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Step Your Game Up with EG|Justin Wong

Step Up Your Game: Chapter 1 - Training Room

Written by Justin Wong
September 8, 2011 at 9:23 p.m. PDT
Many players lose in the heat of battle because they “choke.” Choking usually means that the player could have won the match but they dropped the game winning combo or hit. One of the most important tools to have as a fighting game player is REALLY good execution. If you land a clean hit on your opponent, you want to make sure it’s going to count and get you closer to the win.

When I was growing up, I sat in the arcade (there was no access to these games for consoles at the time) for 5-6 hours every day during my summer vacation and practice my combos over and over. Practicing my combos over and over did 3 things for me.

• Improved my execution dramatically.

• Figured out new combos/setups/mix-ups/frame traps/safe jumps/option selects/punishes.

• Learn more about the character.

Practicing your combos and executions helps a lot because it builds some type of muscle memory in your fingers so your body can understand when you need to do the combo and when you hit your opponent. This also will help you get more consistent wins and even place higher than usual in tournaments. Practical combos are always important for any type of play; casual play, tournament play, grudge matches, and even money matches. Sitting in training mode and practicing Ryu’s Shoryuken. Focus Attack Dash Cancel into Metsu Hadoken (Ultra 1) a hundred times may be tedious but it will definitely help in clutch situations. But, as a player, you should be practicing every type of combos multiple times to make sure you have it down. You can even practice frame traps, safe jumps, option selects and certain common situations so you don’t have to “react” to it. It will be more of a knowledge base.

Common situations can mean a lot of things. One of the examples I can think of which is very common is when your opponent does a wake up EX Psycho Crusher. Some characters can punish this escape option, but not a lot of people do because they haven’t practiced this situation. I am sure, they know in their head on how to punish it but since their eyes and hands have not been trained for this situation, it’s harder for them to punish.

When you sit in training mode for a long time, it makes you think about your character differently or even ways on how to counter certain match ups. You can figure out new weird combos that may not be practical, but this could also help you improve your execution. You can also find new setups and safe jumps for character-specific match ups. I think the best thing that training mode can do for you is that in today’s game, you can record certain situations that you want to punish.

Some of the things I used training mode for to practice certain situations:

• Learning how to auto correct against cross ups.

• Learning how to 1-frame punish against a blocked Balrog Dash Punch.

• Learning how to option select tech throws against dive kick characters.

And there are many other common situations/punishes/etc. you can practice with.

Justin Wong's training mode regime


Everyone has different regime in training mode. When I go in training mode, this is the stuff I basically fiddle around with.

• Work on practical bread and butter combos for 30 minutes. For example: If I was playing Rufus, I would work on his dive kick, standing light kick 2x, into standing hard punch, into hard punch Galactic Tornado and all his other necessary combos.

• Practice unique situations against many characters for 20 minutes. For example: If I was playing Rufus, I would practice on how to auto correct with Rufus Ultra 1 against Akuma’s cross-up Hurricane Kick.

• Work on zoning, counter pokes and footsies for 20 minutes. For example: If I was playing Rufus, I would practice how to use Rufus' crouching hard kick (sweep). If you look at my match with Mago at EVO2K11. Every time I stood out of Sagat’s standing hard kick range I would sweep it with Rufus.

• Work on frame traps with your character for 10 minutes. For example: If you’re playing Rufus, many characters can option select tech throw against Rufus' dive kick. Ryu can crouching medium punch and hit the tech throw option to stop Rufus from throwing or dive kicking. In order for Rufus to counter, you must frame trap that option with standing medium punch, this will cause a counter hit for Rufus and you can do crouching light punch into EX Tornado. (There are other frame trap options available).

• Working on option selects for 20 minutes. For example: Rufus may not have many option selects, but the one I find useful is against C. Viper. After you do any hard knockdown, let’s say off a back throw, if C. Viper does a wake up EX Seismo, you can buffer the light kick version of regular Messiah Kick and you will beat her out.

• Free styling for 10 minutes. For example: After I did the core functions in my training regime, I just mess around and just start doing random combos. The reason why I do this, it might trigger a light bulb moment.

There is nothing wrong in being a training mode monster. It helps you learn the most about your character because you are having hands on experience with your main character and you are helping yourself on knowing how to deal with the match up that you always have problems against. This method also gives you more knowledge to the game and it will help you feel more confident when being in a tournament atmosphere.

Justin Wong is a member of Evil Geniuses, you can find more information about this organization at http://www.myeg.net.

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