Mr. Karate (Takuma Sakazaki) (SvC)
Mr. Karate... He was a boss in the first Art of Fighting game for those who don't know, and in the second game, it was revealed that he was Takuma Sakazaki(Ryo and Yuri's father) indeed, but we don't have any Takuma here(I mean, he claims that he isn't Takuma). He is nice in this game, because Takuma + Mask + Big nose = An overpowered fighter(He only fights for real inside of that mask, and remember that we have that "Serious Mr. karate" in this game). Now for his good and bad things.
Taku...Mr. Karate's Good and Bad Things
- Easy to play and learn(Can be one of the easiest to learn);
- Has a fast projectile;
- His dashes are fast;
- He got a DP(Takuma got a DP, thank you, SNK!);
- He still has that running grab(It's really important to him);
- No invisible projectile(That's really nice);
- Exceed can be charged.
- No Ryuuko Ranbu(Ryo can use this move, and his master cannot? Thanks, Snk. Takuma could use it in his KoF versions.);
- His Command Moves aren't so good in combos(I mean, when you use them after a normal);
- His Supers cannot combo after most of his Normal/Command Moves;
- Can't even do good combos in MAXIMUM Mode(His bad things on him are only his very limited combo options, but without that, he is a great character).
Those guys below should be important to you, because a game isn't made only by Special Moves and combos, right?
s.LP - (Close) This is a nice move to use in his short combos. Can be cancelable, can't whiff on those low crouching chars(Unlike other cl.LPs in this game), and can even chain into itself. It's his best starter for light attack combos. (Far) You don't need to use this. It's the opposite of the above, but with better reach.
s.LK - (Close) Can be used as a light attack combo starter, but it's not the best to use. The cl.LP is better, really. (Far) A fast anti-air. It's good to use, but you will most likely forget this because he got a DP.
s.HP - (Close) Fast, and can be used in combos, but... Fighting games aren't made only by combos. You can use it anyway. (Far) Good poke. It's better than the s.LP too. It has a good reach, cannot whiff on low crouching chars, but can't be canceled(But don't worry with that).
s.HK - (Close) Avoid this normal. The cl.HP is better than this move. It can be used as an anti-air, but it's risky to use. (Far) This is a poking move only. It's a little slow compared to the f.HP, but you can use it. Mr. Karate walks a little forward when he performs this move, now it's up to you to choose what is better for him.
j.LP - (Diagonal) Good to use as an air-to-air, or even a jump-in. Only that. (Neutral) Avoid. It has almost no reach, and I don't really know if it's useful(I'll need to see its hitbox later).
j.LK - (Diagonal) Good jump-in. You can even crossup with this. It's not that hard to combo after this move too. (Neutral) A neutral air-to-air move. You can use when you need.
j.HP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. This can be his best jump-in. Use it a lot if you want to combo.
j.HK - (Diagonal) His best move for crossup combos(Crossups will help you a lot with Mr. Karate's combos, so master them if you want the combos for you). (Neutral) A fast kick that can be used in the opponent's wakeup. In combos, the j.HP is better(But if you want to use this move, go ahead).
cr.LP - Really bad in light attack combos. Can be used as a safe poke too.
cr.LK - Almost no reach, but it's the best when used in light attack combos.
cr.HP - A slow anti-air move. You can use this or his DP. Can be used in punish combos too.
cr.HK - A fast sweep. Can be used as low poke(Yeah, he can use only one low poke). Cancel it if you want meter.
- b+LP - Bad move, really. It can negate normal projectiles, but you have better options to do that. This move isn't useful in combos(Even in MAXIMUM Mode) too, so it should be better if you avoid it.
- f+LP - (If used alone) A really fast move that knocks down the opponent. You can poke with this move(It will not whiff on low crouching chars, and it's fast). It can be canceled too. (If used after a normal) A really fast attack that cannot knock down your opponent. It's the best to use in combos, but it can be a little hard(You know, that combo options thing). This move's properties(It's in the beginning) can be used even after a normal(Do any cancelable normal, wait a moment, f+LP. The timing is different for each normal), and you can combo(With a knockdown).
- f+LK - (If used alone) A non-cancelable overhead like Ryu's. You can use this in wakeup mixups. (If used after a normal) A simple, and non-cancelable move(But you can cancel it in MAXIMUM Mode). If you delay the cancel, you can make this move an overhead, and no, unlike in the f+LP, you cannot combo in this way(Just try to do like a meaty cr.LK, wait a moment, f+LK. It's simple to do, and it's an overhead after a low, that's a nice thing to use in mixups).
- QCF+P - The classic Kyokugen projectile. It's pretty fast to use, can be used in basic combos(It can combo with the cl.Heavy attacks, and with all of the Command Moves). HP version is faster than the LP version, and it's nice if you want to alternate between them. It's good to see that he doesn't have his invisible projectile here.
- f, b, f+P - Takuma starts to punch the air until it hits the opponent while he isn't blocking. It's a 13 hit move(That's his record guys). The HP version stays for a longer time than the LP version, but if the move connects, the versions are the same in animation, and in damage(Unlike Ryo). Your opponent will gain meter while Mr. Karate punchs him, so watch out when you use it(And Mr. Karate will gain meter only when he begins the punching). Can be used as a followup to the last Special move in this list.
- DP+P - This is the Kyokugen-Ryu's DP. It's really good that he got this move in his bag. Can be used in combos, but it's better if you use it defensively(As an anti-air). Can be used as a followup to the last Special Move in this list.
