Best way to practice blocking & does fighting CPU benefit?

Hello again. So I am just wondering… What is the most effective way to practice blocking in SF4? Should I just jump into Training mode and set the CPU to the highest difficulty and practice blocking? And would fighting the CPU actually help me improve? I’ve heard people say you can learn bad habits from fighting the CPU too much. Thank you.

Playing the CPU is only good for practicing landing your combos against a moving target. That’s it. The reason why it can’t help you with anything else is because the computer can’t really do mix ups (willingly anyway), won’t know how to do proper punishes, get mixed up or do any of the things humans do.

As for practicing defense, I’ll let somebody else handle that part.

You only learn blocking from playing matches against other players.
Throw teching and avoiding getting frame trapped is also an important aspect to this.

CPU doesn’t help with blocking at all. Cpu doesn’t do meaties, crossups, tick throws, overheads etc. If you are blocking then the CPU reads that input and simply does a grab or command grab if it is close enough.
Blocking can only be learned from playing other players, that goes for all fundamental skills, it can almost only be learned against a real opponent.

Depends on your skill level. If you are still a beginner then yes the CPU can help you get used to blocking basic attacks. What everyone else is saying is more true at the intermediate level. Best way to do this is go into training mode set the computer to CPU and just block attacks.

The CPU has set patterns so it will never be like playing a person. It’s like training by punching at the air instead of sparring with somebody, you’ll never get good like that. Find a sparring partner that at least knows the basics and you should be good.

With the CPU, I would say to hit confirm your way to combos, pratice safe approaches with the cpu, try to pressure it without losing health.

Human adversaries that are going to teach after that.

No one ever said its like playing a person. But all you you who have been playing for a long time forget that we all started out so bad at blocking that we can’t block vs real people. Everyone of us who learned at the arcades learned how to play against the computer before we ever played vs other people. If its good enough to teach a beginning jwong its good enough for new people today.

The CPU can help, but only so much. Same goes with the trials. What helped me with blocking was playing other people…A LOT. Sometimes I even asked friends of mine to do certain combos and keep going in. That way I could practice blocking and punishing. I’d see if there are any gamers that get together locally near you for sessions. It’s a great way to level up!

I definitely disagree with most of the advice given in this thread so far. like why can’t you practice blocking vs CPU? do CPU attacks happen slower lol?

of course playing vs cpu can help you with blocking. you just sit in down back and try to react to overheads or throw if CPU gets close enough, or just block until CPU does something unsafe and then punish, etc. whatever feels like it is helping you.

also in games with characters that have certain patterns you can use those to your advantage. like in 3s for example, Ryu will do walk up throw or DP mixup sometimes. if you do nothing he’ll throw, if you early throw you’ll get DP’d. what a great tool to learn late throw tech! there’s lots of examples like this.

actually IMO playing vs CPU in 3s is more valuable than playing vs like 90% of online opponents. maybe it’s different in other games but in 3s that’s definitely the case.

when people say “you can’t learn from CPU because it’s easy to abuse AI and a CPU doesn’t think” I feel they miss the point. if you are playing vs CPU with the goal of winning the match, you’re doing it wrong. if you’re doing it and focusing on one thing against a target that moves and hits buttons, then yeah it’s pretty useful. practicing hit confirms, practicing blocking, practicing anti airs, CPU is useful for a lot of stuff.

also it’s definitely not only good for low level players. I’ve talked to two of the best US 3s players about it within the last few months, they both played a lot vs CPU. training mode vs guided CPU practice can get you pretty far I think.

I think the cpu can be good for quite a few things too. Will you win EVO from playing it? No probably not but using it for things like spacing and reacting to jump ins and throws is perfectly viable.

Working on a new safe jump? Let Ryu bot tell you if you timed it right.

Mix-ups don’t work very well on them they either block or they don’t, but you’re still able to use that as a way to react to your setup working or not.

It can’t take the place of a training partner but when you have nothing else I think its a perfectly ok way to work on something.

I like use the CPU to practice reaction-based stuff. Like punishing unsafe moves. It helps timing the start of a punishing BnB. Its one thing practicing the BnB combo’s in training mode, and a completely other thing trying it a match environment, certain moves are unsafe but have a small window of recovery so you have to react quick.

Also, don’t go into training and put the dummy on CPU, rather create VS mode against the CPU. This helps you keep track of all the other variables while trying to punish(or whatever else you are practicing.) Eg, learn to keep an eye on your meter gauges, know when you can punish with an EX move, or when you have to use a different option because your meter is empty. When you connect with a combo, you need to quickly register where you are, certain combo’s can be extended/or changed mid-way if the opponent is in the corner. It’s now not just a combo timing practice but now you have to ask yourself a few questions: Is the opponent in the corner/Or will the combo carry him to the corner? Do I have meter to extend the combo/FADC? Is my Ultra ready, can I finish my combo with my Ultra?

Like someone else already mentioned, if you fight the CPU just to win, then you are not using it right.