It seems like a trend of late to tell folks to play whatever character they like, even if the person being given this “advice” has no prior experience with fighting games. (Similar to this is telling folks to play whatever game they like. Hey, more power to ya but there’s obvious consequences to picking an obscure game versus one that the majority are acquainted with; and the lifeblood of any competitive game is the amount of competition available.)
I know the rationale behind telling folks to play whomever they want: idea being that most characters can all be played in a basic manner, up to a point. Yeah, Ibuki can play the footsie game, and a beginner doesn’t have to have her more technical stuff down, yet. But the fact remains Ibuki is designed to be a character that focuses on getting a knockdown and executing her post knockdown setups. Footsies and simplified combos alone won’t really cut it with this character. Since a beginner to fighting games is going to have to learn spacing, footsies, and stick to simpler combos characters like Guile, Ryu, and Bison would be the most ideal starting characters since these characters can get the most mileage from learning and playing to these core aspects (i.e. their gameplan doesn’t necessarily require the player to be familiar with post knockdown setups to win; and this way, a beginner can take things step at a time and focus on learning proper fundamentals first without the distractions).
The fact is for a person with no prior experience with fighting games, there are characters that would be better left avoided and there are characters that are more suitable at an entry level. It’s not a death sentence, you’re not stuck having to play Ryu for life, you can change to a character to one of your choosing after progress is made, but people sure react as if character choice is permanent.