I remember my early teenage years when Streetfighter II first burst into the arcades and revitalised the industry. There was a small shop on Clayton Street in Newcastle that housed a dozen or so cabinets and gamer nerds like me would drop several pounds in them every session. This was before the Playstation era and thus arcade games still had far superior graphics and gameplay than home systems. To say a home conversion was “arcade perfect” was high praise indeed. Fighting games came thick and fast after Streetfighter II. I remember Fatal Fury, World Heroes, Art of Fighting and many others on the Neo Geo system. The big me-too hit was Mortal Kombat. I tried it and hated it. Here’s why…..
Learning the moves was like studying for a maths exam. Nothing in the game felt intuitive. Nothing!
A button to block rather than simply hold the stick away from your opponent. Different buttons for high and low attacks rather than changing stance with the stick. But the real clunker in the Mortal Kombat repetoire was the special moves – they were hideously unintuitive. The arcade cabinet needed to have lengthy charts inserted into the front as a reference for players because nothing was as simple as the quarter-circles or forward-back-forwards of Streetfighter 2. It was a shitty game.
I’ve come to believe that too many beginners approach daygame like it’s Mortal Kombat and thus try to revise all the techniques and micro-manage themselves. Can’t say I blame them because there’s an awful lot to learn but it’s going to kill your vibe. Remember that feeling walking into your maths exam and trying to keep the formula you just revised in your mind? It’s a horrible feeling and just increases your stress. The whole of your mental energy centres on the front of your head, making the rest of your body feel hollow and unbalanced.
That’s terrible for daygame, an activity where you must project outwards from a solid core.
When I coach students I only ever give them one thing to think about when headed into set. Examples are:
- Remember to roll your words!
- Don’t look away until you’ve finished the opener!
- Look for a moment to step in on her!
- Try to spot the topic she gives you!
Any more than that and he’s not learning. It’s said that if you have more than three priorities then you don’t have any priorities. The daygame equivalent is “if you’re holding more than one technical thought in your forebrain, you’re gonna come off fake”. If you’re currently suffering from “daygame feels like studying for a maths exam” then take note. You are piling pressure on yourself and conditioning your forebrain to feel like it’s hard work. No! As my latest YouTube series presses home, there is a joy to daygame. It’s a free-flowing fun activity that you’ll often look forward to. So let’s have a little crib sheet for junking the maths and upping the joy quotient.
- When walking around between sets, focus on loosening your body language and feeling comfortable with the streets (solo) or bantering and fooling (with wing).
- Don’t force yourself into 10/10/10/20 sets a week. Avoid any target other than “I’ll open a girl that I like the look of”. Let the girls present themselves to you and then open the ones which give you a stir.
- Let the “no”s happen. Avoid any “one more thing before you go” unless a clear spark of attraction has flashed through her eyes.
- Laugh off the bad sets and take breaks any time you feel like one. If your feet hurt, sit in a cafe until they feel better.
- Only take one technical point into a given set. Generally, I’d only advise taking one point into the whole day’s session.
I think coaches are too focused on drills that require self-discipline. We only have so much of that stuff and it drains away quickly. It’s best to daygame in a manner that trains your hindbrain that it’s a hobby not an exam.
If you think this post contained stuff, you should see my book. Loads of stuff.