Street Fighter: Having trouble turning my knowledge into application

I’ve spent a lot of time learning the game (watched all the vesper tutorials multiple times, explored the forums here, streamed tournaments and weekly brackets on eventhubs, etc), and I like to think I understand how the game plays on many levels. I’ve purchased an arcade stick and I’ve been a training mode monster for a while so my execution has improved drastically. My issue, as the title implies, is in taking what I know and turning it into applicable skill. There are so many different situations to recognize and react to (especially since I have no 2d-fighter experience prior to this game) that my execution and research are meaningless in the face of an actual match.

I have no practice partner or coach, so my learning needs to be done on my own, and it’s clear that without a solid foundation, my accumulated wealth of knowledge is worth dildos. Online matches have frustrated me with their meaninglessness. I can practice repeatedly and watch the replays of all my wins and losses, but it hardly translates into the level-up for which I have become desperate. My tl;dr request is this: I want to spend my matches focusing on individual aspects of fundamental, intelligent, correct gameplay. I want to do this step by step, focusing on one element at a time until I get it right, and then move on to the next. What is the first step and how do I proceed from there?

To further clarify: I understand the idea behind a lot of intermediate and advanced strategy such as option-selects, safe jumps, mixups, etc. Due to my lack of experience, should I ignore all of that knowledge in my matches and simply try to better my execution under pressure? Should I stop trying to do combos, even, and just focus on how to find an opening in my opponent’s defense in order to land a hit? For what it’s worth, I don’t care if this will cause me to lose my matches, as long as it helps in whatever I am currently focusing on.

I know this is asking a lot. I figured it couldn’t hurt to pose the question, and I appreciate any insight towards any aspect of my dilemma.

It’s not just about watching the replays of what you’re doing wrong. You have to understand what you’re doing wrong.

Ok, so go back into some of your replays when you lose and break it down MUCH further…
Say, "OK, why did I get hit here… rewind and look at it again…"
When you figure that out, go back and do it for EVERY hit… Keep a notepad filled with the stuff.

As for learning to handle situations, record the dummy into doing attack strings and learn to capitalize on it. E.g. if you watch a video of yourself getting pressued by a certain character, go into training, and record that character doing the exact same string… Then work your way through that exact situation.

You’ll find eventually that you’ll be looking at each situation as a whole, or rather, “chunk” the situation as a whole and it wont seem so overwhelming.

As for the option-selects, ignore those for now and implement them slowly. Every match should be a practice of your safe jumps and mixups though.

Don’t ignore your knowledge, but rather than trying to overcome all of it at once, focus on one thing at at time.

So go into battles and say, “OK, today I’m going to work on blocking and recognizing and defending against jump-ins and crossups” and work on that. Don’t give a fuck if you lose or not.
Then go back in and learn to recognize something else… or work on your tick throws or work on this or that…

Also, it helps to go into player lobbies rather than ranked often times… If you’re in ranked, you’re fighting different people eachround, so there’s no second chance to really build on what you learn each match. Player matches compensate for that… You’ll meet people. You could also use the matchmaking threads here to find a training partner.
Good luck.

You never even said what game it is that you are playing…

The thing about fighting games is that there is no “step by step” learning system in the beginning. When I first started playing fighting games half a year ago, I had to learn blocking, spacing, combos, and hit-confirming all at the same time. You can’t win by focusing on just one of any of these elements. I notice a ton of new players online tend to focus only on combos and hit-confirming, not even paying attention to spacing and blocking. Learn to focus on all of these at the same time, then you can move on to more intermediate aspects of the game you are playing.

If you want more concrete help, you must give concrete examples of your gameplay. I suggest uploading a replay of your match (with inputs on) and posting it here to be critiqued.

The thing is you can’t really learn “step by step” in the way that I did, because when I learned SF and a lot of older players learned it we actually had to learn step by step you learned one new thing and you added that to what you already knew and a day or a week or a month later you learned something else new and you added that on as you continued to grow.
What you are describing is mostly a new problem of new players; you know so much information beyond the level of your game that you don’t know where to implement it. Take one skill and work on it, make it part of your game until that skill becomes completely integrated with your game then start on the next skill and move on in order. As a new player now it is sort of on you to organize your training in a way that deals with the overload of information that wasn’t needed before there were streams and youtube

There is an order in which it is best to learn certain things you can either figure it out or put the things you are trying to learn in a list and ask here, but yo answer your question, Yes execution under pressure is much earlier on that list than learning to use safe jumps. Also learning to land hits consistently is earlier than learning combos.
When you learn things in order your wins should keep increasing, but when you learn things out of order you have to take those back steps where you have to lose for a while while you go back and figure out the thing that you should have already known at that point.

I never thought of that. I will definitely incorporate that into my training, along with your suggestions to break it down as much as possible. And yes, I usually create or join an endless lobby rather than ranked. Thanks a ton!

For the record I’m playing AE 2012. Sorry for not clarifying, I wanted to keep my title short and I figured it wouldn’t affect the range of answers in a severe way.

