Shoryuken Exclusive: Interview with Fuudo – Part 2

By on August 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm
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Below you’ll find part 2 of Shoryuken’s exclusive interview with the EVO 2011 Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition Champion, Fuudo. He talks a bit about transitioning from Virtua Fighter to Street Fighter, where and with whom he normally does his training, and his advice for beginners. He finishes up the interview by talking about what his first EVO was like from his perspective, and where can see him next.

Fuudo Interview – Part 2

Q: Seeing as how your background is mainly VF, how hard was the transition over to Street Fighter?

I wanted to play against strong players I had never matched against before, like Daigo, Mago, and Tokido. I longed for playing with strong ones. And there were many in the SF community especially with the launch of SFIV. The new title attracted so many players. The more players there are, the more fun to play the game. I used to live in Chiba back when it was released, but an arcade near in my neighborhood was packed. It was so much fun to be there and play against many players. I was not strong at all, and I lost miserably against strong ones. But given that there were so many people, the skill level range was wide, I could win against those who are not strong. And that made it more fun, and it kept me going. It was very exciting and fun, so I practiced hard.

In 3D games like VF, it’s all about you seeing through the other’s pattern and throwing a move to counter to win. But in 2D, that doesn’t work. You have to find a right moment for a certain move. In the beginning, I could not help but just automatically throw a counter move when I read the other’s pattern regardless of risks involved. Then he blocks it and I used to lose all the time. I have to be always prudent and smart in each moment in SF. I learned that in a hard way.

Q: Where are your main training grounds for SSF4AE? Who do you usually play against and talk strategy with?

I go to arcades and practice there. I don’t play at home at all. I talk to Itabashi-Zangief, if I really need to talk to someone. We live fairly close in Tokyo, so we often take a same train together to go home from arcades. Mostly I try to figure things out on my own, but I call Mago up when I really really have no way out. “Hey, does this happen to you? Isn’t it super hard? What should I do?” I say.

Mago goes, “Yeah, you are right. It’s hard… but you can do this and that…” He gives me very precise advice.
Until then, I try to figure things out on my own. Especially, because no one uses Fei Long in Japan., so no one understands my pain. “You have a strong character! What the hell are you wining about?!” that’s what others would say, why bother. I also watch how Mago plays and just copy him. I am very good at copying others.

Q. Any advice for the beginners or anyone who wants to get stronger?

I would say the fastest and most effective way is to keep playing against strong players, those who are stronger than you are. I, too, kept playing VF at home against strong players every day, and I became stronger by just doing that. The only strong players can hit you, beat you by surprise, and make you think hard. I personally think it’s so ineffective for players to try to get better at it by themselves. If you are only looking for fun, that should be totally fine. But if you want to become stronger, you gotta keep playing against strong players. It’s even better if that person can point out what you are doing is good or bad. I am sure Daigo has such deep insights, and just him sharing those with you can make you stronger. I am certain that there will be so many players who will improve their play by listening to his advice.

Q: This is your first Evolution? Did you enjoy it? What would you say to other Japanese players thinking of attending Evolution? 

It was just as much fun as I always imagined. I went to EVO to have fun, and my goal was met. I didn’t go there to win, actually, but I wanted to enjoy it.

I also enjoyed gambling at night. Though I played a slot, I evened with $400 win on the final day to compensate the $400 loss from previous nights. I would have played cards if I could speak English. I didn’t want to trouble others by asking for help for communications or holding up the game. I drank a lot too.

I am looking forward to meeting many more people next time. Nobody knew me, then I won on the final day of the EVO. But there was not enough time left to get to know each other. Now people know me by name and face, I think there will be a chance next time to interact with overseas players. I also felt that I have to be strong in order to interact with them; otherwise, nobody comes to talk to you. Or if I could only speak English, there is a chance to make friends, but I can’t, and I am not the type of person who reaches out to talk to strangers and make friends…. So I have to be strong to be noticed and talked to.

I would love to make it to EVO next time again! Though I initially thought I had to make it there at least once, and I was not thinking about next year, but after experiencing the entire EVO, I am already feeling that I gotta make it there next year. Especially because I only play at arcades, I knew I had to make it this year while AE version is around. I’d never know if AE game would be featured at EVO. I felt this is my only chance in a life time. And I wanted to have fun. But I won!

My advice to Japanese players who haven’t yet made it to EVO is this – “EVO savings bank.” Shiro blogged about an importance of EVO financial planning in a year advance. Start now. Set a little aside per month. Don’t cry about money, just set a bit aside, little by little, and anyone can make it. And it’s worth it. If you are a fighting player, you have to experience EVO at least once in your life. It’s your mission as a fighting gamer.

Q: Will we see you coming to the United States more often for tournament play? 

I haven’t participated in many overseas tournaments. I went to China two years ago, and France last year. This year, I came to the States for the first time for EVO. I would like to participate more if I have a chance to, but realistically it’s difficult with expensive travel cost, so I have to target for an event one per year, hence I chose EVO.

I won all my three overseas tournaments so far, so when I ever make it to the US again, I would like to win to renew my record. I am a lucky guy after all.

Q: Congrats on your wins, both at EVO 2011 and recently at GodsGarden #4! Where will we see you next?
Thank you! I will be attending Togeki (SBO) 2011 on 9/17.
I’m not really sure about overseas event at this point.
I will be teaming up with Itabashi Zangief for Togeki.

[Images via Karaface]
  • Green

    Good stuff.

  • Obanye

    Itabashi and Fuudo is a sick team. I am really really hyped for this years SBO.

