Putting in your Eight Hours


I’ve been thinking about this for some time.

When foreign players are interviewed, the consensus is- “play for eight hours”. Eight hours a day, five days a week. Put in your time, basically. Put in work.

When I was in my youth I could easily see this. Putting in eight hours was easy when others were taking care of your needs; it was just a matter of if you had the drive to do it or not.

But I’m not in my youth anymore. Your standard 9 to 5 takes up a lot of time (about another eight hours if I’m not mistaken). Were you to shove the additional “required eight hours” in there, you only have another eight hours left in the day which I would assume if you didn’t want to go to work a zombie you’d spend sleeping

which leaves time else for absolutely nothing.

Taking care of basic needs (shopping, cooking, cleaning, other miscellaneous tasks, etc.) takes time and is necessary, so the above scenario (work, sleep, fight) while admirable in my eyes, isn’t realistic.

So this leads me to the next quandary: either you would have to reduce the number of hours you work, or reduce the number of hours you play. The first is situational, and the second… I have no idea how it would affect your competency, or how you would be able to compensate for that.

Basically- how does a grown man keep up?

I know some players are bums, and some players are from rich families. But I also know some of you guys out there have your lives and still manage to wreck %^&# in the arena. How do you deal with it?

And how do those aforementioned players who tell you to put in their time fund their activities in the first place?


Unless you plan on being professional, concentrate that time on making more money and having more sex. Otherwise make necessary sacrifices.


They are soldiers. I saw first hand many salary men top players in japan playing all night. They aren’t the majority, as many top players seem to be bums, but you have to realize some people want it more than you. Are you willing to sacrifice to get to that level? Most of us aren’t. If you aren’t, accept it and respect those who put in the work.


Uberman’s Sleep Schedule

Give that a try, you’ll feel like shit for the first week but it’ll give you 22 hour days. 8 hours at work, 8 hours of training, and you still have 6 hours to do whatever. You just need a job with extremely flexible hours.

Where are you hearing that you need to play for 8 hours a day though? I usually hear that it’s more about how you spend that time rather than how much time you spend:


Well if it’s 5 days a week, I supose you could juggle it around, do less on work days and more on your days off if you really wanted to stick to that thing.


The Japanese, basically.

That’s the only thing… I think that alone might be my saving grace- thinking carefully and doing a majority of the “fighting” “in your head” to make up for the lack of raw experience.

the thing is, if you spend three hours but you carefully focus and it’s quality time fighting all three hours, you’re still lagging behind someone who spends eight hours doing what you do.

then again, we’re not racing to the top are we?


I think what matters is quality not quantity. Playing a very good person for an hour is better time spent than playing droves of garbage for hours. Plus, naming the specific amount of time is pretty arbitrary.


I’ve got to agree with this.

Some people just improve at a faster rate than others do.

Somebody could play for 4 hours, and just pick it right up, whereas somebody else could play for the “standard” 8 hours, and still not grasp the concept / gameplay as quickly, etc.


My guess though. In Japan, the level of competition is high. They can combine quality and quantity fights quite easily as oppose to us. 8 hours a day of fierce competition is probably their standard at least from what the TC is saying.

For us here, quality is best. as we do not have alot of quantity of quality players as least compared to Japan. Or basically, we do not have enough good players to play against.

They got the quality, variety, and quantity to play 8 hours, and are forced to get better.

Variety is important as well. Playing the same characters that are good quality is great but more variety is always better. Like Chun li, for example, is not played that much in SF4(as compared to 3S) but it is good to get experienced in fighting her.

Check out some of the records on some players in Japan. Some of their records be like 10000-8000 which is a heck of alot.

What are we gonna do to consistently compete at Japan’s level of play? That’s the question we have to answer in order to compete with them.



The Japanese are better not because they put more hours into the game but mainly because when they do play, they have a wide variety of strong players to play against, something the rest of the world doesn’t have.


I think both schools (qualiy vs quantity) have merit.

Quality: This, imho, is about upping your MENTAL game. Learning matchup details, learning the strengths of your character, learning mind games, building fast enough responses to respond to things (tick throws, unsafe pokes, etc…) on reaction rather than guessing. This is where having quality opponents is key.

Quantity: There is no substitution for time, when it comes to execution building. Muscle memory has no shortcut, you build it by repetition, repetition, and more repetition. You need to have that big damage combo on demand, ready to come out at ANY point at a split second’s notice. You need to get to where you don’t have to think about the combo at all, and just let your fingers go on autopilot, so you can spend your attention on the things that really demand it (like out thinking your opponent, mindgames, etc…).

You need both to be a really good player. #2 you can get mostly from training mode and just putting in the time…but #1 only comes from having FACE TO FACE competition that is better than you are.

Even with the best execution ever, you are only going to be as good as your face to face comp.

Without execution, even having a great mental game isn’t going to cut it, when you only get a few chances to do damage per round…you MUST make those count.

Disclaimer: I’m still very much building #1 and #2. We all are. I am by no means a top tournament player, but I’m working hard to get there and I am going to every tourney I can. What I posted is all just my opinion as someone who is really in his freshman year of trying to be a real tournament player. :china:


I use a modified version of this, where I sleep twice a day for a 90minute period(I found it more comfortable to go through a full cycle in the long term). Allowed me to be hardcore into MMOs for the longest time well still having a fulltime job and fulltime school. Those extra 6 hours in your day make a world of difference.


Most people play 5-6 hours, not 8. It’s not really about how long you play but who you’re playing and what you’re doing. 2 hours with someone at top level will do a lot more than playing 10 with someone who’s way below you.


Ask Ed Ma. He has a 9 to 5 job, a girlfriend, and gets top 3 in practically every turney he enters.


Get your girl to take care of shit for you. Then just work,play sfiv, and sleep. If not then gl on gettin better. Seriously that’s how these Japanese top players get away with it.


Just remember that practicing when you’re super tired doesn’t help at all. It will just fuck up your timing and execution and possibly set you back. So just practice smart


What top level fighting game players can put in 8 hours a day ever day? Even the best Starcraft and Warcraft III players probably don’t even clock in 8 hours a day and they play professionally.

If it’s your job to play fighting games then maybe 8 hours but even then…who are you going to play? Everyone else will be at school or work. So who is your competition?


Do you know or are you just guessing?

In Japan you can find people to play all the time.


I’m going to start the uberman sleep cycle once my comp gets fixed and will be making a daily updated blog for those interested.


That fatality dude does 14 hours a day…lol