I’ll repeat my stupid “3 essential point” lecture that I say all the time.
Footsies, Reactions, Adaptation. All at an above average level.
Like Omni said, Ken capitalizes on opponents mistakes but he also enforces them. You have to be able to force your opponent to want to do X so you can do Y. You need to be able to react to very tight single hit confirms and one of his most crucial skills required is the ability to adapt his pressure game/shimmy/anti-airs/counter pokes to every single opponent you come across. I think Ken is a hard worker and the only way to be good with him is to put in some major work.
To do the combos you want to do, you’ll need two things. Firstly you need to be able to position yourself in a match to be able to do this, which is done through closing the space with good footsies(Use of normals against their normals), counter poking preferably into sweep xx v-skill or landing a jump in.
Once you’ve closed that gap, the second thing you need is the reactions to be able to confirm the target combos. They’re tight to confirm, so will require practice. Train them to be able to reliably react to both St.mk and b.mp.
So many more things but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I need to update the tech thread.