How do you effectively practice yomi?

I really hope I don’t sound like a complete idiot, it’s kind of hard to explain, but one problem I worry about is when I practice my execution in training (combos etc) I’m afraid that I may completely narrow my game. Rather than vs my opponent, I entirely focus on landing that combo, or parry that super, or whatever else is on my mind that I want to get good at. This creates all kinds of habits for me as I become unfocused on the fight itself. So the more I actually practice outside vs another human, the more things I start to overlook and walk into, not punish properly etc.

I’ll try to explain this better later.

You have to be very experienced with the game and the mechanics first, you cannot see what you do not know, it’s better to train your anticipation skills instead.

I don’t think it’s something you can really practice except by playing the game a lot.

It’s all about knowing what options your opponent has and if you have any knowledge of their tendencies in certain situations. Takes a lot of matchup knowledge and experience to make educational guesses.

You don’t practice Yomi

You’ve made Legendary Game Designer David Sirlin cry somewhere

You can’t practice it. To be able to learn how to read your opponent, you need to play against real people.

Not gonna happen. You being able to read people comes from experience.

Okay, you are going to need some olive oil, a tube sock, peanut butter and four paperclips. Now follow this along really closely, cover your entire stick with a mixture of olive oil and peanut butter (this is of course after you scratch the PCB of your stick up with some of the paperclips and make your own circuits using various wires you find inside). Then take a tube sock and put it on top of your ball top.

Once you have completed this task, send me a picture then I will tell you the secret to reading your opponent.

Write a letter to Legendary Game Designer David Sirlin. Actually, don’t because he already knew you were going to and what it would say. Unfortunately, when he came to reply to your thread it wasn’t there because you hadn’t actually made it yet.

To me this sounds like you just haven’t practiced your combos enough. You should never have to think about what punish to use or how to punish a specific move, what combo to use and how to execute it, whether your cr. MK is within range to hit, etc. When you enter the game you should have all that down on auto-pilot. All of it should come naturally to you; you should not have to think. Only after you can achieve that will you have the presence of mind to pay attention to the actual game and read your opponent.

So I gave your post a second look and instead of focusing on the thread title I’m just gonna go with what I feel you’re trying to say:

You focusing on your execution is good and will actually HELP you with DEVELOPING Yomi, the ability to read an opponent.

Smacking an opponent with a full on combo for whiffing something like a hurricane kick. Which then you follow up with a cross up. But get DP’d on several occasions. Later on you score the knock down on punishing a whiff but this time you jump in early. You safe jump as you already know the guy is gonna DP again.

Lo and behold you’ve read and adapted to your opponent’s habit of wake up DP, which you block and then punish the crap out of.

If you know your opponent likes to mash DP, let him. Block, step back and punish him hard.

If you can tell they rock the down back, overhead. Throw a frame trapping normal or your own DP to see if they like pressing buttons. Or even walk up throw.

Likewise an opponent can read your inexperience if you can’t do the bread and butters of your character.

Example: El Fuerte in sf4. His main punish is his run stop fierce loop. If you make a mistake that a good fuerte would RSF and the opponent instead punishes with close HK xx guacamole or walk up throw you know you can take more reckless chances because that Fuerte player really isn’t going to be dealing any hard damage, thus you have absolutely zero reason to “respect” him.

Edit: everything heavy_mental said.

That makes perfect sense, I haven’t been focused on the opponent because I’m spending too much time thinking about how to do this or that when by that very moment I could have had it in muscle memory.

I guess the this means muscle memory helps.

Psh… So I haven’t been practicing enough.

Thanks for answering honestly guys, even the half serious “I wanna be the dick” comments.

Hopefully you’ll see me more (I haven’t quit yet)

The exact same strategies work for fighting games. There is no substitute for practice.

A big part of this is game knowledge, which you don’t necessarily need experience to improve in.

Whenever you make a prediction of your opponents actions, you have a lot of information to consider that can make the prediction more accurate. Each players meter, spacing/position, character, remaining life, remaining time, which round it is all affect a players decision making. Absorb more information when you play and watch videos, study matchups, and you will improve your ability to read people.

But you have to play more too!

Ok let me check my question:

Can a players ability to gather yomi diminish, suffer, get worse, whatever…?

Don’t think so. Pretty sure it depends on your brain’s ability to analyse situations on the fly and notice patterns in your opponent’s play.
Comes with playing many different people, imho.

Yomi’s just another skill like execution or footsies. It will suffer without constant practice. To have good yomi, you need to be able to recognize your opponent’s particular tendencies and know how to counter them. To have great yomi, you need to be able to analyze the risk-reward of each situation, understand your opponent’s optimal and preferred options in any given situation, then recognize and beat your opponent’s tendencies AND predict how they will adapt them to your counters and respond accordingly. In other words, the former will enable you to recognize how your opponent always throws a fireball after throwing out a random cr. MP and do a jumping attack for a punish while the latter allows you to do that AND do an empty jump the next time so your opponent’s anticipatory dp whiffs.

You’ll be staying one step ahead of your opponent.

Honestly, you just need to cut vegetables out of your diet.

Seriouspost: The first thing they teach you in Psychology 101 is that human behavior is predictable. Virtually 100% of people follow certain habits, at least until violently broken of them. For example, virtually everyone walks on the same side of the sidewalk, and strangers will always evenly spread themselves out in an elevator or bus. The same stuff happens in fighting games, and it’s not magic.

You can’t really practice the mystical Japanese art of ‘yomi’ but you can improve your observational skills and mentally record how most players (and CERTAIN players!) react to specific situations. Then you can make them pay. The only way to get better at this is to play and observe. Practice observing. Count how often a random online opponent uses shoryuken in the first round. Count how many times they jump in. You’ll find that you’ll be able to stomp the shit out of people like magic once you know exactly what they like to do.

This is also why fast adaption is one of the hallmarks of best players.

Oh yeah, a great real life example, I found that a large percentage of online nobodies love to jump forward after blocking Rufus’s c.fierce. I guess they expect another one, or something? I meet them with a jump roundhouse and they lose half of their life bar. Look for stuff like this!

very carefully