Getting good at anti-airing

Hey guys,

Thought this topic would be something that we all have to deal with, seeings as our character archetype basically coaxes opponents to jump so that we hit them with the anti air.

I have been playing sagat as a main for about a year now and although i have gotten better, i feel like my anti air could use a lot of work. I thought i would start this thread to see what strategies or training regimens, methods, techniques you guys use to get your anti air sharper.

My thing is that after throwing shots, i usually buffer dp almost as a natural response. I also do the crouch stand pump when i am in neutral sometimes if i am expecting the opponent to jump, however this is not ideal as you leave yourself open to projectiles and sweeps etc.

Another place where i feel my anti air is lacking is once the opponent gets into crouch strong range, because then, I get kept busy dealing with the opponent’s footsies and blocking and all of a sudden there’s a jump (which could hit me from the front or cross me up. I tried dealing with this using stand medium punch, but it’s too finicky for my liking. An lp dp is more reliable, but i feel like i cant get it quickly enough on reaction in an actual match.

Do you guys do your anti air dp’s on reaction to a jump in or in anticipation of a jump? I fall more on the latter side but i would like to get my game up so that i could react to the jump in rather than anticipate it and worry about it. I feel anticipating the jump in takes away a lot from my footsie game coz im constantly thinking about it, etc.

anyway, let me know what you guys do and how you managed to up your anti air skills.

Thanks in advance.


It’s half and half for me , I’ve played Sagat so long now I can sense jumps with certain characters/players. I’ve noticed over the years any kind of Backward movement after a footsie exchange - usually results in an opponent jump because they think your opening up the space to throw tiger shots. That’s a great spot for a fake. Also sometimes doing nothing will result in an automatic jump because it’s a stand off.

Some characters are hard to react to, like Yun. It’s really an individual thing. Lp Dp is really good for those close jumps and cross ups , what you want to do in that situation is input the DP to the forward motion - hold it - then push punch late , that way you cover 3 options, they land front you Dp, they cross up you either block ( because your holding forward) or you DP the cross up. This works well against tatsus especially.

I split the screen into 3 parts personally -

Dp range
Kara uppercut

I already know which one I’m using depending on which zone they are inside. I use slow high shots to bait the kara range because slower shots give the opponent time to think about jumping.

This is what i’m talking about! very useful stuff here Highland. General advice like this is invaluable to people learning the character. For instance, it took me a very long time to get comfortable with throwing Low Ts At a little outside crouching mk range because i was so scared of the jump in, but then i found out that i could recover in time to dp a jump in from that range.

I also automatically assumed that high tigershot was exactly the same as low ts since they added three frames of recovery in ultra, but then i forgot to factor in the startup frames, which makes high ts slightly faster still.

Highland with the goods once again.

The main problem with AA , is not to get dishearted with eating jump ins, if you concentrate on the air too much your ground game gets neglected. I play a ken player like this, he is spot on with his AA game , almost 100% but he can’t use his ground game to open me up because it’s not that good in that area. He’s neglected the ground in favour of the air. He almost never beats me despite having a match up tilted in his favour.

This is really how most mid range and poorer players score damage, they score a jump in or a cross up, which in turn causes your frustration and can lead to being blown up.

I like to watch Daigo ( as well as Bonchan obviously) a lot because I try to concentrate on where he’s standing and what he is using. He is a spacing genius.

Try going game without doing a jump in yourself, you’ll find it’s quite hard to do because the temptation of easy big damage is always there. This is good for us though because that’s not how you beat Sagat, you beat him by walking him down and close pressure.

aint that the truth.

I feel they are closely connected in my experience. One guy i play always tries his best to get on the inside asap. A good way of getting there quickly is by walking you down and jumping in from crossup range, failure to punish the jump results in either a hit, or a block and he is in, then i have to deal with being locked down with quick normals and throw mixups. I manage to keep him out, but we have been playing for a long time and it’s like he knows Sagat’s ranges and options. I need to switch it up.

Ok, reporting back with what (i feel) might be a groundbreaking discovery! At least it is on my part. We all know that to be proficient in anti-airing, you would have to be able to fake out your opponent, whether it be by using stand jab or by crouching and standing. One flaw i had in my game though was not having faith in my fakeouts. In other words, I would fake out a dude, just to make sure he didnt jump so that i could throw a tigershot (which he would then jump over and get a full punish.)

I wasnt putting a lot of stock in the opponent getting fooled by the fake and when they did and jumped at me, i didnt have the time to react because i was already thinking of throwing tigershot after the fake. I would get them sometimes, but my ratio was not very good at all, especially when opponent was mid range or up close.

What i noticed is helping me a lot right now is faking with standing short when in midrange and watching out for that jump so you could buffer uppercut immediately. Stand short stops a lot of pokes up close (especially low ones which stand lp would miss, and once opponent thinks you are worried about ground and decides to jump, you are watching for that jump and you dp.

I’m not yet proficient as i would like to be at it, but its working out nicely so far, however i have to also incorporate blocking and the odd low ts into this strategy somehow in case people start throwing projectiles etc. It’s definitely easier said than done, but i have some sort of basis to work with.

