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Winning.

October 4, 2009

There is always an influx of new players come new game time and Tekken 6 is going to be no different.  Some of the new players may shine brightly for many years while some of them may only make the occasional spark, but all of them come to the game with the same goal in mind, to win.

But how can you do that?

You can go off to youtube and look at all the videos for the character you want to learn, figure out the best combos for each launcher, learn their 10f, 12f, and 15f punishers, and talk to someone who has a higher rank character card than you, but those things won’t help you if you do not learn the origins of those tactics.  You simply cannot be good, you have to get good.

Miyamoto Musashi, one of the great strategists and author of the Book of 5 Rings, once wrote:

As if with the seed and the flower, the seed has become less than the flower.  In this kind of Way of strategy, both those teaching and those learning the way are concerned with coloring and showing off their technique, trying to hasten the bloom of the flower.  They speak of “This Dojo” and “That Dojo.”  They are looking for profit.  Someone once said “immature strategy is the cause of grief.”  That was a true saying.

What he means by the seed/flower example is that these people who wanted to become strategists in his time were too focused on the result instead of the work taken to reach that point.  He states that they were too concerned with “coloring and showing off their technique” rather than caring for the seed which is the most crucial part as it is the core, the reason why it exists in the first place.

This relates directly to you as a player of the game.  While there are fantastic resources like the forums on Tekken Zaibatsu and youtube, those things will not make you good at the game.  Only through practice and study will you become the best.   You have to nurture the seed that is your desire to win and along the way become a strategist.

Youtube should be used as a supplement to your study rather than an alternative to actual practice.  While it is helpful to watch a top player use your character well, it would be better to play and figure things out for yourself in the long run so you become well versed in that move, that tactic, that strategy.

Recently, online play has become an option for players.  While it is revolutionary feature that has been a long time coming, it is not without faults.  First and foremost is the issue of lag.  Even with both players having full green connections, the game still sputters at occasional points and that is enough to throw a monkey wrench in the machine and make the game different from the one you will play at a tournament.  Although the matches you have may go smoothly with no lag spikes at all, just the fact that it can happen and both players know it make the strategy involved unique to the online environment, not something you want to get used to if you want to do well in real life tournaments.

Second, is the atmosphere, the setting.  Playing alone from the comfort of your couch is not going to prepare you for the tournament where you have to wait for your match and then physically be next to your opponent.  If you become too comfortable with online play, then you may not be ready for the real thing where your opponent is not a faceless entity, but a real person intent on shutting you down.  It’s just not the same.

Third and lastly is the quality of opponents.  Sure you can get online at 4 A.M. use the quick match feature to play ASAP, but you don’t know anything about who you are playing.  They might be the best player Eddy player ever hailing from Egypt, but they can just as well be some young twelve year old mashing with kicks.  This factor of the unknown wears you down even if you don’t realize it.  It is like playing the computer in order to get good, it just doesn’t happen like that (practice mode is way better than single player in every legit fighting game).

Of course you could and should use youtube and, perhaps to a lesser extent if there is no alternative, the online feature to develop your fundamentals of the game.  Things such as the stuff mentioned earlier like punishers and combos can be easily lifted from whatever source and written down in a notepad or even your cell phone so you can try to implement them in your own style of play.  However, like I said earlier, these are not replacements for the epitome of training, playing real people who are better than you.

Back to the original question, how do you win?  Well, you could easily win in any number of ways.  You could win with some knowledge of the move list and some combos.  You could win with old Tekken 3 tactics.  You could win by simply not losing too.  Or you could do it how the greats did it (and still do it) and win with a good strategy.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Craig permalink
    October 4, 2009 8:47 pm

    not exactly on topic, but in execution/learning to be good:

    this stuff is probably basic for most ppl reading but maybe useful for someone.

    played every tekken to 5, skipped DR, will go straight to BR on console release.

    every Tekken release I approach with a fresh mindset.. & re-learn each game in a progressive approach. this is my way of thinking, your mileage may vary –

    I start with my favorite characters, maybe 5-6 of the cast in training/practise mode. with each character;

    first goal is to get a broad idea of each characters play style, ok i’ve played Tekken in previous versions, but each version changes.. consider that style is relative/important with respect to other characters, some are new and introduced, some are changed. you want to understand their style, so you can respect their move list and create good personal flow. so first just bash around, spam a bit.. is the character strong? fast & weak ? throw based ? does it have a counter ? special nifty tricks ?

    second goal is to establish a basic set of moves / framework for using said characters. run through the move-list in training/practise. look at each move and consider i) damage ii) execution (is it hard to do?) iii) speed iv) range v) h/m/l?. you have to start from somewhere, and this is a strong start. each character has ALOT of moves, you don’t need to use them all.. especially when you are learning… pick 10-20, write them down. practise them. add them into your game one by one. consider combos as moves too. eg 1,1,2 for Mishimas as a move, it’s great. start by using just 3-4 simple safe moves.. some jabs, kicks, a throw, a sidestep move. add in each of these 15-20 best moves 1 by 1.. learn ‘safe’ moves first.. fast jabs, kicks, throws. you can get an idea of ‘the best’ moves to pick/use from the top ten moves lists from tekken zaibatsu etc..

