Ready to bring my game to the next level - where should I begin? (SFIV)

I feel that I’m an average to good player, but a long way off from great.

Sakura is my character. I’m sitting on 1286 BP and I’m in G2-D.

Probably the biggest problem for me is learning combos. I love outwitting my opponents, but I could punish them so much more if only I could master better combos. This could be a dumb question, but is a joystick a necessity for pulling off good combos? Can you only do so much with an Xbox 360 controller?

I have other concerns, like I just don’t know what any of the lingo here means but I’m sure there’d be a thread about that.

What are the best learning techniques to upping my game?

There’s an SRK Glossarystickied in this forum…browse if you like.

I believe you can do much more with an arcade stick…get one and try it out. Keep in mind that the learning curve to adjusting to stick can take weeks, maybe months.

Also…try and participate in local tournies. Nothing really beat being part of the community and sharing tips while having fun.

ive seen some people play pretty good with controller but as for me, although it took some time to get used to the stick, i was able to do things i couldnt do with a controller. I really felt like i was “mashing” when playing with controller.

Although an arcade stick is not perhaps a necessity for good execution, the stick Xbox 360 pad is pretty much pure garbage. It’s one of the absolute worst stock pads for playing Street Fighter ever made. It would definitely do you good to upgrade to something more suitable.

As for techniques to work on your execution, I wrote some stuff on that here (skip the joystick stuff for now):

In theory you can do any combo on a pad. However, some shit is gonna be really hard. If you really want to learn long Sakura link combos, definitely go for the stick. Sticks make it much easier to plink/double tap to get tight links.

However, if you’re really smart you COULD try figuring out how to plink on pad…?

If you want to get better you can try reading Maj’s footsie handbook.

Even if you don’t understand everything in here, it can only help you understand SF better. If you get better at footsies you can use Sakura’s sweep really well to set up mixups.

can you hit confirm crouching medium kick into hard srk? that is an exelent poke and with the srk it does heaps of damage. it’s great for putting on pressure and punishing whifed srks etc, watch some vids of sabre he is awesome with sakura.

Wow, I didn’t even know what footsies meant.

I’ve employed some of this stuff to a certain extent in my game. Such as baiting opponents into doing supers so I can punish. But there’s a lot there I can learn from. Thanks.