Movement usually takes years to master in Tekken -- lots of awkward and technical cancels and steps need to be mastered before Tekken movement becomes second nature. Korean Backdash is the biggest execution barrier to hitting higher ranks and getting competitive results. This is a precise technique that is repeated many times every round. And with that being said, hand health is an important consideration when dedicating yourself to a high APM game like Tekken.
This tutorial will demonstrate three different practical ways to master the KBD, including SOCD techniques and a little known, extremely powerful Jump-Cancel Korean Backdash.
In following this guide, you will be able to move like a pro in a few hours -- not a few years. Even if you already have years invested into Tekken execution, Hit Box will significantly help improve your game.
Play the GIF videos with sound.
Slow the video speed to slow motion. (PC Only)
Watch my fingers frame-by-frame by pausing the video and clicking 'Step Forward' (PC Only)
- Mobile: If the videos are slowing framerate the further you scroll down, be sure to pause each GIF after you watch it to save ram: Tap speaker icon, then tap the video to start/stop.
Buttons and Dashing
The Hit Box controller's unique leverless layout was designed for fighting games. As you will see in this guide, there are many powerful tools at your disposal for mastering advanced movement.Forward
Hit Box uses Sanwa-Denshi buttons, which are extremely high quality traditional Japanese arcade parts. Naturally they are sensitive with a low throw distance, letting your dashing be quick and precise.
This is the foundation of why advanced movement can be learned more efficiently as well as improve your game all around.
Korean Back Dash
Down-Back (begin rolling hand)
Back (roll to Back and release)
This is the classic backdash sequence for competitive Tekken. Repeatedly dashing backwards creates space between you and your opponent and serves as a critical movement tool. This tech essentially allows you to dash backwards as fast as you can press the buttons!
It may seem difficult at first on P1 side since the Ring Finger is doing all the work, but it becomes comfortable over time, if this is the way you want to master your KBD's. Keep in mind there are two more alternate ways to backdash cancel in this guide!
You may find P2 side to be easier since the workload is mostly on your Index Finger. If you find yourself struggling with either side, read below to see some of the following alternate KBD techniques that can help your road to mastery.
NOTE: Preventing repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) like Carpal Tunnel is career saving when it comes to games that reward APM -- this applies to any player on any controller! Repeating constant fast motions put a lot of stress on your hands over time.
Take small breaks between sets and learn some stretching techniques. If you are experiencing any hand pain, do not ignore it until it is unbearable. Prevention is your best medicine to esports injuries.
The term SOCD is thrown around a lot, but what is it?Simultaneous
This is a long-winded way of saying Left + Right and Down + Up. These conflicts are resolved in a very specific way on the Hit Box. We will be focusing on Left + Right in this article.
Left + Right = Neutral
Both directions simply cancel each other out to a Neutral position, just as if you let go of the buttons altogether. And later this article we will touch on Down + Up for Sidstep into Foreground.
Down + Up = Up
When it comes to Up and Down, Up always wins. It is also helpful to think of Up as a "Jump" button, where you can jump out of a crouch.
But let's turn our attention back to movement: How do SOCDs help our movement? Let's take our first step with how we can use Left + Right = Neutral to our advantage.
SOCD Instant Dash
Back + Forward (Neutral) (cancel each other out)
Back (still held after releasing Forward)
A Backdash requires Back, Neutral, Back. It is normally a slower input because you have to press and release a button, then press it again with the same finger. Instant Dash, aka SOCD Dash, allows you to Dash with two fingers, rather than putting all the work on one. The efficiency of two fingers is what allows us to truly call it instant.
Without all the technical talk, another way to think of this Backdash is to think of it in terms of what your fingers are literally doing:Hold Back
Finally, continuing to hold Back to block helps push your character out of threat range further than Neutral on block. This tiny amount of space can make all of the difference in a match, and with SOCD dash the Back button is held the entire time.
