Psychology of Tekken

Psychology of Tekken
Tenshimitsu 2012-04-19 18:53 6
In this short article I want to cover a proper mindset when playing Tekken, and probably any other competitive game. Because I'm mainly Yoshimitsu player, I'll obviously stick in Yoshimitsu somewhere below, I hope you don't mind : ) ...

... but first, let's talk about an attitude. The traits of the 'warrior' include:
  • honesty and self-knowledge (expressing one's own way of fighting. Constant meditation on the Presence, "this moment" and one's True Self.)
  • courage (in fight and in making decisions),
  • strong motivation and devotion to fulfill one's tasks (supported by wisdom in chosing the right ones),
  • ability to adapt, to analyze, brilliant intelligence, proper approach (ability to learn from memory, experience)
  • sensitivity to surroundings (constant training of senses and fast, proper and conscious reactions)
  • discipline (by making a decision, take action, never forfeit until something's done. Also: constantly improve in one's arts)

The often misused trait is motivation. What should we really motivate ourself to? Is it good to want to win the game? To win with your opponent? In short term it might be helpful to raise your adrenaline level... but in a long term, it will lead you to nothing. Besides, if there will be nobody around to fight with: you won't have any mood to improve on your own.

The true motivation that brings a player to his highest is: Mastery.

It covers everything yet doesn't bring up the tension of rivalry and unneccessary stress, or even fear. Remember that fear is ALWAYS destructive and you should be doing everything to make it vanish, not to mention to avoid it from the very beginning. If your true motivation is Mastery, you'll find the true joy of playing Yoshimitsu. And if you enjoy playing him... your subconsciousness will reward you for it.

(Explanation: it's proven that your subconsciousness is striving for just... feeling good, as simple as it may seem. If playing Tekken costs you too much, sooner or later your body starts to reject it and avoid playing by any means. For example: your friend asks you to play with him, and you suddenly feel tired and bored...)

If you're striving for Mastery, it gives you even more: emotionless (so also stressless and effective) analysis of your performance, not polluted by unneccessary thinking like "I failed because of his cheesy game / game cheating on me / Yoshimitsu being weak". It's you and only you responsible for your performance. Good news is that you have full control and can improve very fast. Bad news is that... well... you'll have to be the Master of yourself, and this is a demanding path. Because you'll have to be both disciplined and honest with yourself. Not everything you'll learn about yourself will be pleasant. But on the contrary, it's a very good thing! It gives you a small shock that pushes you fast-forward. It reveals your True Self and destroys your false imagination about yourself.

As an example, from my experience, it was a shock for me when I accidently heard my opponents talking about my gameplay (Tekken 5.0 times). One of them said: "Remember, she always goes for punch, punch and then Door Knocker!". At first I was of course angry and thought to myself: "No way, I'm unpredictable, I spend hours to improve in this area!". Then I though more carefully: "Yes, indeed I do that... because it mostly works!". And then it came to me... that I should stop excusing myself. They discovered a pattern in my gameplay. I admitted that I have ones, and something cracked inside me. Even though it hurted my ego, I admitted to my mistake. One pretty painful step behind... to make four steps forward. And still, I watch my back: I created a habit of constant analysis to check whether I'm becoming comfortable with gaming patterns or not. A pretty useful habit. : )

By chosing the path of Mastery, you agree to examine yourself to the fullest to unleash your true potential. Your goal is to reveal your True Self and to expose your false imagination about yourself that is your Ego. It's enough to realize it to make huge changes in your approach. The more you understand about yourself, the more effective you become. You pick more quickly all factors of gameplay which leads to victory. You can see more clearly, adapt more quickly, learn more efficiently. The process of learning becomes your second activity, ever-present in your life. The second consciousness that watches everything from the third perspective. Sounds strange? But who of you can't for a moment distance oneself from the ongoing events and look at everything "from the side"?

That would be all for now. Look now again at the traits of the warrior and contemplate upon these ideas. Start looking inside you... not tomorrow, not during the weekend... but right now.

Who are you?

... Who am I? ... look at your hand. Move your fingers. Feel your surroundings.
Focus on the present...
The moment of change is now. Don't get burdened by your past or the future. The past is but a dream and the future is based on your present decisions.
You have the greatest power of change in "This Moment".

The Life... is now.
Make a decision.

