Dive Kick is a universal term for a certain style of attack in the Street Fighter series.
Dive Kick is used to describe attacks that do the following:
- Usually (at varying timings) momentarily stall the arial momentum of the user.
- Change aerial trajectory.
- Usually (but not always) changes the hurtbox properties of it's user.
- Attack stays active throughout the duration of the attack.
Dive Kick users usually tend to have more floaty jumps so that they could take advantage of the trajectory change their dive kicks provide and possibly discourage anti air attempts.
In the community, it is usually accepted that there are two kind of characters in the Dive Kick category; one has the Dive Kick characters like Cammy, Rufus, Yun, and Yang. On the other hand there are characters that happen to have Dive Kicks like Akuma, Necalli ,and Seth.
Characters that happen to have a Dive Kick usually have more restrictions with their own versions. This can include restrictions like;
- Only can be performed at the apex of their jump.
- have to be spaced very specifically.
- slow start up.
These characters usually are intended to occasionally use their Dive Kicks for tactics like fake crossups. they also tend to be Special Attacks to further hinder their usefulness.
Dive Kick characters tend to have their Dive Kicks be Unique Attacks for easier input and usage. These tend to be more flexible than characters who happen to have Dive Kicks. The hitboxes tend to be weaker with these characters (like Rufus's Falcon Kick's hitbox is actually behind his leg) and occasionally the hurtbox of the character is optimized to avoid lows.
Dive Kick characters tend to use their dive kicks in more than 1 way during a match. Some of Yang's higher level combos actually require Yang to jump and whiff a low dive kick to continue his sequence. At some spaces Rufus can wake up with his Falcon Kick to avoid a throw then do his own throw or combo.
Lastly, Dive Kick characters tend to have lower height restriction than their counter parts. Rufus's Dive Kick has no height restriction in the main series while Yun and Yang, while they have a restriction, it is still much lower than Akuma's or Necalli's.
It must be noted that there are some attacks that tend to have properties similar to dive kicks like Devil Reverse and Divebomb. These attacks tend to lack the versatility and safety divekicks usually (but not always) provide.
Dive Kick characters, while they tend to not be Grapplers they tend to have rather strong throw games. Rufus and Cammy both have above average damage regular throws, Their Dive Kicks tend to be very good at punishing tech attempts. They tend to be rather susceptible to reversals with high horizontal range. They tend to struggle against grapplers due to their strong anti airs and "get off me" options. Dive Kick characters tend to work best against characters who have bad defensive options.
- In Street Fighter II: Champion Edition Dhalsim had his Height Restriction for Yoga Mummy and Yoga Spear removed, these two attacks could be considered the predecessors of modern dive kicks as they had similar applications and usage in that game.