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Unlock Your Potential in Training Mode: Part 4 – Dissecting Your Opponent

Here it is! The finale of our four-part series!

If you’ve been practicing along we covered three main key points to set up your best training curriculum for practice mode:

  • Reduce Input Errors (Build Muscle Memory)
  • Identify Your Options (Learn What’s Safe)
  • Learn Basic Combinations (Make Them Automatic)

Part four is really a bonus addition and only comes after you understand your options for your own character.

All of these parts are lifelong fundamentals to utilizing Training Mode, especially as Street Fighter 6 is updated and balanced.

However, once you understand your options, it’s important to know how to use your options against an opponent. No better person to beat up on first than our CPU dummy!

So, back into the lab we go, this time figuring out what our opponents may do and what we can do about it.

Ryu in Street Fighter 6

If You Have Time to Block, You MAY Have Time to Dragon Punch

Daigo Umehara is arguably one of the best Street Fighter players of all time. One of his go-to characters for years was Ryu. Yep! The same Ryu we’ve been basing all of our previous training on.

And he is credited with saying, “If you have time to block, you have time to dragon punch.”

What does that even mean? Is it even true? Not always. There’s context behind it I swear and we’ll get into it…

Here’s the thing, Ryu has fundamental options to deal with a lot of situations.

For instance, one of the most common scenarios you’re going to see (especially at the beginner ranks) is someone jumping in at you.

Nothing feels faster than soaring through the air and hoping to place your foot square on the melon of the opponent.

People jump in all the time at the lower ranks! I mean…all…the…time. Even at higher ranks too as you watch Smug sit there patiently telling his stream, “He’s going to jump. Go ahead, jump…” and then watch all his predictions unfold true.

Back to Daigo and his above quote. What he was referring to is someone jumping in at you to attack. He basically said blocking the jump in attack was your first failure. What? Failure? But you blocked it?

What he means is that there’s a better option, one you’ll hear often referred to as “Anti-Air”.

Anti-airing an opponent is basically hitting them out of the air to counter-hit their jumping attack.

There are a lot of ways to do this. And, for Ryu a great option is his standing heavy kick. Yep! A normal button. They jump in, you hit heavy kick, BLAM! You just anti-aired.

Is it the best option? Maybe not in every situation like if they’re somehow just past where your kick would land or if you’re a bit late to get the kick out.

However, to start, it’s the easiest and fastest one to practice! So, let’s talk about setting up the CPU dummy to jump in and attack you.

Well, for starters… Street Fighter 6 isn’t out yet at the time this is being written. So, we’ll be using SFV’s training mode to practice and that’s only important because the settings may look different, although fundamentally…it’s the same thing.

Inside of the Training Mode settings menu you’re going to scroll over to Dummy Settings and change the Dummy’s Status to “Playback Recording”. This will allow you to record an action (such as the opponent jumping in with a heavy attack) and then set the CPU to playback that action.

I imagine you can figure this part out, but just in case… here’s a video from @CrossCounterTV that covers exactly how to do this PLUS three anti-air options with Ryu.

If you watched the video, I’m sure it’s no surprise that option #1 is Ryu’s Heavy Kick!

And, once you have it recorded and the CPU is jumping in to kick you… you’re probably going to get kicked in the face a couple times. That’s okay! Get your spacing (how far away you need to be for the CPU dummy to jump in and land the attack) and start trying to time your Heavy Kick to anti-air or counter-hit their jumping attack.

Just like before, the goal here is to do this 10x on each side (which means you’ll have to re-record the dummy jumping the other way too — also easier in the settings to “switch sides” of your characters).

Pretty good, right? Now, you can practice the air-to-air option in the video too, but I’m going to encourage you to go straight for the Dragon Punch!

This is because we’re getting to practice “reducing input errors” and building muscle memory to fire off a dragon punch when someone jumps in. Now, if you don’t play Ryu…this may not be the best choice… However, there’s also a good chance your character has another Dragon Punch style option and you’ve gone through and seen it because you did Part 1 of this series.

So, this time when the enemy jumps in, execute a Dragon Punch using the medium punch button. This introduces us to what’s called “Invincibility Frames” which basically means, even if they could hit you first, your character will ignore the enemy’s attack and continue on with your own attack.

There are other examples of “Invincibility Frames” or even armor such as with metered attacks, but just keep that in mind for now.

Again, if you’ve followed Parts 1 through 3 of this guide, I am fully confident you understand the game plan. Just like one push-up won’t change our strength, one successful anti-air isn’t going to build the muscle memory we need. Get the reps in.

Luke and Jamie in Street Fighter 6 - Drive Impact

Ok, Time for the Rapid Fire Round

Listen, what we just did…recording an action for our CPU dummy, playing it back, and working to counter it. That’s a never-ending game you can do with so many things!

Maybe you record the enemy doing a dragon punch and when they miss you want to find the optimal combo to damage them back. The possibilities are endless.

We realistically can’t cover all the options here…or ever… It’s going to be up to you to dissect what you see and what you need to figure out.

The LAST thing I’ll tell you to do, to help dissect your opponent, is choose their character. Yep, if you’re having trouble against Luke, bring him into the lab and go through at least Parts 1 & 2 as Luke! You don’t have to be an expert with every character, but you do need to know what their options look like.

Amazing! If you’ve made it this far… I’m super excited for your journey ahead. This is just the beginning and this is something you’ll come back to over and over again. So, don’t be afraid to bookmark these guides if you need refreshers.

And, if you’re so inclined, write down your own “workout routine”. Write out exactly what reps you’ll warm up with, what moves/combos you’ll practice, etc.

Above all! Be consistent. It takes time to get better at these things and ultimately it’s your consistency OVER time that will lead to the best results in anything you do in life.

Good luck out there in the digital battleground! If you know someone who could benefit from these guides, please share. When we level up each other, we level up ourselves, which means… We level up together!