"Don't dream it - be it" :)


P.S. The path of Mastery is the ever going process. Maybe it will be hard to understand at first go, but there is not really any goal in this path. The very Path is your "goal" and your motivation, and your pleasure. Remember it. Because one day you'll surely exceed others (by realizing that, you're already losing the Path) and you may suddenly think that you "reached Mastery". The moment this thought lingers in your mind, you'll inevitably lose the Path. That's the biggest paradox and the greatest difficulty, consider it deeply.


  1. This was a very nice read. :3 I'm hoping that one day you will continue writing, I am sure it could prove useful to Tekken players. ^_^ One day I'd like to be able to devote some time to Tekken and other fighters again. I've only ever played purely for fun with my brothers and friends.

    I'd like to be able to add more thoughts, but right now, my mind is worn with a personal situation. Just please know that I do appreciate all you bring to your lovely shrine for Yoshimitsu that you are generously kind enough to share with all of us. ^.^

    2015-08-30 01:32
  2.  Great arcticle. Shall be put to use :)

    2013-05-10 22:14
  3. It's completely understandable to keep this hidden and not share it with the general public once you see someone else took credit of your work. I really disgust people who do that and sadly it also shows that the internet can't be trusted.

    I'd love to make tutorials and record videos of myself, because I love people criticising my gameplay and asking me why I do certain things in certain situations. Sadly I'm a greedy bastard and I don't want to buy a fancy camera that can record what's showing on screen, also high school's being a dick as well, draining my free time like a vacuum cleaner on max.

    But you can expect me to share some knowledge and insight as well in the future.

    Really love talking to someone passionate about this like you do btw.

    *edit* love the edit tool!

    2012-04-20 14:16
  4. From now on, you'll be able to edit comment for 10 minutes from writing it :)

    As yor your comment, you're absolutely right. Just as I wrote:

    "You pick more quickly all factors of gameplay which leads to victory. You can see more clearly, adapt more quickly, learn more efficiently."

    It's just the beginning of a series of articles about strategy, this one was an introduction. Many people know that they have to learn and that they have to be calm and steady, but don't know how to achieve that. They have all the puzzle pieces (juggling, movement, etc) but don't know how to put them together.

    This is an advanced knowledge, guarded tightly by the top players. I have enough of that silence and I will share with you these strategies, ways of thinking, all the "know how" of top level playing. Well, I could just save it for me and in the meantime even earn from it by Tekken coaching... but anyways. But... the moment I see it leak outside and somebody else claiming that these are his work, I'll shut it from the public eye.

    If you find it valuable, maybe you'll engage yourself in creating tutorial movies, and such. I hope that by taking this action, you'll feel to be the part of the Manjikai and share more of your personal knowledge.

    By the way, these will be general strategy concepts (simple yet extremely useful), I won't get into detail as for Yoshimitsu shenanigans. These are Yoshi players' secrets.

    2012-04-20 09:30
  5. damn.. too bad I can't edit certain parts of my post xD..

    2012-04-19 23:08
  6. Great article and must I say written beautifully.

    I heavily agree on the fact that one must know itself but certainly that you can't let emotion make decisions for you. It's of the most utter importance to be sort of emotionless when performing in situations wich are extremely stressfull and full of pressure. That's very hard to remain your cool in situations like that and requires as you states above me a great deal of experience and knowing yourself. Sadly a lot of people succumb in big tournaments because of this, even though they play Godlike at their own environment (at home for example).

    Another thing I'd like to add but say differently than you, is that you need to be an expert at reading your opponent. Having control of the match will follow and is part of this if you correctly know what kind of player you're playing with during battle. At start you won't know how he plays, but it's important that you at least know as fast as possible what kind of player he is by using different kind of moves and putting him in certain situations so you can 'download' him at the course of a match. While doing this, it's also important to not let emotion drive and influence you wich may cloud your view of your opponent. (aww man, I had him where I wanted and I read him perfectly, but he had a lucky counter hit on me because I dropped my combo - sounds familiar?)

    Blaming losses on luck or other factors won't make you realise you could've learned a lot more by taking steps back and checking what it is that made you lose. Was I being too predictable, did he have a trick card up his sleeve wich he might always use at the end of a match,... . It's important to analyze and learn from your losses.

    Mastering, like you said is also one of my true motivation.
    To extend my capabilities and learn from my bad habbits means a lot more for myself.

    2012-04-19 23:07

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