XsK_Samurai’s blog

With the advent of AE, I feel there is much less Ryu videos to watch and players to follow.

But one guy I have kept my eye on is XsK_Samurai, who is from I believe Norcal.

He first caught my eye at Crossroads:

Now everyone knows of Air’s blog, but I have actually also been following XsK’s blog for quite some time now.


I learned a lot from reading his blog. He goes into great technical detail about his matches, and also about his learning approach. He covers matchups and the players that he’s fought like Fuudo, Tokido, Filipino Champ, Mago etc.

I feel that more Ryus should check out his blog as it’s a great resource! I love all the anecdotes he has about facing all these great players, and I really identify with his grounded mindset about learning this game.

One of my favourite parts from his blog was this conversation he had with Mago:

“After I played Laugh I money matched Mago. The first set was first to 3 for $20. It was amazing playing him.


Afterward, Mago told me to not throw fireballs in certain situations, but you must throw fireballs. My buddies and I laughed but it made sense.

Before leaving Nekohashi gave me some words of wisdom. I believe it was mainly from Nekohashi but a bit from Mago. He said, “I like the way you play for I play Ryu too. I think it is like Super Turbo.” He then said, “You are missing something. Your heart is weak.” He then pointed to the wall while giving it a loud thump saying “Daigo…” and then lightly tapped the wall and said “You…” He was having trouble getting to his point but I believe he meant that I need to be solid in very specific situations. The rounds where I kept up with Mago came down to very specific solid situations. I failed to come through and lost the round.”

Wow. I feel the bolded line is the entire crux of AE Ryu.

At this range/situation, you must not throw fireballs.

But you must throw fireballs.

This makes so much sense.

I also felt this when I had a match with a Bluehouse Bison one day. His standing forward was beating my low forward and pokes. He was EX scissoring through my fireballs. He was doing random lk scissors to catch me pressing buttons. I was getting hit by stand roundhouse a lot.

In short, he was beating me on the ground. I was feeling very frustrated, and that all my tools were being beaten by Bison’s tools.

I started playing not like I wanted to apply my tools, but more like I was trying to not to get hit by Bison’s tools. In the end, I was too passive and let Bison walk all over me, and push me to the corner. I lost several games in a row like that.

The next match, even though I knew Bison on paper has all the tools to beat my tools, I threw my fireballs anyway, but mixed up my timing better, by throwing them in the “off-beats” of the match rhythmn. I worked much harder in my footsies and hit him with my low forward. I actually fought back.

And I won the match quite easily. With my “inferior” tools.

In short, maybe in situations where you might eat foot to face, you still have to throw that fireball. You have to make him respect it. You still have to walk forward and stick out your low forward.

Ryu has to control space and the match, to push your opponent back, to put fireballs just into the space when your opponent walks forward trying to poke you, and also to be brave enough to walk into the range of your opponent’s best and further-reaching poke and beat him with your low forward.

If you don’t do that, what’s the point of playing Ryu, of having a fireball? If you don’t do that, you lost already.

That’s why I lose so much.

But I digress and ramble on.

Check out his site, and also his Youtube channel!

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2 Responses to XsK_Samurai’s blog

  1. Gigadeath says:

    I agree with your sentiments exactly regarding the Bison matchup. Bison is a bully, and part of Ryu’s winning formula in this match is to bully him back. I often find myself in exactly the same predicament as you mentioned; his tools beat all my tools, so I go into absolute defensive mode and get the shit kicked out of me in the corner.

    You must throw fireballs and attempt to zone. I think a lot of Ryu players (myself included) give up trying to zone Bison early because his walk speed (and particularly his forward dash) means he can get within jumping range very quickly. The key here is to keep chucking plasma (HP fireball at close range as a poke, LP fireball at mid-range) to keep him honest. Bison players know that his jump is slow and floaty, and you can exploit this by throwing LP fireballs at medium range, often recovering in time to DP if he jumps.

    That being said, Bison still makes me a miserable shit and I could probably water a garden with all my tears.

    • muttonhead says:

      Yeah…played that Bison today at Bluehouse and tried to apply some of what I was talking about. I lost two games and won the third…but by the skin of my teeth and even then I think I had to land super in every round I won. (One to punish him focus absorbing my hadoken at full screen, one crossup tatsu, and one very gratifying punish of the devil’s reverse.) I kept going into shell mode, or taking the easy way out and jumping a lot. When I walked more, I did much better.

      You really have to force yourself into that range. I guess one thing that is in our favour is that despite us being inside scissors range once you’re within half-screen or something is that he has to hold charge for his specials and we can walk back and forth. I have this same feeling when I walk forward against Dee Jay/Guile.

      Yeah I’ve come to realise the great utility of LP hadoken in this match. Not only for the anti-air thing…but to screw up the timing of their EX scissors kick and focus absorb dash towards clk/throw. I should probably throw more MP hadokens though…I never use it.

      Man. Doing low forward and throwing a hadoken is something any noob can do…but to completely master the usage of them seems so, so difficult. I think I need ten more years.

      Bison salts me really badly as well. I’ve played this match so much but I still suck so much at it that I feel more or less resigned when I lose. I still have to apply some more advanced techniques like making scissors whiff so that you can punish it, or even focussing the second hit of lk scissors and doing certain blockstrings that leave you at a distance that you can punish random EX Psycho crushers.

      You should come to CCH this Friday and play all the Bison you want…Bosslogic, Somniac, Jaywang, Sol (sometimes).

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