How to apply pressure safely?

I feel that the only way I can consistently win with Akuma is to turtle up and wait for my opponent to make mistakes, the second I try and apply any pressure. If I try to apply any frame traps or grabs I’ll eat a shoryuken.

Now this would be good if everyone mashed DP all the time, yet a lot of the time it’s completely random and can pay off for them much more than any of my punishes ever could due to Akumas terrible health.

I feel this is forcing me to play really defensively and stopping me from advancing my game, frame traps seem like too little a reward for eating a mashed DP and then possibly an ultra.

Is there any way to apply offensive pressure more safely, or am I going to just have to go into my shell all day? I’m not really talking about the vortex but mainly I’m trying to apply block string pressure/mixups in normal situations.

Stop guessing wrong.

In SF4 safe jumps and chained jabs/shorts are the only true way to pressure safely. Every other form of pressure is susceptible to some form of reversal because block stun is so tiny and reversal windows are so huge.

The game has been designed to favor defense, so in order to defeat that you must learn how to read your opponent and add options selects to your pressure.

It’s good to defend. If you meet people that think offensive brainless pressure is the key, let em do and eat the losse. You can develop a good pressure game only with people that respect you a little and know when they’d better block instead of mashing.
You have then a lot of mixup game as an Akuma. cr:mp: cr:mp: pressure, cr:lk: cr:lp: pressure into cr:mp: and fireball or into walk and even more pressure, jabs into medium into reset DF, jabs into :mk: cross up, jabs into overhead xx super, etc.