Mouko Burai Ken
- QCB+P - A punch that will come out after some autoguard frames. I don't know why, but you can actually cancel the punch in MAXIMUM Mode(Like Dan), but I don't know if it can combo. The damage is really good too. Can be used as a followup to the last Special Move in this list.
- HCB+K - This is a great grab. Why? He runs(And we can't run in this game, we can only dash, and he isn't the only character that can run with Special Moves in this game). Takuma had it since the first KoF games, and it's good to see it here. He is vulnerable while he's running. HK version will run longer than in the LK version. This move can be better used against turtlers.
Hien Shippu Kyaku
- Charge db, f+K - The classic Kyokugen kicks. This is where you will make your combos(That's why his combo options are very limited). The HK version is better to use in combos, because it does more hits than in the LK version, more damage, and can juggle(The juggle isn't like in KoF'94). More info about the best followups will be in the combos section.
- QCF(2x)+K - Super version of his DP. Pretty good to use in combos(More details in the combos section). In the "Shin" version of Mr. Karate, the first two hits of this Super(In the Boss's case, Special) move can be MAX canceled, but with this version, he cannot.
Haou Shikou Ken
- f, HCF+P - The classic(And not invisible this time) Kyokugen's Super projectile. You can delay the release of the projectile by holding the button pressed. LP version travels slower than in the HP version(The HP version is nice to use against projectile abusers). Mix between them to confuse your opponent. Delaying the release of the projectile cannot increase the damage of the Super.
Chou Haou Shikou Ken
- f, HCF+PP - Mr. Karate throws three Super projectiles. You can delay it, like the Super above, but obviously, the damage is better. The speed of this move is the same as the HP version of the Super above. If the first HSK hits the opponent in the ground, the other two will connect. If it hits in the air, the other two can connect. Like the Super, delaying the release of the projectile cannot increase the damage. Extremely good to punish those projectile abusers.
Mr. Karate's Gameplan
Mr. Karate is a simple character to use. So what now? It should be better if you play defensively with him, but without turtling and walking backwards/blocking low everytime. You can be better with him if you master the GCF thing. So... How can I be defensive with him? I just need to spam his DP?" Not exactly. You have other good defensive options, like the HSK Super(For some characters, it's very hard to jump over it), the f, b, f+P(You can use it as an anti-air too, and it can counter some Supers too), the DP Super(Yeah, you can anti-air your opponent while doing THAT damage), and finally, the QCB+P(The autoguard startup can help you a lot against some characters). But don't worry, you have offensive options too, like the DP Super(It can be used in some combos), his Charge db, f+HK(Good part of his combos will have it), your Command Moves(Except for the one who can negate normal projectiles), and the Running Grab(Nice against turtlers), but remember, don't be an agressive player with Mr. Karate, or you'll pay. If you want to alternate the time you want to be offensive, and the time you want to be defensive with him, go ahead, and good luck in your matches.
Well... Mr. Karate isn't that combo friendly, but his options are good, and I'll put only the best options here. If you know more combos, add them here.
1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+P
Simple combo. Do it when you need. Only that.
2- [Jump Attack] cr.HP,(After the charge) f+HK, QCF(2x)+K/Exceed/DP+P
This is a nice combo to use if you want to punish your opponent. The DP+P is just one of the options to when you don't have meter/Exceed to use. This is one of Mr. Karate's most damaging combos(With the Super/Exceed, I mean).
3- (While you're far away from the opponent, and he/she is in a jumping state) f, HCF+LP(It needs to hit him/her while he/she is jumping), Exceed
This isn't really a combo that you will use everytime, but it's possible to do anyway. You don't really need to learn this.
4- [Jump Attack] cl.LP, cr.LK, QCF(2x)+K
The most simple way to combo into the DP Super. Pretty good to use if you don't like charging a button. You can do it everywhere too.
What to do in MAXIMUM Mode?
Well... Mr. Karate cannot do good MAXIMUM Mode combos, so... What to do? You have MAX cancelable moves, like your QCB+P(You cannot combo after it), and your DP(It can be MAX canceled, but if you can do a Special Move in 1-5 frames without those macros, go ahead). It should be better for him if you just do Supers in MAXIMUM Mode.
Resets are really important in this game, and the characters who have moves with juggle properties(Like Mr. Karate) are almost experts on that. And he have 2(As I know) possible reset combos(I saw them in a video, and I could prove that they are possible). Now for the first one(You can add here if you know some more interesting resets):
(Midscreen only) Charge db, f+HK(You can add a cr.HP before it if you want more damage), High Jump(In the opponent's direction), j.HP, dash,(When your opponent is in the ground) cr.LK, QCF(2x)+K
Really good to use when you can. It's really easy to land(You can punish easily with that Charge move), and the damage is very good. It should be better if you practice it. The bad is that this reset combo can only be done while you're in midscreen(It isn't good in the corner because you'll need to dash). The dash is the most important part, because it can confuse your opponent(It can make him block in the wrong direction). Now for the second one:
(Midscreen only) Charge db, f+HK(Here, you can add a cr.HP too), dash, cl.HP, Jump, j.HK(As a crossup), cr.LK, cl.LP, f+LP, DP+P
This reset is little harder than the first combo above, but it's good if you don't have meter. The damage is really good too(A little more than half of one bar, and that's the damage of some Supers). Mr. Karate's combos and resets aren't HUGE things, but they are good to see in a match, and that's one of the things that makes him a great character to use in this game. Oh, and if you're having trouble with one of the two resets, watch this video and jump to 2:27.