need to have different strategies like pokes, anti airs etc…


throw two fireballs, stand there, press down for a split second and throw a standing jab.


Do every bait possible. Neutral jump. Whiff normals. Dip and hit jab, dip and hit short. Just walking back and forth in their effective range works.

And if they’re just sitting there waiting for fireball animations, just start closing space in order to threaten from the ground and screw up their concentration.


But by baiting you give up horizontal space. You can only bait so much when playing better players before they realize that they can easily walk right in. And that is fucking sad. When characters that are supposed to play like that cant because the engine is against them and makes the risk reward not worth it.

What you explained only happens to me when I play random’s that like to jump a lot, avoid footsies at all cost’s, and generally try to rush. Just play against better players. what you are doing is trying to play chess with a moron.

I bet you this following scenario happens to you a lot.

You throw a fire ball and he jumps over it. You decide to throw another one, but the guy jumps and you get hit.

Its not being psychic, its just them being stupid.


Haha, wow thanks guys.

I decided to go online and test what you guys taught me, and lo and behold the first person I fight is a Bison player (well not the first, the first was a 0pp and 0bp Sagat but I steamrolled him).

Anyway he fell for the bait numerous times and got punished for it, I managed to snag myself a win too which is something I don’t usually get against decent Bison players.

Thanks for the help guys.


[Edit] Well, sadly it arrived late; but here it is anyway for further clarification:

The best place to start on becoming solid at the fireball game is understanding the strength of the fireball and the laws of the jump-in punishes.

As a rounded example (because there are lots of variables, but I know you use Akuma):

Akuma is the character who throws a fireball, Ryu is the character who will try to punish it. At the round beginning, on the call of fight; Akuma opens by throwing a fireball. Ryu is aware there is a tendancy from the Akuma to open with the fireball, so he’s expecting it might be used again at some point and would like to punish with a jump-in to get a big early lead:

If Ryu opens the round with a jump-in, (effectively a jump at the same time as {or before} fireball start-up) he will have plenty of time to make the punish. It’s commiting risk to a guess.

If Ryu instead waits to react to some move animation or twitch from Akuma, presuming it would be a fireball opener, then he still has enough time (although it’s quite tight) to make the punish if it actually is a fireball. This sorta cuts Ryu’s risk if he’s anticipating a fireball in that if Akuma did nothing, he’s not going to open with a jump into an SRK/AA.

This is what I personally call ‘twitch jumping’. The thing with it is that Akuma can open just by whiffing a normal (stand jab/short are 0 risk openers) to cause the twitch reaction and then Ryu would just jump into an AA.

Now if Ryu waits to confirm the fireball animation like ‘okay, this is definately a fireball. I’m jumping’, then in this case Akuma always has time to recover and SRK Ryu for it.

Fireball openers are a bad idea, but the opener scenario gives distance and the time of the fireball start-up as a reference to the balance of reaction vs anticipation. It basicly demonstrates that Ryu can’t reaction jump a fireball without commiting to the risk of getting baited.

You’ll notice in videos of any strong Shotos including Daigo, Alex Valle, Air, ShadyK & Co; that they often whiff stand jab and short at fireball spacing and this is to catch out (and of course, deter) any twitch-jump tendancies or temptations from the opponent. It intimidates them somewhat by having them to commit to a complete guess on jumping and it (the jab/short whiff) is a vital tool in defending yourself and your fireballs from being jumped on.

If you start using this in your matches; whiffing a jab and noticing that they aren’t jumping in, then this tells you that they aren’t twitch jumping and will give you an indication of how safe you are to throw fireballs.

If you confirm that the opponent won’t twitch jump but you get jumped on anyway, it means they made a read or a guess; the latter meaning that you could catch out another of those risks by being ready for it.

For opponents who will jump at twitches, you can bait them and AA until they stop.

This trick, along with plenty of practice and experience will help you bolster your fireball game and learn when it is and isn’t safe to fireball.


Thanks, this must have been what I was doing to that Bison player because i’d throw out a whiffed crouching forward then he’d start his aerial assault only to get AA’ed, yet when I did nothing he’d play pretty patiently.


If you’re being caught by “psychic” jump ins, it means (as mentioned earlier) that you’re being predictable. There are certain situations where it looks very tempting to throw a fireball but it’s actually quite dangerous, eg. after a teched throw, after blocking/getting hit by a move that puts distance between you and the opponent (a type of “revenge” reversal), when the opponent is walking backward so by the time they can react to the fireball they’re out of jump-in range etc etc.

Try to figure out when you’re getting caught by these jump-ins (watch your replays) and break the habit of throwing fireballs in those situations. Use baits, and/or delay your FB’s by a few frames to get the opponent to commit to another move instead. Experienced players not only vary the timing between their fireballs, but the timing of it’s execution as well. eg. Sometimes they’ll crouch for a frame or two longer before completing the motion. It makes it harder to predict when an FB is coming. Doesn’t work on noobs though.


yeah i know what you mean. i find players that use zangief are extremely good at reading when fireballs are coming out.