    third goal is to get good. you have a a good number of moves down with a few characters, alot of them will have the same execution.. so it’s kinda easy to remember.. d+4, ff+x, 1+2 etc.. especially across familys.. work out what chains into what nicely.. like Jin’s 2,4 chained after other moves.. often catches them offguard when they try retaliate. use alot of basics for a solid base and use your plethora of moves to overwhelm your opponent with a barrage of unpredicatable attacks

    notes:

    -mostly attack
    -vary high,mid,low..
    -most players don’t block low much because it’s dangerous, so hit them low, low, then mid when they duck the third time
    -look for openings for your launchers, these are key for good damage combos
    -use lots of WS
    -reverse alot, it’s strong
    -throw lots, and be ready to counter peoples throws, it takes alot of concentration and practise to stop being thrown.. try to develop a loop in your mind of being ready to throw/stop a throw
    -watch peoples patterns to spot their weaknesses, sidestep is often your friend
    -when getting up from the ground, you have alot of options.. learn to always getup safely, often rolling is good.. sometimes bb+3,4 kick/pounce is effective to knock down a rusher
    -get good with lots of characters, don’t just have 1 or 2, because an opponent will find a character that can beat those 2
    -don’t neglect hop kick & d+1
    -some unblockables are strong & can smite your opponent easily for epic damage.. eg King
    -dodging an attack is better than blocking it, bb is your friend.. often followed by a ff+x smashing their whiff/maybe scoring a counter hit
    -at high level chip damage is great, it pressures your opponent.. eg Kazuya’s 1,2,4.. they start to block the 4 ? 1,2, d/f+2
    -know when to stop a string, say you want to 1,1,2 an opponent for knockdown.. if you get the first 1, you are guaranteed the next 1,2 / knockdown.. but if you are blocked, after the 2 you are open. be fast enough to read it and react / stop at 1,1 if it’s blocked.

    chars I mostly use for reference in no order: King, Asuka, Bruce, Paul, Julia, Lee, Jin, Kaz, Steve, Nina.

    I main Kaz, and in console release of BR will be testing with Lars/Dragunov

  2. Rip permalink
    October 4, 2009 10:20 pm

    Good read. Reminds me of how I started, and how I’ve fallen off in actually practicing. Who wants to help me nurture my seed?!

  3. Inserity permalink
    October 4, 2009 11:17 pm

    Good stuff. I personally find myself doing the same thing. No matter how much I read or watch, I won’t progress until I do it for myself. Watching someone execute punishers, launchers and combos is great and helps, but doing it for yourself and finding what area you excel or lack in, helps you become a better player.

    Oh and DRO sucks. Lets hope Namco can do better 2nd time around with T6.

  4. Karma permalink
    October 4, 2009 11:21 pm

    Good read Insomnotek

  5. Dre permalink
    October 6, 2009 2:23 am

    Why on the topic does any1 know the inputs to bryans b3,f somehow cancel into standing jab. Ive like sat with PS3 for hours trying 2 figure this out. The knee itself I came across on doing a side step into his string an when I hit 3 to start it the WS standing 3 came out so fast. After session me an a friend switch to practice an the help of peoples comments on utube helped me with inputs at the start it felt like it was Quarter Circle Back but what I found it was Down then Quarter Circle Back 3 but the point is in this guys video saw b3,f cancel standing 1 an still can’t get it. But if any1 who knows much appreciated.

    • October 6, 2009 12:28 pm

      You have to cc (crouch cancel) during the cd (crouch dash), the b3~f part. So to crouch cancel you have to tap “up” during the middle of the cd, so to put it into notation form it’d be: b3~f~u~f1. Since cc’ing with’u’ will result in a slight sidestep, and Bryan already has a ss1 move, so to get a jab out instead you’ll do f1 after the cc.

  6. Dre permalink
    October 7, 2009 5:18 pm

    Damn it was that simple thanks a mill man this is dope.

  7. Dre permalink
    October 7, 2009 5:28 pm

    Damn this is sick who knew just up thanks a lot man.

  8. Andrew permalink
    October 10, 2009 10:06 am

    I think it should be pointed out that many of us would always prefer to play in person against opponents, but to many of us in the US, it isn’t possible because of no official US release. There is no Tekken 6 machine within 250+ miles of where i live so online is my only option.

    • October 10, 2009 6:43 pm

      You can still go to or hold gatherings for your community! Of course you have to put effort into building your community, but if you can there really is no reason to play online, other than to fuck around.

  9. SITH! permalink
    October 25, 2009 12:44 am

    Great article! Very true what you said about the lag online. It changes your entire strategy and way of playing. I never learned anything playing DR online. I feel like I only improved by putting in time and patience at Super Arcade, especially by losing to better players. I must have spent at least $100 bucks learning (losing) to MYK, Suiken, Kane, and TRUE!, but because of it, Tekken has become such an enjoyable game to play. Its like what Aris said in ep. 3 of Tekken Time…half the fun is figuring out this shit.

  10. September 6, 2010 1:52 am

    I agee with everything except if you live in a city with no arcade community online becomes your only since of comradery. I don’t really play rank match anymore I play player matches now

  11. January 25, 2011 1:10 am

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  12. anitalc permalink
    May 5, 2011 4:28 pm

    Hi, I”m Italian and i don’t speak(and create) english very healthy, so, apologetic for my undeveloped english. I hope i entertain a ration of interesting debate in this site

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