The thread for a novice



Hello. Please forgive my novice insight, but I would like some expert advise on going with and going against Akuma. I will try and make my case as clear as possible.

My 3rd strike “arch rival” uses Akuma. His style is VERY pattern based. He will always begin the fight with an Air Fireball. After that, the following 99 seconds are a mix of Air Fireballs, Red Fireballs, Air Hurricanes, 3x Crouch Shorts, and random throws.

I’ll try and get more specific:

He loves the Air Fireball like the British love tea. He will throw more than I can count during a fight, and most of my movement is based around his air projectile. The majority of my reactions is the Crouch-Block. I will manage a parry about 3 of every 5. When he lays off the Air F/B, he shifts to the Air Hurricane. If he connects with it, he goes into a anti-air chain.

The second half of his offence is to work the throw. He will jump in empty and either: Jap SRK, or Throw. Either way, it’s tough for me to defend around it. If I go defensive and anticipate the SRK, I eat a throw. If I go proactive and counter his throw, I eat the SRK. Once he either throws or uppercuts me off, he goes right into the Air Fireballs again.

My record with him is fairly sad. I’ll say I get 2 out of 10 with him. I consider myself a novice. I’m not flashy, but I’m trying to work on it. I’m looking to get better but that will take lots of time. In the meanwhile, if you can help me get by this guy’s cheese then it would make a difference to me. Thanks for any reply.


I forgot to add my half.

I’ve caught on that his kara-throw is good to practice with. I’m currently working with it and trying to get it down perfect. As far as other aspects, I’ve tried using a MP->HP similar to Ken’s however the HP seems difficult for me to cancel. Perhaps I’m just not getting quick enough. Also, I’ve seen very skilled fighters cross up his Air Fireball (Jump from the left and land on the right but the F/B connects on the left). It seems extremely difficult to perform, I end up landing short or landing on the same side. I would like to get this down better but I seem to be missing the mark.

This is a great forum and you’ve already helped me more than I can say. If I get the chance, I hope to get some tounament experience in the future.


If he’s constantly doing air fireballs, either jump with him and hit him before/while he does it (in the air), or stay close and keep the pressure on him. If you know he’s gonna jump forward and fireball, dash under and combo him.

Do you know how to parry well? If your opponent air fireballs early in the air, you can parry and counter.

Do you use akuma as well? If so, try jumping with a roundhouse hurricane kick vs his fireballs. Also, you can’t cancel mp->fp chain into anything.

If you know your opponent’s patterns, it should be easy to beat him just by parrying and countering.


As far as the Standing Parry -> Counter hit … I get one of 2 results:

If I pop a counter hit early while Akuma is still barely airborne, he does a backflip and lands safe on his feet. But in many cases, my reaction is to slow.

Being a rook, I tend to be a little slower. In any case, it seems easy to get your combos off when they’re put in your lap. However in the case where Akuma backfilps to safety, I believe this opens up a much bigger (and possibly safer) window of opportunity. And since this fella does this to me 20+ times a fight, I will be in this situation often. I don’t have the DC version so I can’t do any type of research till I go back to an Arcade. I may be reasoning things wrong, but I’ll try and elaborate my view.

While Akuma is in the “backflip of safety”, I can’t connect with any type of attack. I’ve tried dashing forward before Akuma lands and attempt a MP but the hit will whiff. So Akuma is safe from my attacks. But it works the same for him but worse. Akuma can’t even do any type of attack while he’s airborne. So I am equally as safe. So this is the given situation where I have, say, Ken and I want to serve Akuma:

Ken just parried Akuma’s Air Fireball and countered with a standing MP while Akuma is still barely airborne. Akuma accepts the hit and is forced to do a backflip away from Ken. Ken is standing and active while Akuma is in a retreat and “paralyzed” in a way.

I will be facing this situation pretty much every 5 seconds so I’m going to need more than a few ways to deal with this guy. I’ve found out a couple things on my own that seem to be pretty consistant when I do a Dash in->MP->HP… or Dash in Crouch+MK:
-Akuma will ALWAYS block any meaty attempt because I believe that the defender gets that priority in this type of case.
-Akuma will often nail me with a counter hit upon his landing similar to waking up from a takedown.
-I may be wrong, but this whole situation is like waking up from the ground, but rather it’s from a backflip. (Akuma can’t attack and gets every chance to block, Ken is active and can move/attack but seldomly connects).

I’m at a loss to find a way to exploit his bad habits.

Some of you may consider this a beginner’s problem but that’s what I am. I hope that with enough practice and experience, I can get better. But until then, I’m going to have to take it one step at a time. Thanks for your replys.


Hmmm I can’t really do anything about your slow reactions. lol
Keep practicing, and you’ll get your timing down. When you do, and parry his fireballs, make him eat a MP->FP->fireball->SA3 combo. (If you choose to play ken, you should play with super#3).

