Why do pros stand tech? (Noob Question w/ Video)


Let me start this off by saying that I am I’m not trying to insult anyone’s skill level with this question. With that said, I’ve been analyzing alot of professional play recently in order to better myself and I’ve come to a point where I am apparently too stupid to figure this out…it would be a great help if a more seasoned fighting game player could help me out with an explanation to this. I’ve run into a fair amount of matches where I see that a professional player is stand teching as opposed to crouch-teching, why is this?

The recent next level battle circuit grand final with Smug vs Sabin is a good example of this.


14:19-14:25, 18:43-18:50, 19:04-19:11, 19:46-19:51, 3:50-3:54 (doesn’t get punished), as well as numerous others

I realize that crouch techs open you up to frame traps, but a throw would also open you up to the same frame traps since they have startup frames as well, correct? This caused this player to take tons of unnecessary deadly damage from lows/jump straight into okizeme, which sparked numerous comebacks and very well lost some rounds for them entirely. Is this just extremely un-optimal play in the heat of the moment, or am I missing something? Is there ever a reason to stand tech defensively as opposed to crouch tech defensively?

A stand tech only covers a grab while being vulnerable to a low, a jump, a frametrap, and is even shown to lose to a high if executed how it was 19:04-19:11 with even the commentators saying “I’m sure he tried to standing grab him”. A crouch tech covers every single one of those options except a frame trap while still having the ability to react to the animation of overheads; all while accomplishing the same end result (teching a throw).

The only thing I can fathom a stand-tech doing as opposed to a crouch tech is that it will grab people out of blocking in anticipation of your DP, but such a hard read like that would be extremely risky and in superless Dhalsims case with no DP it doesn’t make much sense.


Stand tech will beat many frame traps, whereas crouch tech will usually get counter-hit or trade (at best).

Look at the option-tree against a throw/frame-trap mixup (assume the frame trap ONLY beats a 4f crouch tech):

  • stand tech -> wins: results in throw
  • 4f crouch tech -> loses: gets counter-hit

In the case where frame trap is not fast enough to beat crouch tech out-right:

  • stand tech -> wins: results in throw (throws beat throwable moves)
  • 4f crouch tech -> trades (usually at frame disadvantage - opponent can still sometimes combo off the trade)

Also, you cannot get counter-hit out of the start up of the throw so in cases where both stand and crouch tech will get beaten (like vs unthrowable moves), stand tech is the better option.

In the former case:

  • stand tech -> loses (no counter hit)
  • 4f crouch tech -> loses: gets counter hit

As you can see, stand teching is a decent option to defend against throw/frame trap mixups.

But you also have to consider your opponent’s blockstrings. You’ll often see Ryu players go for cr.lk xx cr.lk xx cr.lp, or cr.lp xx cr.lk xx cr.lp. The second cr.lk is meant to catch people who try to stand tech. However, not every character has a decent low normal to use in this way in a block string. For example, Boxer’s cr.lp is +4f on block (and is chainable!), but his cr.lk has no frame advantage on block at all. From that perspective, many players will guess that during certain opponents’ pressure strings, stand teching is reasonably safe. Obviously this depends a lot on the opponent’s habits as well.


Because pros don’t mash out frame traps between attack sequences, since that’s a prime time to eat a frame trap. Most try and tech on reaction, so stand tech gives you the option of throwing, or teching, which can come out faster than your cr.lk attack (character dependent). It gets beat out by lows, sure, but that’s SF4, and you have to weigh your risk/reward options when going for stand tech, crouch tech, blocking, or pressing jabs.


Yeah remember that throws have priority over normal hits, which means if a throw lands in the same frame as a hit, the throw wins. You can still frame-trap them, it’s just A LOT harder (though it makes the opponent vulnerable to low attacks)


Pros do what pros do because they are pros, it would be beyond our understanding.

I suppose someone could practice it though instead of getting jumpy all the time. I sometimes pull it off when all I’m really do is blocking against crouch.


lol, Arturo’s crouch tech mashing is legendary…


if we leave out reversals from the wheel of options we get this:

  1. low level defensive play is to mash instant jab, mash instant throw

  2. mid level counter to 1 is to do frame trap counter hit setup with small gap (1 to 2 frames) or chain to low

  3. mid level counter to 2 is to crouch tech as late as possible while still teching the throw (7 frames after active is the latest not including gouken).

  4. high level counter to 3 is to walk up or do your frame trap setup as late as possible (6 - 10 frame gap) to still counter hit the crouch tech.

  5. pro level counter to 4 is to do option 1

the sf4 circle of life…