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StrongStyle meets SobrangStyle*: Filipino Tekken

*Sobrang means too much or excessive in Tagalog (Filipino)

Before I start detailing the Tekken culture of the Philippines, I’d like to introduce myself so that you know who I am. My name is JT, aka JTchinoy. I’m a Filam (Filipino American) from Northern California and my main character is Ling Xiaoyu. I’ve been active in the American Tekken community since Tekken 5 and have used Xiaoyu since Tekken 5: DR. I have experience playing against the top players in Japan, Korea, and the United States. Don’t worry, I know just enough about Tekken and Tekken communities around the world to talk about this.

I’m currently living in the Philippines for an extended period and I’m here to give you some insight into the Tekken community that has bred a few big name players in America including the one and only FilthyRich. While everyone knows of these players, nobody actually knows about the culture that raised them beyond that fact that they grew up and learned Tekken in the Philippines. I’m here to provide that information. I’ve spent a total of 5 months in the Philippines as of this article and have been extremely active within the community since I’ve arrived. There’s a lot to cover, so I’ll be writing about a different aspect of the culture in this series of articles.

The first thing I’ll be covering is play style in the Philippines.  Coming from America, I’m used to seeing play styles of all sorts from every corner of the country.  Unlike America, however, Filipino Tekken players, or Tekkenistas, are mostly oriented towards turtling, or a defensive play style.  Most people wait for others to whiff or do punishable moves or come to them and run into whatever they want to throw out.  Tekkenistas have very good throw breaking, which is likely tied into their defensive style.  While the players all are at a similar level of decency, very few players have play styles that make them unique compared to other people with the same character or make them raise above the rest in skill.

Among the few to be noted as unique in their own rights is the Lei player Dax. While not being a complete monster of a Lei player, his understanding of the transitions of Lei and constant use of them makes him always a nice break from the normal flow of games.  Along with him is a Marduk player named Allan, who doesn’t know when to stop attacking.  His offensive is typical Marduk offense, except he feels like a freight train running at you once the mixups start.  He’s also very adept at using Marduk’s clap to launch people, when most Marduks would just ws+4 or ws+1 in the same situation.  Lastly, there’s a misplaced Middle Eastern super model named Sassan who actually goes beyond the 5 move Bruce style.  I’d say he uses maybe ½ of Bruce’s movelist, which is more than any Bruce I’ve played in any country.  He also has a ridiculous instinct to low parry that dumbfounds me at times.

Because of the turtling oriented culture and emphasis on learning from each other, rather than pioneering their own play styles, the skill level of Tekkenistas is overall stagnant.  While people improve their knowledge of matchups, nobody seems to take the time to refine their basics and adaptability.  Some people spend several games losing just to get a vague grasp of their opponent’s style.  While this may be okay for casuals and possibly death matches, it makes the community overall very vulnerable to new opponents in a tournament environment.






166 responses to “StrongStyle meets SobrangStyle*: Filipino Tekken”

  1. Awesome man, more info please! And vids if possible. I’ve been seriously thinking of visiting the Phillipines to see what the Tekken scene is like. Can you tell us more about their arcades, which ones you should visit and so on. I’m assuming these are players from Manila?

    Anyway, really glad to see this kind of initiative being taken, keep it up!

    1. JTchinoy

      Yeah, they’re all Metro Manila players.
      I’ve only been to 1 other island with Tekken so far, so pretty much anyone mentioned will be from Metro Manila.

  2. Cool stuff, do you think you could get some pictures/videos of the arcades there as well?

  3. JTchinoy

    Sure, I’ll focus the next article on the different arcade locations here and what days to play. I’ll take some pictures next time I go out.

  4. aaron

    hey JT im from the phil, is there any way i can contact you? people usually gather in Glorietta mall and Megamall during weekends for deathmatches, maybe i can help out a little coz i want the phil community to get involved some more, and many thanks for the article.