  • Lazir

    Watch him get “Lucky” at SBO too. He’s such a cool guy it’s like wtf why is cloning illegal? We make a couple of him to play SF casuals with and for him to criticize top ramen and just everyone have their own personal pet Food. Maybe a few Adriana Limas on the side for….. nvm

  • k0rr1

    lol I like this guy’s attitude. He went to EVO to have fun, so whether he lost or won in the tournament it is he still has plenty of other things to enjoy in Vegas. It’s a win-win situation.

    • k0rr1

      in the tournament he still has*

    • Jhericurl

      i gotta start putting money in my “EVO SAVINGS” account. It’s true what he said about FG fans going to EVO. I live in Australia but I am planning to make my pilgrimage to EVO in 2013 because i will be 21 by then and by American law i will be able to drink and gamble!

  • sfplayboy

    Great interview, sounds like a cool cat and obviously a beast in the games

  • Remster

    it seems like he would do more overseas tournies if he could afford it…someone sponsor this guy!

    • Reinhart_x

      O’ Father, I beg of you, let Fuudo get signed by Team MadCatz; Lawd knows they are in dire need of some help. Please bless us with bountiful levels of sodium, as our blood pressure just isn’t high enough yet. Cleanse us of all this dirty, evil money we are spreading amongst each other, from the low valleys of the pot monsters to the mountain tops of the pro players. Praise Jesus Kick, Halle-fuckin’-lujah.

  • Acku

    Perhaps his VF background of reading patterns was what caused him to counter Poongko’s Seth so hard with those seemingly random ultra 1’s
    Was one of the greatest moments of EVO2K11

    He may see the game a bit different than most of us do, due to VF conditioning

    • MrSoada

      option select.

    • TheAlphaChurch

      Option selects aren’t random.

  • KamikazeJD

    I like how level headed this guy is. He downplays his skill alot, calling it luck, but in doing that it makes the average player think ‘if I work hard enough I might just get lucky too!’ HOOD is a beast in my book. I also like how he shows respect towards other great players like Daigo and Mago. I wish we could do the same here in America, but its called ‘dick riding’ if you show too much love. Its ridiculous.. But anyway, lmao he reminds me of Gohan from DBZ. An unassuming dude with more power than anyone could imagine

    • Hanzo_Hasashi

      Great post.

    • YanDaMan

      Its America, what can you do? Japanese are brought up with a heavy emphasis on respect for others. Americans walks the street swearing their ass off at age 5 thanks to all the irresponsible parents.

      Most of these Americans are too full of themselves to understand why some people like and respect other people’s play in fighting games.

  • Jandek

    What a smart and friendly fellow

  • shadowcharlie

    he talks about luck because he recognizes the single out and alternatively 2-3 format as having a large luck %…..

  • kofman

    He talks about luck because he is HUMBLE. It’s a great trait.

  • ShadowoftheDarkgod

    great interrview thanks SRK

  • Mundo

    He’s so disgustingly humble and mature. Ugh.

  • nickdekline

    lol the picture at the bottom pretty much sums up the finals match

  • RedMist

    Love this interview. Fuudo has a real sense of how to answer questions – he is so forthcoming. Daigo is awesome but interviews with him are like interviews with Noah the Prodigy.

  • RedMist

    Does anyone else find it a bit fishy when he says he NEVER plays console, only arcade. Yet he appears to be very comfortable with the stick in his lap (can you do that in Japanese arcardes?). Personally I found the transition from cabinet to lap a big one when it comes to execution…….. Anyone else got thoughts on this?

    • Lazir

      Ive seen cabs where you can scoot forward so that your legs are under the panel and the stick is pretty much in your lap

    • Logia

      He probably has console version for training mode but never has matches on it.

  • janoDX

    He’s nothing like daigo… I like him…

  • Caleb_G

    LOL ITS SO HARD TO WIN WITH A TOP TIER CHARACTER

    • Skone

      LMAO @ Caleb-G. Bitch! you try to win a tournament. Lets see how you do. By the way. How many times has a Fei Long won any tournament before EVO? Why don’t you dig up that information scrub!

    • Spectaa

      So you are only going to give props to Hakkan players that’s it?

  • yoshiwaan

    Cool dude, sounds like he’d be just as much of a laugh to go for drinks with as to play a few games with.

    He clearly ranks Daigo and Mago above him in skill, be interesting to see a few best of 10 sets with some of the top japanese players.

  • Karlito504

    Great interview, i love how he really goes into detail with his answers. Good to see Fuudo is quickly becoming a fan fave in the community.

  • Berzerk

    A truly humble and intelligent champion. He is also the most recent Virtua Fighter 5 WCG World Champion. Multiskilling is much to be respected. Lets hope Final Showdown gets at least an EVO exhibition next year featuring Fuudo and Itabashi.

  • defghui

    i smell a new madcatz member announcement coming up.

    honestly i hope he stays independent. not because i dont want him to succeed or get recognized or anything, but to keep it real.

  • CheeseCakez

    I wonder how much money he got being 1st at Evo…

  • shoju

    Great interview. I’ve watched him since the VF days but not seen many translated interviews. He sounds really smart and humble. He used to look completely different when he played VF – no glasses, beanie/hood always on. Couldn’t recognize him while watching Evo.

  • Poe22222

    Really awesome stuff again. I feel like most of the meat was in part 1, but this still has some nice comments. Fuudo does seem to have a pretty great personality – that rare combination of confidence and humility, “real talk” and kindness. He is just super honest – for one guy to say “um, the truth is, I probably have the best reaction time in all of Japan, and so Daigo and Sako really can’t compete with me in that area” but then turn around and say, “I ask Mago for help as he knows much more than I do and I pretty much try to copy his play, which is something I’m good at” as well as, basically, “Even though he lost, I am in awe of Daigo, and anyone who gets to play him and talk to him is in the presence of a genius” is really rare.

    Cheers to THE HOODLUM and to SRK for the interview.