SOCD KBD - Backsway Characters
Nina and other characters cannot do the standard Korean Backdash without risking an accidental backsway. This normally limits her mobility significantly and requires harder means to ensure success. However, with this technique she can flutter like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Sorry for the pun. Essentially, this SOCD KBD sets this butterfly free!
If you play Alisa, Anna, Asuka, Eddy, Lars, Lee, Lili, Lucky Chloe, Master Raven, Nina, Noctis, Yoshimitsu, or Zafina, this technique is for you.
Back (held) (release Forward button)Essentially, we are getting two inputs out of each button tap:
Tapping Down gives you Down-Back and returns to Back on release.
Tapping Forward gives you SOCD Neutral and returns to Back on release.
Letting go of the buttons are as important as pressing them! Be sure to tap Down and then Forward individually and deliberately. If you roll your fingers or press Down and Forward together at any point the dash will not come out (and maybe even backsway). Make sure you keep your inputs clean and tap one button at a time.
P2 side is more difficult than P1 because it puts a lot of work on your Ring Finger. It is more cumbersome since your Ring and Middle finger share a tendon together, and they dislike moving independent to each other. As mentioned before, be sure to take breaks and stretch!
Alternate Half Position KBD
There is an advanced technique called "Half Position," also referred to as a "reach," that can make this move much easier: Reach your right hand's Index Finger over the Right directional button and hold it. While holding, your whole left hand is free to cover the Left and Down directional buttons.
Down (tap) (left hand)
Forward (tap) (left hand)
Once in this stance, our left hand is able to freestyle. If you watch carefully, I am demonstrating three different ways to combine fingers to dance out a KBD: Middle-Ring, Index-Ring, and Index-Middle. Pick any of them for how you prefer to use your left hand.
This is the fastest and cleanest way to Korean Backdash and my preferred method. Once you get the hang of it, it is truly the best way to move. But there are a few important things to know about it as you practice:
- This requires your right hand to tap the Jump (Up) button.
- You have to be extremely quick on and off the Jump and Forward buttons, or you will accidentally jump. Be very quick and crisp on your tap inputs.
- This technique does not work for the entire cast. Approx 1/3 of the characters, such as Nina and Alisa, perform a backflip instead on "Up-Back" and cannot cancel it into a dash. (For these characters, please see the "SOCD KBD - Backsway Characters" above.)
Let's look at this motion more closely:
Back (held) (release Forward button)
After tapping the thumb "Jump button" with your right thumb, the SOCD backdash needs to cancel the jump before the character becomes airborne. This is an extremely quick input!
This motion is similar on both P1 and P2 side. And there is significantly less strain on your left hand, especially your Ring Finger. The right hand Thumb takes away any difficulties of your Ring and Middle finger working against each other (as noted previously). By splitting this motion across both hands it has the least amount of strain possible. This efficiency really makes a difference over a long session!
The secret to learning and mastering this technique is in how fast your thumb can be on-and-off the Up button. Watching my hands in the video you will see how I am sliding through the button. The best way to let go of a button is to let the button do it for you! This is a gigantic frame-saving detail that will perfect Jump-Cancel KBDs.
Watching my hands you will also notice that my Ring Finger also slides through the button. Over the years I have adopted doing this way of pressing buttons for almost all dash techniques. It is the best way to keep your inputs punctual and smooth. Kazuya doesn't even look like he is backdash cancelling because I am on and off the buttons so fast.
This is all the information you will need for perfect backdash cancelling! This is the number one Tekken technique and the biggest entry barrier to competitive play. You can do it!Happy Training,
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Here's a fun throwback to TT2! This may have been our first detailed breakdown of SOCD Neutral in our videos. The information still holds up pretty well!
- HBDustin co-created the Hit Box controller with his brother Shawn and is currently acting as company president. He also creates educational content for you with love and has been the acting hands guy in Hit Box videos for the past decade.