A fuzzy guard is a defensive technique where both standing and crouching guard are used at different timings to neutralize a mixup. Effective application of fuzzy guards can force an attacker to completely alter their offense.
It can be used in any situation where the timing of an opponent's mids and lows (or highs) aren't quite the same. For example, if a Kazumi player were to try and mix df+1 (a fast mid) with db+4 (a slow low), the defender could do a delayed duck at the timing of the db+4 to block it without taking the risk of eating the df+1. To address this, the Kazumi player has to add a slower mid to the mixup (such as f,F+4) or delay the df+1.
Fuzzy guards are most robust as a defense against strings where some or all of the extensions can't be delayed. For example, Lidia's df+1,2 is much faster than df+1,3, so after blocking her df+1, a brief duck on the high's timing covers both options. The Lidia player has no way to change the timing—the df+1,3 can be delayed, but this doesn't help since it's the slower option anyway. (The Lidia player can still make use of the mental frame advantage her df+1 gets from its extensions, of course.)
Only knowledge and practice limit this technique. An expert player could sidestep for an i13 df+1, low parry an i16 low, then stand up to block a slow homing mid, all at once. (By the time they'd done all this, the whiffed df+1 might go unpunished, of course.) Incorporating this with option selects can potentially get one to being an iron wall of defense.
Alternatively refers to quick switching between standing block and crouching block or low parry in order to avoid being predicatable in the defence.
- Step block can be thought of as a kind of fuzzy guard.
- Backdash into low parry can be effective in a lot of situations, as lows are often slower and have more range than mids.