If you can’t react fast enough to pull that off, then pick super#2, and just do the super after you parry. Akuma will lose half his life.

Now, about your situation where you hit akuma too early, and he flips back. If your opponent always tries to uppercut/hurricane kick when he lands, just dash forward and block/parry, then combo him. Once he learns to stop doing this, dash forward and throw. You just gotta keep your game changing, and mix things up. :slight_smile:

So, here’s what you have:

Parry, MP, dash forward and either throw/MP->FP,down+MK

Best advice I can give is to keep practicing. :slight_smile:


ex fireball and ex air hurricane will make akuma never even think about throwing another air fireball again.


As far as the ex hurricane, do you mean mid-air as Akuma is about to toss his air fireball?

And for ex hadoken, you must mean I have to time it so he lands on my projectile. I may be wrong.

BananaWeed, thanks for the advise. Do you have anything to add as far as his empty jump ins? I’m thinking that I can completely avoid all dangers by back-dashing, but that can only get me so far till I hit the wall. When he corners me, things get difficult. It’s a sign of weakness. Before I get my cornertrap down, I want to know how to get OUT of cornertraps. His will consist of:

Jumping in Air-Fireball, Crouch 3xShort, Jumping out Air-Fireball. And…
Jumping in Fierce, throw (he times the throw while I’m stuck in the block sequence. I’m not sure what this is called. Is this what they call “tick throw”).

One last thing. It appears that Akuma’s whiffed Air Fireball won’t charge his meter. Yet he still manages to get off the Raging Demon. On that note, he will only do the Raging Demon either:

When I’m about to wake from a knockdown, or
When I’ve just blocked a:
Jumping in Air Fireball, Jab, Jab, Demon (the 2 jabs are a result of his input commands for the RD. He gets it off before the Short is animated).

So he’ll go for a “Guarenteed Victory” in those situations because I don’t know how to get myself away from the Demon. If I can get by that, then it would surely leave him surprized.


Hehe, that’s no guaranteed victory. You can always jump out of the raging demon. He can’t grab you with it after he does an air fireball or when you wake up. You have a lot of time to see it coming, so just hold the stick and jump backwards, then hit medium kick to cross-up and combo.

About the EX hurricane kick, jump forward, and do it on your way up, so that it arcs. You’ll beat his air fireballs, and he’ll eat a lot of damage (you can also hit him [while he’s still in the air] after landing from the hurricane kick). But don’t do it if you know he’s gonna do an air hurrican kick, because akuma’s air hurricane beats ken’s EX hurricane.


In your case, try these tactics. They’re not that great at a higher level, but things to get you on your way.

As ken, in that situation you encounter every five seconds, dash in and do crouching mk cancelled into ex fireball. Change it up with dashing and doing a universal overhead, a command overhead (back+mk or toward+hk), or just simply walk forward (to be defensive for a change). You can do a low lk or jab and dash again and throw. Also someone above mentioned just dashing in and blocking/parrying.

for the empty jump situation, try this on a jump-in you may suspect as empty (no way to make sure, of course, but your reactions will improve): fierce cancelled into jab dragon punch. If he parries the fierce, he’ll probably get hit by the dp. If he gets hit by the fierce, you’ll recover from the dp before he can take advantage of you. Note that you might have to walk forward a bit for the close fierce to come out (far fierce cannot be cancelled). You can also jab to bait his parry, and turn the tables when your jab recovers before he can do anything about it.

And, in general, just use ken as he is easier on beginners than akuma.


I’m having trouble with Ken. I’m working with Yang a bit more. This creates a new problem however. Dive kicks always seem to get stuffed by a ground normal. As a general rule that I kinda follow, I tend to use RH everytime. The only exception is when I’ve knocked him down and I’m trying to to an Air-Raid Meaty. In that case I use FW. I recall always getting blocked then tripped. It’s frustrating to have that happen since the dive kick can be followed up, however it must be poor timing on my part. If that’s the case then I need to work on my dive kick-air raid.

Thanks for your inputs.


After a few nights of training, I think I may be getting the hang of Akuma. There are a few things that seem shakey to me:

He seems slower than Ken/Ryu for some reason. His recovery time just appears sluggish. It’s to my understanding that Akuma has high priority in his moves, however all of his actions seem to flow in a smooth, slow-pace. From one move to the next. It just seems that he lacks the ability to pound out moves in short spurts, but rather they blend into each other in a rythum.

This may not be the forum for this type of strategy, but doesn’t rythum and style play a bigger role in this game as oppose to skill and technique? A player with skill and tech is basically the CPU on an 8 setting. However, style and rythum is what separates humans from computers. So with this in mind, your victory should be part actions, and part logic.