Regardless, I’ll try to focus on multitasking with basics before moving on to ‘intermediate’ aspects. I can work on hit confirming, blocking, spacing, and simple combos simultaneously, but my question to you, then, is this: do setups/mixups count as intermediate? Or should I be trying to implement those from the get-go? I guess as long as they aren’t particularly complicated, it shouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, thank you! Your advice helps greatly.

You bring up a lot of excellent points, and I am definitely trying to organize my knowledge and consequent training. You mention learning to land hits consistently being a preceding step to learning combos, but how do I connect the two, in order to turn my hits into combos? I find that in my matches I can focus on landing attacks but none of them really turn into combos, or I can try and focus on performing my combos but outside of a lucky hit I usually get stuffed.

Thanks again for the advice, guys. Now back to practicing.


Title: Street Fighter

Possible choices:

SF2, SF3, SF4, Alpha

No mention of Parry.

SF2, SF4, Alpha

Mentions Option Select.

SF2, SF4 - not to say they don’t exist in Alpha, but they’re not as relevant.

Mentions training mode
SF4 - As SF2 never had a “legit” training mode, I’m assuming this is what he’s talking about.
Also, most people new to 2D fighters in 2013 don’t jump on the SF2/SF3/SFA bandwagon either… Many hints to indicate what game, or at least series…

One other thing…

If you’re looking for ways to get a hit - Stop attacking. Seriously. Work on your high/low/crossup mixups of course, but the easiest way to learn how to get a hit, is to learn what they do that isn’t safe and learn what attacks you have that can counter it.

e.g., If they have an attack that’s -6 on block, and you have one that’s a 4-frame startup, learn to combo off of that attack and you found a legit punish to said attack.
This requires delving a little into frame data, but if you’re already in trianing that much, I’m sure you wouldn’t have trouble looking at some numbers there.

It would help if you told us what character you’re using. :wink:

He could have meant SF3, SF4, SFxT, and possibly some other games that I don’t play. I didn’t want to assume.

Mixups are also beginner level stuff. You need to learn to mixup your opponent with crossups, overheads, lows, and throws to keep them guessing on what you will do next and open them up when they guess wrong. If you never mix them up, they never need to guess.

Setups, in my opinion, are more intermediate stuff since they are character specific.

^ this. Although I did that by merely playing the game online against people.

If you play AE on xbox i’ll train with you. When it comes to AE im in pretty much the same position as you, i have a vast knowledge of this game and how it plays from the basic level to the advanced, but i just have trouble applying myself.

Fundamental skills such as spacing, blocking, footsies, mix-ups, and reaction time comes simply from playing the game frequently. I used to hate this answer myself but it's true, playing the game and playing against people who are on the same level or better than you will naturally make you more aware during a fight and make you more comfortable, so that execution and hit-confirms aren't so difficult.

Unfortunately for me I live in an area on the east coast where there’s no big gaming scene. None of my friends play fighting games so my skill developed from playing against people online, and training offline. While this is a longer and probably more grueling way to level up your game, it still works you just need to be consistency. Consistency is key to getting better at anything in life, really. Everyone has the potential to do it, but not everyone applies themselves consistently.

TL;DR = Stick with the game, fight as much as you can even if you lose, and you will gradually become better.

Where on the EC?

To be honest my problem is the opposite of that. I end up sitting back and blocking too much since I can’t find a suitable time to attack without getting blocked and punished or just counterpoked. I’ve gotten pretty good at blocking because of that, but I need to defend more with anti-airs and punish more, and figure out how to start my own offense from that point.

The frame data suggestion is good, but 1) I often find myself in a situation where my opponent is just repeatedly pounding away with small, safe attacks (pretty randomly from a lot of online opponents) so there ends up not being a lot that I can punish on block, and 2) more often than not my opponent switches around characters consistently, so learning any one character’s punishable attacks ends up being kind of fruitless. Even so, I’ll give it a shot because it can’t hurt.

As far as my character choice goes…


Abel is the closest thing to a main I’ve got so far, and the runner up would be Dictator. I’ve seen good results with them and enjoy both playstyles, but stopped playing with them for a while because I felt like I wasn’t learning properly. In a lot of cases I could easily lean on metaphorical crutches, since many online opponents (the ones who are close enough to my level of play, that is) don’t really know how to deal with Abel forward mk and tornado throw pressure, or repeated Bison stomps. So in order to learn fundamentals rather than bad habits I spent some time with various characters such as Ryu, Rose, and Yang. Ryu helped with some of the basics I lacked, Rose and Yang mostly just frustrated me. I think at this point I’m back to sticking with Abel for a while.

Sound advice. I do need to mix up my offense more; where I’m at now, I have a tendency to do the same couple strings over and over. Probably happens because my various attack options aren’t quite second nature yet. I’ll work on that and save the setups for later. Thanks!

@ItsNotJackieChan Thanks for the offer but I play on PC :frowning: I agree, it may be more difficult but it will eventually pay off to just keep working at it. It’s hard to admit it to myself, especially on unforgiving days practice-wise, but I am definitely making progress! I can tech throws pretty well without opening myself to frame traps, and my spacings are slowly becoming more accurate. :slight_smile: