This is incredibly important to know. First thing, Tekken runs on 60 frames
per second. In other words, 60 frames (or screenshots, pictures, whatever)
are displayed in one second on your TV screen. You will need to know this for
two reasons. One, I will use it frequently to tell how fast a move comes out.
It's obvious to anyone who has played the game that when you press a button,
your move does not come out instantaneously. This is where frames come in.
Second, you will hear people refer to how many + or - frames you receive
after a move is blocked or you block a move. This is INCREDIBLY important
because this means that someone has an extra 1/60 (or more) of a second over
their opponent to execute a move. Tekken is not near as slow-paced as some
After a move is blocked, there is a recovery time. It's sort of a commonsense
type of thing, but it's still important. When a move is blocked,
both you and the opponent must wait for either the move or block animation,
respectively, to finish before you can input another command and expect a
move to come out.
However, there IS something called buffering. This isn't important to a lot
of characters, but with characters such as King, it's a vital part to their
game and you should familiarize yourself so you know what to expect. There's
three different types of buffering. One you input directional commands and
those commands stay in a "queue" of sorts and you can use those commands long
after they've first been inputted. A good example of this is Julia's Mad Axes
throw. Press QCB, wait a moment, SS and then press f+2. The throw should
still come out even though you not only waited to finish the final input but
you also SSed. The second type of buffering is when you input directional
commands during a move recovery and those inputs still go towards any inputs
that are pressed after the move has recovered. A prime example is King's
Giant Swing throw. If you perform u/f+1+2 and it is blocked, during the
recovery animation you can press f,b,d/b,d,d/f and then press f+1 when
King recovers and he will immediately come out with Giant Swing. It takes
timing, but it's very useful. Buffering, however, is MOVE SPECIFIC to both
the move you're trying to buffer and the move during which the buffer is
taking place. It's more a matter of the former than it is the latter, but
there are still moves that will not allow buffering while you recover. The
final type of buffer is input buffering. This is where you press and hold one
button and then press another and it registers as a combination of the two.
For example, press 1 with any character and do their normal jab. Continue to
hold 1 and then press 3. A 1+3 grab should come out.
When people say that something is "safe" they mean, depending on the context,
that either the move on block does not yield free hits. The same is true for
punishing but reverse. If someone says something is "punishable" it means
that the move guarantees free hits on block. Both of these terms do not have
to be used only when you are talking about moves being blocked. It can also
refer to situations where moves are whiffed or hit.
f you still have not grasped the concept of frames
and how important they are, Tiexandrea of Tekken Nation has formed a nice tutorial for dummies regarding frame data.