I do…don’t listen to anyone on gamefaqs Seriously though, if timing’s really a huge issue for you at the start, you should try watching a video or two of how an akuma player does their combos to get a feel for it (the tokushima series comes to mind). Also, as someone mentioned, you should seriously consider doing combos on the ground, and do those over and over again. Combos don’t require that you jump, and that’s one obstacle you need to get over first. If you jump too much in a match, especially with akuma, you’re in for a world of pain.
One such combo is akuma’s b&b: s.fierce (hard punch), short hurricane kick (hcb + short/ light kick), fierce dragon punch (toward, down, toward + fierce / hard punch).
as for cancelling (or, “xx” on combo lists), it’s precisely what it sounds like: performing a move, before another one has finished. Every character has a set that can/can’t be cancelled into. For example, you CAN cancel a crouching medium kick (forward) into a fireball, but you CAN’T cancel a standing light kick (short) into a red fireball (hcb+punch). Usually, what happens is that you use the motion of one move to get the other one out in an easy manner. Say you’re trying to cancel a fireball into a Messatsu Gou Hadou (super art no. 1), the motion, as you’ll learn over time, is:
QCF + punch, QCF + punch.
Even though the move list states that Messatsu Gou Hadou requires two qcf motions, you really only have to do one. Which, subsequently, teaches you that a lot of moves in the game can be “partitioned.” But that, is another story.