    MAXI, it would be an honor if you can visit, we’ll help you get around and take vids

  5. Nameless Master

    Yeah filipino’s suck.. Their offensive tactics isn’t innovative enough to mess up your mind.. In plain words “boring playstyle”.. I have to agree with you JT…

    1. -JeST_TeR-

      wow, then you have no problems against us then? challenge us so we could see if you’re really “that advance”… never ever say in general that we suck… maybe you bump into a lousy filipino player… we from other provinces lack the opportunity and chance to be recognize, some strive and only few can be named… likes of eL and angelo of bacolod, alex, chong, gogoy and etc. from cebu, members from team LDDS of iloilo… im from bacolod and proud to say were good players but we lack those recognition… we love tekken like you but we really mean business if you mess with us filipinos…

    2. douche03

      What do you know? You probably don’t even know how to play TEKKEN. All you play is your DICK

  6. 0kills

    Hahahaha. Nameless Master.. the only thing that sucks is your grammar :))

    last part may seem offensive :0 I don’t know if the word “stagnant” would be the correct one.

    1. Nameless Master

      Awesome a grammar Nazi! While everybody is busy making up with their girlfriends you check everyone’s grammar mistakes on the internet .. nice life dude =p i bet your parents are proud of you =p

  7. eL

    @Nameless Master: No you suck. Let’s see some vids of you sucking?

    1. Nameless Master

      Awesome a grammar Nazi! While everybody is busy making up with their girlfriends you check everyone’s grammar mistakes on the internet .. nice life dude =p i bet your parents are proud of you =p

      1. Nameless Master

        wrong post sorry

      2. mont

        “nameless master” what a queer name haha!

  8. boknoy69

    it’s not about what style you adopt, but it’s all about winning . . .

    1. eL


    2. superdive .!..!.

      very well said

  9. boknoy69


  10. a2k

    Filipinos play to win no matter the cost

    defense and emphasis on punishment is the best way to deal damage w/o risk

    focus on punishment is the best means of learning every move of every character (i dont consider it stagnant but thats my opinion)

    not being able to break throws is considered one of the biggest weakness that will be abused if found

    filipino defense style is patterned after koreans who went here and dominated the scene in t5DR

    1. JTchinoy

      As stated, the emphasis on defense has a huge lack of emphasis on movement and spacing and general offense.

      I won’t be replying to every single comment here as I’m here to inform, not criticize.

      The next article will be on the arcade scene and locations. 🙂

  11. -JeST_TeR-

    @nameless master

    before you open your mouth and say something awful to us pinoy players, why wont you prove something that you are better than us? maybe you have played a lousy pinoy player? dont belittle us moron cause we might fight back.. not everyone from manila or from luzon are that great… other provinces like from the cities of visayas have good players like from cebu city, iloilo city and respectively bacolod city… if you think you’re that great get over here…

  12. king

    yeah nameless guy go make up with your girlfriend we’ll make out with ours, lets just wait for jt to post some vids

  13. Ronstoppable

    A lotta people with something to say…
    Keep ’em comments comin’…

    And I see some who have no idea what they’re getting into…


  14. douche03

    Nice article JT.. Please post some more infos. You know, like the best players(character specific) in the country.. And also who do you admire or intimidated with? Also tell us something about the different Teams we have in metro manila.. Haha.. Thanks and more power to you..

  15. SKY

    “Nameless Master says:
    April 10, 2011 at 12:43 am
    Yeah filipino’s suck.. Their offensive tactics isn’t innovative enough to mess up your mind.. In plain words “boring playstyle”.. I have to agree with you JT…”

    – Hey Dick Head. Before you insult us like that, be sure you’re really that good. IF you ever have a plan to visit Philippines or IF you’re already here in the Philippines, be sure to drop off at SM North Edsa. Team SMN will be waiting for you. just tell me hen will you be arriving >:) i’m pretty sure you’ll have a good challenge when you get there. >:)