Correct me if I’m off, but before I get into Akuma’s high-technique offence style, I should get in the right mindset/mentality to be this type of aggressive character. If you can put this in better words, it would help. Thanks.


Gouki’s definitely slower than Ken.

Skill and technique > anything else.

There is no “mindset” you need to get into. Just don’t make the newbie mistake of knocking someone into a corner then jumping away.


I tried to bring this up a couple posts above. I am Akuma and I’ve just parried my opponent who’s jumping in with a HK. My first action after that is a standing MP which connects while the opponent is still in mid-air. After contact, the opponent does a backflip away to safety, meanwhile I’m planning to get some offence created.

Given that this happens in the corner, I will be looking at something like this:

Opponent is in the backflip animation, Akuma is active with no penalty and does a dash forward before the defender lands into the corner. As Akuma reaches his position facing the corner, the opponent is just beginning to land against the corner at the end of his backflip animation. With this, my first guess would be to go for the Crouch+HK takedown. If it lands, then he’s on the ground. If it whiffs, then I SHOULD still have the advantage in recovery since it’s a Meaty Attempt. My other idea is just go for a kara throw or UOH. Both seem that they would connect with no contest based on this assumption:

When a person (even me) is knocked back in this “backflip” our instincts tell us that there will be some sort of follow-up. With this in mind, then the natural reaction is to hold a defensive-crouch while your character is still airborne, flipping back. Now as the aggressor, you should be able to exploit this natural reaction however I just can’t seem to get this stuff down.

Maybe it’s because I’m still thinking block when I should be thinking parry.


You can never rely on a sweep. It comes out fast, but the recover is terrible, even if you attempt meaty timing, because the recovery frames are way longer than the hit frames no matter how late into the hit frames you are. Sweeping in general is never a “safe” thing to do, you’re always taking a risk, especially against a ken player with at least one full meter. You can sweep a couple times before any of you has any meter charged, so that if he does block it the best he can do is sweep in return or something. Just don’t think of sweeping first, trust me on this one.

The karathrow or UO are good ideas, but some people, especially unpredictable beginners, will mash whenever they can, so they might do a dragon punch when they land, or whatever else. Just bear this in mind, and bait the next opportunity if it happens once.

To put a spin on things, do a crouching short or two before doing the kara throw or an overhead.

Another thing that might take a lot of practice is after parrying that jump-in, cancel the standing strong with a demon flip. Use your imagination, though the dive is popular.


I know just about every fighting game type of lingo except for the word meaty. What does meaty mean and what are the conditions that create it. peace



For each move, there is a startup time, a time in which the move hits, and the recovery. Each portion has a certain number of frames, and the data assumes the game runs at sixty frames per second.

A “meaty” attack is an attack where you execute the move early so that when your opponent is getting up, or recovering from an anti-air, he will only become vulnerable during the hit frames of the attack, so if he does anything other than a parry, block, or super, any move he does will most likely get negated by the meaty attack.

You can view the frames for each attack at a site created by StreakSRM (and slimx?)


Your first problem is using a crappy move like standing MP. The good choices are FP, RK (if the opponent is high enough), Dragonpunch, or a short hurricane combo. Strong punch and forward kicks are, in this instance, a waste of time.

Your second problem is low roundhouse. The shoto sweep is practically the worst move in the game (unless you have meter and want to bait an opening into a super).
You will not have advantage in recovery because it’s “meaty”.
Frame recovery properties do not magically disappear because a hit is “meaty”. You still have to go through a stupid number of recovery frames on the low RH. Plenty of time for your opponent to slaughter you.

What you need to do is make your opponent guess whether you are going to hit high, low, or throw.
Kara throw is unnecessary in this situation. A regular throw is fine for non tournament level play.

Predicting what people will do when they are in the recovery backflip you mentioned is key, the same as when they are on the ground. They will not all defensive crouch. If you look agressive, I’d try a wake up Dragon punch. But if I Dragon punch and you defend, I have to pay a huge price.
This is where it is crucial to outguess your opponent.


This must be the difference between regular and tournament play. Since I’ve never done a tournament, I don’t know the level of intensitiy that the fights are brought to. From a beginner’s perspective, my opinion on given chances is this:

It’s better to be moderate and safe than gamble with risk. Consider that the damage of an attack/combo is in proportion to the difficulty in execution. In my case, I want to stay as basic as possible until I understand the fundamentals. If this mean using MP instead of HP as a counter hit, then that may be the best for the time being.

A general rule I follow is: MP and MK do about 1/2 the damage as HP and HK but they are twice as safe to use. According to your posts above, crouching HK is a bad tactic. Yet nobody has objected to crouching MK. That may be just an implication to everybody. MK is twice as safe but does 1/2 the damage and in comparison, HK is 1/2 as safe but does twice the damage. (I don’t know the specific damage values of each, but I’m trying to use these two examples as an easy comparison in theory).

