Stuff Fu

When the Smash community complained about the Ice Climbers having ridiculous rewards off a throw, the SRK community responded with "Don't get grabbed". This upset the Smash community who argued that the technique should simply be banned altogether. The response from SRK was a concise one-liner that doesn't actually explain anything, but the message isn't really false either. You could say it's sort of like a Confucius-style anecdote intending to convey a message. A message that was meant to guide people who were willing to open their minds and question things.

However, this message can't be conveyed with just words alone. No, some things can only be learned through experience. Perhaps most would only understand such a concept by example and experience. Like explaining how to paint a portrait, or to play a musical instrument, or to score points in a sport: You can't simply learn it on paper or with words, you have to practice and learn through self-discovery.

The real trick to a lot of these -- let's call them overwhelming situations -- is mindgames and footsies. In other words, not allowing yourself or your opponent to create the situation where you are put in this bad situation in the first place. In laymen's terms; "Don't get grabbed.", means: "Don't let yourself be put in a position where you're going to get grabbed.".

To put it another way, the best way to avoid getting grabbed is to avoid being in grab-range in the first place. If you're never in a spot where you can be grabbed, you'll never get grabbed.

So, how to accomplish this is like I said before: footsies and mind games. If your opponent jumped in at you then you failed at basic anti-airs, and if your opponent dashed in and grabbed you then you failed at footsies, and if your opponent made you block a projectile and then grabbed you for the win then you definitely failed at mind games.

The best answer is to be in a position where you can't get grabbed. That means you have to not only control yourself into a position where you won't get grabbed, but also prevent your opponent from getting himself into a situation where he can grab you. That latter is about one half of the hard part: stopping your opponent from doing what he wants to do (which is to grab you). You must understand that once you are in that situation where you can be grabbed you are essentially fucked anyway.

And thus is the actual definition of a mindgame (versus a mixup). A mind game is being put in a position where you are forced to choose between a tree of all failure -- so after blocking an attack you are forced to choose between options, all of which lead to you getting hit -- learning that means to avoid that position that put you there to begin with by using superior footsies (spacing, baiting, etc). When the opponent throws a fireball and you block it, then the opponent can press toward and punch which will result in either an attack that will anti-air you if you jump, or throw you if you don't jump, this is called an option select. The mind game here was the whole situation of the defender blocking the fireball and that being the trigger that lead to this inevitable damage of melee/throw.

A mixup is where the attacker puts the defender in a situation where the attacker can succeed or fail depending on different options that can not be reacted to. Such as, getting hit on either the left or the right, or getting hit either high or low, or getting hit by a punch versus getting grabbed. The defender does not know which option will be chosen and can't react to it, and the attacker also does not know which option the defender will choose to try and prevent damage.

Things like high/low, left/right, blockable-melee/unblockable-throw, and parry/no-parry are all mixups that neither player can actually react to, they can only anticipate, which means they can only guess.

But to define a mind game, it is the act of avoiding the mixups.

For example one, a grappler character can not simply throw you at any time or any where, the character must be within throw range. The trick of footsies is to prevent the character from getting within throw range.

For example two, if a grappler can do more damage with a throw than they can with any of their melee attacks, you should choose a defensive option that will result in you getting hit by the grappler's melee rather than you being grabbed.

The mindgame therein is understanding and applying both example one and example two. Without these elements there is no mindgame, there is only blind guessing. To use an analogy, when there is no mindgame and only guessing it is like Rock-Paper-Scissors game (not something you can react to, just options you can guess from), but with a mindgame it is like chess where you can react to your opponents skill and experience (and can defeat them with better decisions).

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