I have a friend who is a huge fan of competitive Street Fighter. He watches all of the streams, knows the names of the pro players and has a general understanding of how the game works. His love for the scene has permeated beyond viewing other people play it, as he bought his first fightstick to get in on the action.
However, his actual abilities in the game to-date are limited. Aside from playing casual Street Fighter II as a kid and Street Fighter IV more recently, his overall skill-level is essentially ground zero.
So far, his journey into the FGC has been a brutal one. After suffering a number of defeats playing Street Fighter V online, his interest in playing the game has dropped dramatically. In an attempt to keep his interest alive, I’ve invited him to my house for a one-day training session in the dojo.
I totally empathize with my friend’s plight. When I started playing fighting games seriously in 2009, it was a struggle. For years, I lost the vast majority of matches I played and had no idea how to improve. Yes, there were fighting game resources online, but I didn’t know how to apply any of that knowledge.
Years later, my coworker Mike would start to play Street Fighter IV. By being able to personally teach him the ropes based on what I’ve learned and the mistakes I saw him making, he improved much faster than I ever did. Through that experience, I strongly believe that personal coaching is the way to go for learning fighting games the fastest. Granted, most people have the luxury of personal training, but if the opportunity presents itself, take it.
During this one-day training session, I don’t expect him to transform into Daigo overnight. Instead, there are a few key takeaways I want to impart that will hopefully kickstart his journey towards Street Fighter V enlightenment. By the end of our session, he’ll hopefully have a base understanding of the following:
- How to find practical uses for a character’s moves
- How to analyze a match based on the character’s being used
- How to analyze his opponent’s behaviour and exploit their patterns
- The importance of good decision making
The goal is to open his mind to a world of Street Fighter V beyond the memorization and execution of special moves. I want him to show him how to actually fight. In a best case scenario, this will be enough for him to make the next few steps forward on his own.
If he drops the game after our session, that’s fine. We’ll still have a great day hanging out, playing games and probably enjoying some NBA playoff basketball on TV. One can hope though that I’m able to plant the seed that grows into a fighting game monster.