Tyrone Robinson, a Taekwondo fighter and London 2012 hopeful, is using Street Fighter IV as a part of his everyday training routine, and his coaches are totally cool with it.
Robinson, who was the bronze medalist at the European Championship and apparently is one of the brightest hopes for the British Taekwondo team, is using the game to sharpen his mental fight planning, reflexes and coordination. "I'm never going to be able to throw fireballs in the ring like the characters in Street Fighter IV, but I can still try some of the crazy kicks they do," Robinson said. "It's a good way to relax at the end of a hard day's training and great to have a tournament with friends."
Yeah right, I said the same thing to my parents whenever they asked me why I was playing Counter-Strike instead of studying for the SATs: "It helps my hand-eye coordination. There are studies that can back this up. Trust me." It didn't work for me, but apparently it's working just fine for Robinson, whose coaches agree that the mental rehearsal of combat can dramatically increase a fighter's chance of coming out on top.
In fact, Robinson's advisors aren't just telling him that's it's alright to play some Street Fighter, they're literally encouraging him to play.
"To complement their physical training our athletes are also encouraged, in their spare time, to play this type of game, as it is known that doing so can increase their attention span, depth perception and hand-eye coordination; though this is always recommended as an addition to their physical training and never as a replacement," Des Blackburn, the performance analyst for Great Britain Taekwondo, said.
Will Street Fighter IV make Robinson indestructible come 2012? I sure hope so. If it does, thousands of teenagers worldwide will get an even better excuse to feed their parents when they tell them to stop playing what, by then, will be Super Street Fighter IV: Fourth Assault Remix Maniacs Turbo 12th Edition Jr III.