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!