Focus Attack

Ryu uses his Focus Attack against one of Mario's attacks

Focus Attack is Ryu and Ken's Down Special Move. Ryu and Ken enter a defensive stance and concentrate their strength into their fist or foot respectively. The move can be charged: if charged for a full second, or if another button is pressed, Ryu/Ken unleashes a powerful forward punch/spin kick while a black ink effect shows up (similar to the Street Fighter IV series), stunning the opponent for a follow-up attack.


If Ryu or Ken flash, this means that the move will cause stun: successfully hitting it causes the opponent to crumple after a short delay. This stun, however, does not last long, and when the opponent hits the ground, Ryu will have trouble hitting them. The fully charged move goes through shield. It can be cancelled by shielding or by releasing the Special button, although the latter will make the character execute an incompletely-charged attack. Ryu and Ken have Super Armor during the whole move, but it can only block one hit, and they are still vulnerable to grabs. Ryu and Ken can also turn around and redirect their attack at any point in time during the charging. When Ryu uses this move, he preforms a punch. When Ken uses this move, he preforms a roundhouse kick.

The move is notable for having the strongest super armor in the entire game if fully charged, getting stronger over time proportional to its charge. This super armor is percent-based, capable of blocking up to 22% at the beginning, and up to 38% at the end. Also, when blocking the first hit, the damage received will be reduced by half.


Focus Attack, known as "Saving Attack" in Japan, is a universal mechanic first introduced in Street Fighter IV and used by every character in the game. Performed with both the Medium Punch and Medium Kick buttons pressed simultaneously, the Focus Attack grants the user a brief moment of "super armor" with which they can ignore a single attack (although they still lose a certain amount of regenerable health and certain moves will immediately break this super armor). The Focus Attack can be charged for a second, and when half or fully charged, will force the opponent into a "crumple" state where they slowly fall to the ground, leaving them open to additional attacks. In regards to its black ink streak effect, this originates from IV's martial "arts" wordplay visual theme, as well as is believed to represent yin energy, or attacks with more brutal and fierce subduing methods.

The Focus Attack button input can also be used during certain normal or special moves, allowing the user to immediately cancel the animation of their move and go into a Focus Attack for additional damage at the cost of two stocks of their Super Combo gauge. Furthermore, the player can cancel into a Focus Attack, then cancel that move into a forward dash allowing for more combo opportunities including connecting an Ultra Combo.

Ultra Street Fighter IV introduces the "Red Focus", a stronger variant of the Focus Attack that costs three stocks from the user's "Super Combo" meter but gives them infinite super armor to resist hits with (although armor breaking moves and throws still circumvent it.) Dash Cancels and the like can also be performed using the Red Focus Attack.

Focus Attacks also differ in execution from character to character, and have been known to correspond with integral statistical attributes to that character, either making the attack crucial, optional, or situational to their playstyle. Ryu's Focus Attack is that of a focused straight punch, and is derived from the attack Fist of the Wind from the manga series Street Fighter III Final, while Ken's Focus Attack is a spinning jumping heel roundhouse kick. Ryu's Focus Attack has been widely considered situational but useful due to his more power focused playstyle, while Ken's has widely been considered a good baiting tool and frametrap for his Focus Attacks' recovery and addition to his combo centered style.

In addition to Smash Bros., the Focus Attack has appeared outside of the Street Fighter series in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds as a special attack for C. Viper and in Project X Zone, where Ryu and Chun-Li use it.

Ryu's Special Moves
SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Hadoken
Side Special Tatsumaki Senpukyaku
Up Special Shoryuken
Down Special Focus Attack
Final Smash Shin Shoryuken / Shinku Hadoken

Ken's Special Moves
Standard Special Hadoken
Side Special Tatsumaki Senpukyaku
Up Special Heavy Shoryuken
Down Special Focus Attack
Final Smash Shinryuken/Shippu Jinraikyaku
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