Wednesday 25 November 2015


This is an old article I posted in a Facebook group a while ago. Still relevant:

I thought I'd do a couple of write-ups on a lot of things that for most players don't seem that important but within SF4 are actually 100% key to improving. The first thing I want to talk about is...


I'm not going to cover the bullshit that is online where a lot of the techniques I'm going to go over don't apply, but just the things players can do to universally improve their defense.

I'll go over the various methods of teching in SF4.

Instant Stand Tech, or Stand Throw

The most basic of throw techs. Essentially, it's just an offensive throw that doubles as a throw tech, immediately out of blockstun. The reason to do it immediately out of blockstun is because throws are 3f, and one of the quickest buttons in the game.

It's not a very strong defensive option. It loses to lows, 2f frame traps and just about anything else that isn't throw. It also leaves you in a long recovery on whiff. Players look for this whiff, and the best ones punish it heavy as fuck.

The only real benefit to this technique is that it cannot be Counter-Hit for attempting it. Throws have startup but are not subject to the same rules as other moves for Counter-Hits.

The technique is probably the first one anyone learns, and probably stick to as they would believe that because it can put them back on the offensive, it is the best way. It has too many glaring weaknesses for it to be a long-term strategy however.

Instant Crouch Tech

Throwing, while crouching, still allows for a throw to be teched. The game gives you a cr.LK for doing this, so for many characters with a 3f cr.LK, this is a very advantageous tool to have on defence. It also allows for a low block, so gets round one of the main weaknesses of Stand Teching, and also allows you to hit-confirm from the cr.LK into your characters BnB.

Characters that make great use of this are Dictator and Chun Li, as they have great range and are easily hit-confirmable.

Even with a 4f cr.LK, it's still useful. However, the technique leaves you open to Counter-Hits, as well as moves designed to go over lows.

Still better than Stand Teching in general, but not without it's flaws.

Delay Crouch Tech

The same as the above, only this time with a delayed input. The concept is to delay the crouch tech just enough so that:

A) You block any frame trap attempts, and
B) Tech a throw on it's latest possible frame.

It's a much stronger defensive measure, however it is character-specific. You have to know the frame advantage and timings of each of the characters close normals into order to time your delay tech correctly. The timing isn't always the same.

The weaknesses of this technique are based on player mentality. If your opponent knows you are delay teching, or understands your delay tech timing if you aren't varying it, they can modify their counter hit attempts to catch these specific frames you will be attempting the crouch tech.

Also, the strength of your cr.LK comes into play as to how useful this is. A 3f crouch tech is good, but even just having a 4f crouch tech means the difference between a CH or a trade, so bear this in mind.

OS Teching and Offensive OS Teching

This is to be used in conjunction with instant and delay crouch teching. Some character's cr.LKs are not really geared towards crouch teching. They're either too slow (5f or more) or have no utility (cannot hit-confirm from them) to be useful, and are more of a liability. An example of this would be Gouken.

To get round this, you can add another, better button to your crouch tech that performs better defensively. For example, Ryu cr.LK and cr.MP are both 4f, but cr.MP offers more hit-stun and frame advantage as well as better comboability from greater ranges, so this would be a better crouch tech for him. As a bonus, it would act as defence against airborne overheads and divekicks that cr.LK would be beaten by.

In the case of Gouken, using cr.MK as your OS Tech gives him a 4f tech, as well as a very, very strong defence against any form of dive kick.
It is still weak to the same things a regular crouch tech is, but has further utility in specific matches and with specific characters.

You can also use this offensively. For example, when going to frame trap with Ryu with cr.MP, build in a tech input regardless and you're automatically protected against Instant Stand Teching from your opponent.

The Offensive OS Tech does have a weakness, however. Using it against characters with 7F+ reversals means you will always be hit by their reversal as you can only delay your tech by 7F before it becomes too late to tech an instant throw, making it an unsafe strategy against characters like Juri.

Inverse Teching

The concept for this is similar to OS Teching, in that you are using a normal other than cr.LK to crouch tech with. The difference here is that you are using a plinked input of:


In Training Mode, it will display an Inverse Tech like this:


The reason to do this is if your character has a better cr.LP that is either faster or has better utility. This is usually the preferred option for characters like Ryu, Boxer and Adon, who all have very good cr.LPs but poor cr.LKs.

The problem with using Inverse Teching is that you are unable to tech on the last techable frame of a meaty throw attempt, so if the attacker delay DPs on the 3rd techable frame, then you will be hit with the DP no matter what. Delaying the Inverse Tech by at least 1f means that you will be thrown if the throw attempt was meaty. An example of this can be found here:

They were by no means 'Raggo' uppercuts. Well, maybe a little.

Focus-Teching, and Focus-Tech Backdash (Four Button Tech)

Still applicable now in Ultra SF4, but with obvious penalties now with Red Focus.

Focus-Teching, and by extension Delay Focus-Teching, is probably the strongest defensive technique for much of the cast. Characters that really benefit from this are Chun Li, Rose and Fei Long; characters with already solid defence as well as very good backdashes.

The technique covers two main things:

A) Meaty Throws
B) Delayed DP traps

But on top of this, defends against any and all frame trap attempts. With the right amount of delay, you can be protected from almost all timings the opponent may have.

The correct input for this is:


This is how it should look in Training Mode. Focus Tech Release is good against delayed traps as you can potentially crumple and land a full combo if you CH their trap attempt. This is risky however and if unsuccessful you are left at slight frame disadvantage with most characters.

The above input shows how to do Focus Tech Backdash, which adds another facet to the technique in that if the trap is delayed even more, you can force it to whiff with the backdash, and punish accordingly.

The final plus point to this technique is that it completely nullifies backdash option selects, forcing the opponent to make a commitment in order to punish the Focus Tech. An example of this is here:

It's only weakness; multi-hitting meaties and armour breaking meaties. With Red Focus however, I feel this technique still has a lot of potential.


This one would take a lot of time to explain so for less wordiness, please refer to this video by illitrit:

The long and short of it is; you can tech throws before they have even connected by using blockstun to avoid a move coming out even when you initiate a throw tech.

The timing on this is extremely precise and a knowledge of every character's normals is necessary to really learn the timing for this 100%. However, this is quite easily the strongest possible universal tech method, as it has no relevance to the character or their moveset; it's simply down to system mechanics.

There are many potential applications of this. It's main purpose is to tech meaty throw attempts with zero risk when performed correctly. Two techniques I have developed but not yet fully mastered are DP Pre-Teching and W-Teching. The latter can be found in this clip:

The concept behind W-Teching is to input a pre-tech inside blockstun or wakeup recovery, and then input your tech of choice afterwards, preferably a Delay Focus Tech. It covers all possible mixups and throw attempts, in theory, but the timing and hand technique required is so precise that it takes a lot of work. Very possible to learn however.

So, that's throw teching, or at least the techniques used. The mentality behind them comes from just playing matches and varying your teching methods to remain unpredictable on defense however, so try a few of these out if you don't already and leave a comment.


Remember guys/girls; have fun!

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