Alot of people seem to strive to get good at street fighter I noticed on ggpo, some people played SF longer than me (competitively, I been playing since WW, but was like 6 lol). Some people try and don't know what they or doing wrong or just don't "get it". I wasn't the greatest at any SF game really until a SRK member (eddiew, you might know him form the 3S forums) whooped my ass and gave me a reality check. Everyone "knows" that they are the shit at SF until they play someone who plays in tournaments for the most part.
Well around the time of CvS2 first getting to the states is when I met him, wrecking everyone with Rog and Eagle in A-groove, both ratio 2's. I was like "Damn, I been playing SF forever, I don't get it how is he so good?". I later find out he played in several tournaments and was constantly playing (and winning) , at the time, Hsien Chang, Mopreme, Fubarduck, and alot of the austin crew during casuals at the now defunct Einstien's Arcade. Not saying he owned them, but on their lvl.
So the beatdowns begin and I start learning shit. Anti-airs, combos, what character style I like etc. I think the problem is most people stop at that point and the mentality when playing doesnt change. It was like that for a while with me, yeah, I could just defend/parry full supers, combo you to hell. I still lost. Alot.
It wasn't long after I met other people and was introduced to 3S and ST. I think ST is the perfect game to get your basic set of skills for any SF game. Just my opinion. So I got beat down in that. With the same mentality, I saw him throw fireballs and dp. Yet I tried and get kicked in the face etc. I don't think alot of beginners realize at first that thought goes into everything, or at least should. I realized he isn't just throwing a hadouken, he is reacting to what the player does and watching before he throws one. So I start to see more things and pick up what other players do. First time we played Sirlin and Choi, Sirlin just destroyed most of us. How? Just walk up mk and RH with Bison mainly. Didn't do anything else. Then I watched him play better players and saw he did the same shit UNTIL they countered him, then he switched it up. Then I realized, damn he wasn't gonna stop until we countered it lol. And why not? Cause if you are doing something the opponent cant figure how to counter why stop. So I put that mentality in my head.
Most other games I would watch other top players (other than Jwong, such a turtle lol) and saw the match was usually calm until someone got a knockdown and I figured that was a huge advantage. I would blindly rush and just die alot, I then added the knock down to my repetoire. Now how to get the knockdown. I watched Jumpsuit Jesse in ST as well as Choi in ST and CvS2. They would bait normals. They did this by a series of attacks as simple as 3.clks, anything to JUST put them out of the characters range. I it worked good vs most non-top players and even top ones. Choi would c.lk x3 with Ryu, pause, if they swept or c.mk he immeadiately countered with a sweep for the knockdown and bam he was really in control now. Same thing I noticed JSJ would do in ST also.
So I would watch other matches, I really noticed it in one match, I think it was Texas Showdown. Jwong vs Combofiend in CvS2. Combo is known for rushing and Jwong turtles of course. I noticed that when Combo was ahead on life he turtled. I never thought of that, so I learned something else, he who has more life has the right to turtle. Added that shit to my game also. It was also in CvS2 I learned to counter hit well from watching top player use frame advantage well. I use that shit in A2 alot and its such a older game, still works.
Whenever you watch a match really WATCH and try to think what the player is doing, not everything is just set ups. Watch how they bait, counter, etc. SF is pretty much like chess. Gotta make the right move to out do/out think your opponent. I see alot of players try, try, try the same shit and it doesnt work. You need to learn the adapt also. If you are Gief and you get DP'D every SPD attempt, next time wait then SPD their recovery.
Experience. This one is big and also why ggpo is so great. Not everyone plays the same characters the same. DGV doesnt play Ryu like Choi and AfroLegends doesn't play Rog like Graham. You wont get the proper knowledge of how to fully play vs a character until you play multiple people. And with that goes this, play people better than you. I'm not gonna get any better at A2/ST/SF4 by playing people I beat down. They won't get better either. Play better people, but ask questions and watch what they are doing.
Last thing, training mode. Don't just use it to combo. Use it to practice set-ups, meaties etc. Best use of training mode in my opinion is to learn how to counter something. replicate what just whooped your ass and find the counter. I see too many Chun-Li's and Bison's in ST get splash on in the corner in ST "They can't do nothing!". Well if you went into training you would know you can s.mk with Chun and psycho crusher with Bison, vs things like t.hawks loop you can take both hits then uppercut with charge characters (if he isn't neg edging it).
I don't know I hope this helped someone somewhere.
Here is a must read for new guys, there are 8 chapters so far. http://sonichurricane.com/?p=691