The art of learning footsies through ryu


so in the midst of my current character crisis at hand i had a thought. I was trying to get better with footsies at the time. honestly my ground game and defense is streaky at best. so i went to ryu since even back in vanilla everyone suggests to try him out for your training needs. i played a lot of rounds and i did decently for not playing ryu too seriously. but long story short, let’s say in theory you grasp the understanding of this part of the game, (the AA’s/spacing/zoning/poking/blocking) and then you keep applying that and you master it. shouldnt you just attempt doing so with the character you want to use from the beginning?
Like how do you take what you learned from ryu and apply it to honda, or dhalsim. or in my case dudley, since most sources of information say oh he has no footsies and the such. I mean for any responses if you can get character specific with any character about it that’d be cool, but i’m seeking a general answer to approach the issue with. maybe it’ll help not just i, but many others bridge the gap between the basic training and the jump into your character training.


There are general concepts that apply no matter what character you are playing.

And then there are character specific tools like Ryu’s c.forward.


Dudley has footsies, they’re just not really strong or flexible.


Ryu mirror:

whiff a low forward from sweep range, the other ryu tries to punish your low forward with his own low forward but is out of range, you punish his low forward with a sweep.

You baited his low forward with the intention of sweeping him.

This is the essence of footsies. This is a concept you can apply to any character. Someone whiffs a move in front of you and you’re Cody? low short xx hp criminal upper to punish it.

The footsies handbook does about a thousand times better of explaining it than i just did, you’re better off reading that.


I think I agree with your first assertion that you should learn your footsies with the character you intend to main. While knowing the properties of Ryu’s normals is great, footsies revolves around knowing the ranges and properties of YOUR particular characters normals. As your knowledge is about know your mains normals work, you will also learn spacing and rythmn and timing as you “dance” with your opponents. You will also have to study how your character normals interact with specific matchups and specific moves of other characters.

Your particular characters foot speed, attack recovery and special move ranges and spacing is something that you must get a feel for, and that can only be gained by playing your main.


Ryu is pronounced as “roo”.


Yes I agree, but for some I’m sure, including myself. Its difficult to transition that when moving to a character that does it very differently or doesn’t have the same reliable poking tools. In comparison its like learning algebra, playing the one character teaches you the equation. Its just not easy to always get the right solution when you’re plugging in different characters/scenarios.

Exactly, so in his case learning and using the footsies game is completely different from the ryu approach. So if you were maining him I wouldn’t see how learning through another character would help.

Yes that’s exactly what it is in a barebones definition. You are playing to get openings and gain advantage for your offense. The basics that you learn from playing ryu methodically teach you this. Or controlling space on the ground in other words, keeping people from putting things in your zone.

That’s exactly what I was getting at, imo every time you learn footsies with a character its a diffrent experience every time. Every char has there own range and tools for optimal performance. Everybody wants to be solid faster so why learn another character that you don’t want to play? Maybe for the purpose of learning how to go against them in the long run, but not when you are starting out.

Yesh, thank you for pointing that out =D

Overall I’m just saying that I came to this conclusion. Maybe we as a whole community would do better if we worked to create more specialists. Instead of telling new players to play ryu and leave them be, why not help them find their strong point and improve it? Let’s say a guy really likes geif and just gets that character, why send him to play roo when he’ll never want to use him? The japanese are always talked about for character mastery, so when will we be known for it? If there were more mastery the tier lists would be less unbalanced and non existant imo. Maybe there’s so many of us “scrubs” because we’re not learning properly. Not saying everyone should hold new players’ hands but maybe be a bit more supportive and give better individual direction.


Dudley has footsies, its just not effective unless your spacing is on point. Plus the gameplan for a general dudley is to get in, not to play footsies all day.
your footsies for dudley are:

st. HP and f+HP: these have alot of active frames so you can throw them out there sometimes but you cant have a pattern or ull be punished ( and if your score a counterhit with f+HP, its a free combo, st. LP and st. HK comboable)

Buffered MPs to LP MGB : on hit, the LP MGB comes out, your in there face with +2 frames,
if you get too close and they block the MP, MGB comes out but safe cuz -2 on block, but you in their face
dont do on grapplers

buffered st. HK to EX MGB: use this poke to counterpoke moves you baited your opponent to do for max damage and a knockdown

Focus attack: Dudleys FA has alot of range, when you let go and dash in, lvl 1 on block is -3, lvl 2 on block is +3, so if you get level 2 on block, you get in their face with +3 frames so you can start your offense.

You don’t have to learn ryu footsies to learn dudley footsies. Your going to have to get use to dudley to get use to his normal’s ranges anyway so if you want to learn dudley footsies, use dudley lol.


i didn’t know that about counter hit Fierce! depending on who i’m facing i try using f+fierce to close the distance, but i mainly use buffed cr.strong. i think once i get used to mixing up the buff between mgb and duck i’ll be a lot better. ehh, grapplers i’m having a rough time with right now, but not as bad as some zoners. but now i know why i always get grabbed when i know i have advantage.

st.rh and kidney blow i’m still getting comfortable using as pokes. i use the rh in combos but alone i don’t wanna take the risk of mis judging the distance and whiff it. same with kidney blow. i know the FA is really good I just never ever used it in sf4 with any character. Just something about it like i don’t know when to use it or how to make it effective rather. actually maybe it’s just because of online but even meaty attacks on wake up i have issues connecting sometimes. just more to work on, i’m getting there!

lol thanks, but that’s exactly what i mean with the post though. nobody said anything to me like that before. i always wanted to play chun since i was small so when vanilla came out i tried to learn her. i knew nothing about the game, footsies was foreign to me as was everything. so when i kept getting destroyed people would say try learning with ryu. that just lead to playing the whole roster and not really improving with anyone, which lead me to not like any characters, thus hurting my experience. but that’s my story, maybe it’s different for everyone. I’m just saying that maybe if i had a better learning experience i’d be a lot more advanced on game knowledge in general at this point.


start going to local tourneys and casuals, people are very informative if you ask for help or suggestions.


oh yea dont use kidney blow as a poke, it was ment really for blockstring and frametrapping. Use stomach blow instead, longer startup but more range (its the focus attack without the focus attack part lol). if you score a counter hit, it combos into st. HP but its a 1 frame link, so just throw fierce out right after the stomach blow even if it doesnt combo, sometimes people are dumb enough to press a button and will get counter hit’d again.


ok i’ll work on that KB i’m still getting comfortable in general with using anyway. i like stomach blow i can make that work somewhere. i actually stopped a cammy from using SA online with cr.forward. i like using that against chun and shoto legs o.O. oh believe me i’m going back to playing in locals and everything very soon. i just want to be better than when i told my friends i quit. i’m still low tier right now but i’d kick the shit out of my old self lol.