Sharing this because i feel its a problem area for a lot of sagats and might be useful. Hope its not as garbled as it seems because the idea was clear in my head but it took a lot of sentences to put it together, lol.

Oh and here’s an addendum to the whole faking people to bait a jump thing.

Always mask your tigershot. i.e. Either throw a shot from a crouch, (where there is no telling motion that you are buffering a shot) or after a quick normal such as standing lp or standing short (where the pump of your buffering a shot is masked by the recovery of the normal you have done before it).

Alternatively yuo could pump down back or down forward a couple of times before the real shot.

Just avoid throwing a naked shot from a standing position because people react to the pump of the shot being buffered (sagat kinda does a slight crouch before throwing the shot).

one more thing that i have been having success with, (especially against people who listen to your buttons) is taking advantage of the lenience on USF4 inputs.

When you input a Tigershot u do down forward and tap a punch button. if you do down forward, you dont have to immediately press the punch button, you could do it and you can push the button a fraction of a second later. The inputs are lax enough in that they allow you to rotate stick down forward, watch your opponent’s immediate reaction to the sound of the stick rotation or sagats movement, and then either push the button and throw out a shot or pump down forward down forward for the dp motion if they jump.

tiger knee is somewhat a anti air too, like a horizontal DP.

in those spots where its hard to read of jump ins for a tiger uppercut. (online is even worst)
instead of throwing unsafe anti air, that can be whiff punished.

From that spacing, just change that habit to safe tiger knee.
It easily clips people in mid air.

Since I’ve been crouching and pump faking like Bonchan I’ve been able to react to jump ins a whole lot easier.

If they make it to my dead zone, then they had to deal with the fireball maze, dash in normal xx tiger shot or tiger knee, safe tiger knee, smart fireballs and smart normals all before they got there. By then I have a general idea of when they want to jump (so I can AA) or when I can throw a smart fireball and push them back out. But chances are I’ll just reset the spacing.

I’m starting to understand why Bonchan and other good players can get away with throwing 6 unsafe LTS in a row

Also, as far as practicing your AA, don’t play on shitty connections.

If you do play on a shitty connection:

  1. Don’t.
  2. Don’t stop inputting your SRK motion. Even when you eat a jump in when trying to do it.

I noticed when I play enough shitty connections, I make a habit of blocking instead of inputing the SRK motion because I know I’m not going to react fast enough unless I expect it. Any thing more than a 4 frame delay I can’t AA on reaction.

Interesting advice maf. I tend to block more online as well. as for crappy connections…my connection is always crappy, i rarely ever see green bars its all yellow and less. I used to pump with downforward for my fake outs, but have since switched to pumping down back. Its more awkward to dp from that but its a whole lot safer in the midrange where a sweep, cr mk or hadouken can hit you in the face for pumping downforward.

Also, as a side bar…i looooove sagat’s corner game. It is just amazing, especially with the added bonus of ex shot into ultra. I did notice that doing cr lk into cr lp into ex shot into ultra scales the ultra pretty heavily…the damage is pretty low.

I watched a FT10 with Bonchan and Coujiro’s (SP?) Chun. I’ve seen Bonchan do f,d,df,d,db when buffering in this match. This way if you hit a punch button when you hit down back your TU will still come out, and you’ll still block low. It’s basically the motion for Momochi’s DP OS. He was still using back > down back but every now and then he would do the other one. I’m gonna take it to the lab to see how viable it is.

Yeah , that’s almost the same technique when using the proximity blocking option select. I don’t use it personally, but I know how to apply it.

Highland…English please.

Basically an option select where your move doesn’t come out unless your opponent’s attack triggers your block animation (hence proximity part)

It came out about a year or two ago, but no one uses it. Come to think of it, Momochi’s DP OS might have been born from the proximity option select.

is he just inputting dp right after ts?

and why isnt anybody using it?

Naw. It’s a option select. His DP doesn’t come out unless the opponent presses a button within that range. If you watch the Gat vs Gat video, look at the inputs. The DP comes out as soon as Gat presses lp. It doesn’t come out any other time.

You basically buffer a special move into a crouching normal if I remember correctly.

As far as why no one is using it, my guess is if you whiff a button that recovers fast enough or is short enough to avoid the OS, then you are left open for attack. Alioune was using it to flex for a little.

Santarou uses it, I’m almost certain on luffy.

An example would be you’re in the corner ( the opponent is in the corner , you are facing him) you do a low tiger shot block string - knowing that you are negative on block they try to punish but your DP comes out if they push a button , it doesn’t come out if they don’t push a button.

The input is d, df, d , db and punch ( basically a DP ending on down back and hit punch)

I’d imagine it’s not that common because it just adds yet another bunch of finger gymnastics on an already technical game.

At mid range you could theoretically throw out crouching fierce , input the motion and if they try to punish your fierce they get Dpd.

Thanks for the clarification highland. Oh and i was able to edge my Ryu demon 52% to 50% this weekend! Yeah i only beat him by one game, but dammit im still claiming it! lol. The advice with the standing hk to punish a far jump in was really on point.

Will post up some of the matches for feedback when i can.