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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fighting Game Self-Improvement

By SACREDG - Why Fighting Video Games Are Fantastic For Self-Improvement.

Fighting games are always a great yet tough genre to fully enjoy. Every once in a while, it’s great to boot up Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, or Super Smash Bros. and enjoy the chaos of everyone trying to figure out how to play. Yet, delving deep into the mechanics of fighting games is such an intimidating process for a new player that they would rather play something else. There’s so many rewards to fighting games that I insist that you take another look at them.

Fighting games are a great example of the “Practice makes perfect” metaphor. When it comes to self-improvement, you need to put in the work. The more time you put in, the better you get at the game. I know that’s true of almost any game, but with fighting games, your skills will absolutely show. Just think of the time you completely annihilated one of your friends in Smash Bros. or maybe one of your friends destroyed you. In my own experience, back when Melee was first released, my cousin would wreck me every match with his Sheik. As a frustrated Fox/Link player, I desperately wanted to get my revenge.

So every day, I would play as Fox (and sometimes Link <3) and fight against 3 Level 9 Computers at the same time. The characters were Captain Falcon, Link, and Fox. It was nasty hard and it took me a couple of days before I finally won a battle. It took a few more days before I became comfortable with the 3-on-1 match-up. By the time I fought against my cousin again, I had him sweating. It was an incredibly close match, but I finally emerged the victor. Fact of the matter is; you will see the results of your training every time you play. Even if you lose, you will definitely feel that you still fought a good fight.

I'm all too familiar with this screen.

In addition, the process of improving at fighting games teaches you so much about discipline. First, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to set aside time to practice. It’s not that you have to practice for hours, but rather you can put aside maybe 30 minutes of practice time. Here, you’re learning how to manage your time and when to focus on improvement. It’s difficult at first, but works wonders down the line even if you’re not focusing on fighting games. My 3-on-1 training sessions against the Computers in Melee would not last longer than 45 minutes. It was a perfect amount of time for me to get some solid practice, but not bore myself with the repetition.

This also had a huge impact on my guitar skills. I practiced long enough to develop my quality of play, but kept it short enough that I wouldn’t get frustrated.

If Link can play an instrument and fight, then so can I. :p

Lastly, fighting games help with taking losing well. Let’s face it, there’s always a loser in video games. Sometimes it’s us, sometimes it’s our friends, and sometimes it’s a random person online. You will lose A LOT in fighting games, but the trick to success is to take every failure and loss, understand why it happened, and learn from your mistakes.

Although these lessons can be learned in many ways. As a gamer, fighting games were the best way for me to learn about self-improvement and what it takes to be good, great, or the best at whatever I do. If you’re interested or intimidated by fighting games, I write every now then and am more than happy to write for KoopaTV again. I also have more information at First Round Dojo (, where I teach people one-on-one how to play fighting games.


SACREDG: Video Game fan who loves sharing his thoughts. Playing Street Fighter V whenever I get home from work. Just beat Mega Man Legends after 11 years!

Link can rock out as a child, a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora with seemingly little practice!
KoopaTV wrote a general piece on time management that many have found helpful.
Perhaps if you check out First Round Dojo, you too can be on the EVO stage.


  1. I feel some are able to learn fighting games and others simply struggle. I wanted my husband to be a partner in doubles for Smash but that really backfired and I gave up.

    1. I totally understand. Whenever I play with my girlfriend, I forget that I've been playing video games for thousands of hours and so I take certain skills for granted (reflexes, familiarity with the controller, etc.). Now, we play about 15 minutes at a time, which isn't too long, but gives her a little exposure every day. :)

  2. I haven't really played SSB4 in a while mainly because I wasn't the best. Plus, I have many other games to complete in my backlog. If I could set apart some time each day to practice, I'm sure I would improve, however. I guess I'm just not that dedicated as some.

    1. Yea it's tough balancing a backlog and fighting games. I have like 5 other games I need to finish. A few years ago I had about 15 games to finish, but I was only playing Street Fighter. If I'm alone, I'll just practice for a fixed time, but I also substitute my training by playing a first-to-five set with a friend. Sometimes, short sparring sessions with friends, makes the process a way more fun and gives it less of a feeling that you have to dedicate hardcore time. As much as training is important, you need to have fun! :)


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