So if I’m given a free attack, say from a missed DP, then my first move would be throw because it’s damaging and easy. Next would be standing HP or HK. They’re simple and damaging. The last on my list is things like: HPxxFBxxSA1, … or HPxxShort Hurricane, DPxxAir-SA1…

I have a feeling that it will be a long time before I get to this level. Until then, I’m going to have to manage with basic attacks, UOH, and kara throw set-ups. With a poor offense selection like that you can see the problems I’m facing. My offensive playbook is less than 1/2 of what it should be. But I believe that these basics will be more beneficial in the long run.


This is not absent in lower level play. Tourneys for SF are just like tourneys for anything… same as normal play, just more intense and professional.
Unless they use Chun-Li, then it’s unprofessional.

If this is your attitude, don’t play as Gouki. He is a high risk character who thrives on constant rushdown and pressure. He does not reward a defensive style of play at all.

It isn’t always true. Air Tatsumaki, lk tatsumaki, DP does less damage than the b&b combo but is 10x harder to execute.
Comboing into the KKZ is nigh-impossible and does less damage than the KKZ alone.

Understand this fundamental. Gouki is severe and drastic. He wants to end your life. You should be able to tell this from looking at his face.

There is absolutely no reason to use MP over FP. Both are going to hit. One does more damage and stun than the other. It’s just common sense.
From FP you may want to consider cancelling into the short kick Hyakki Shu or whatever they’re calling it and throwing when close. 99% of people will block when they see this. You get a free throw for landing a FP. If you use MP, you are shortchanging yourself.

No… if you land a hit and they are both cancelable, use the one that does higher damage. Jumping heavy, cMP… is a waste of damage.
You can’t have an across the board rule like this. cRK is slow and I never use it except in a very special situation. cFP is cancelable by normal specials, so if someone blocks it, no big deal. It will give more super meter than cMP. Want to throw in variety, and you know they will block? Then use cMP. But if you are going to hit, use fierce.

Why do you think this is? It’s because cMK is cancelable and if it gets blocked you aren’t going to die. So if I hit you with cMK I can immediately lk Tatsumaki, Dragon punch. Stronger than a cRK, much safer.
cRK is slow and ** will get you killed **. This is not necessarily true for every character.

This is a bad idea. You have just wasted a huge opportunity.
Throws are weak and should definitely be used a lot, but not when you can do a combo instead.
When someone misses a DP, do this
close FP, lk Tatsumaki, FP Dragon punch.
It’s not much more difficult than a throw. You should start doing this now. It is not an advanced technique.

The first one you listed, don’t use fireballs. use anything else. Also, super cancelling into SA1 is a bad idea unless it ends the match.
#2 can be followed by a DP or another hurricane kick (tatsumaki). You can also follow it with a standing Fierce and cancel into Hyakki Shuu.
#3 is impossible because the dragon punch cannot be canceled from while you are airborne.
The combo you are thinking of might be
…ground LK Tatsumaki, air SA1.
since this is cancelling SA1 (and quite difficult to do), you should not do it unless it will end the match.

They won’t. You are hurting yourself. Gouki is a basic character and is not difficult or full of possibilities like Q or Makoto.
You’re playing around, making poor choices in terms of moves and punishing missed DPs with throws. This is why you are not effective.
Everyone was a newbie once. No one has to stay there. If you don’t like risk, don’t play as Gouki.


Well put. Thanks for getting right to the point. Your case is very clear and specific. For the most part, I agree.

I’ve been asking a lot of questions and many of them seem foolish now that I look back at them. The level that I want to compete with is out of my range. I honestly am not concerned with appearing flashy or inventive, just effective.

All of your suggestions are helping me along. You’ve pounded into my head that: Defense, Crouch HK, and Fireballs are not how Akuma should be used. I’ve noticed that Short-Hurricane Kick is suggested quite a bit. This is telling me that I need to get to know this move inside- and -out. Also, it would seem that Akuma gets his victories from aggression/pressure. By putting the opponent in reaction-mode. By exploiting and punishing the opponents misteaks. Still this raises one question…

If you become familiar with 1 fighter to the point that you almost become them, then isn’t your logic applicable to any fighter in any other version?

Be aggressive, punish their errors, play smarter… not harder.

Not just for Akuma, but for possibly Ryu also. It’s obvious that I’m having difficulty with Akuma so Ryu may be a possibility for me. Not to mix up the threads, but If Akuma is considered a high-risk, aggressive 10 out of 10… then from what I’ve experienced so far, Ryu is a moderate offense/defence 50/50 balance.

This could be a possibility. Use Ryu for now, and when I’m ready to turn it up a notch switch to Akuma. Again, if this idea is disgusting then please let me know. It would save me a little time and a lot of frustration.