In my honest opinion, Cody is one of the best characters to start with to learn the game, he doesn’t really teach any bad habits and teaches you all the good ones. Even though he uses a dirty playstyle, his gameplay is one of the most honest of all characters. By playing Cody you’ll learn how to properly block, anti-air, how to deal with pressure, how to apply pressure. Using different normals effectively. Recognizing patterns in people their offense as you’ll only have one change to use a reversal, his EX Zonk to blast through their untrue blockstrings. How to perform links, he has loads of them and you can make them as challenging as you want. You want really easy links, he has those as well as really really difficult ones. Teaches you how to buffer specials from normals during neutral.
Downside is he doesn’t have a dragon punch motion, which alot of characters actually have, so when you wnat to learn another character you’ll be missing that aspect but overall Cody is a really realy solid character to learn street fighter with.
*If you decide to play Cody, forget about the knife really, it is only usefull in a few matchups and overall more trouble than it is worth.
I began with Ibuki…and had little succes and didn’t even know the basic fundamentals until i switched to Cody, i learned the game with him and i’m glad i did, however he is extremely difficult to use effectively at higher levels because he is so lineair and lacks low hitconfirms. So you sometimes have to get really creative or have to make hard solid reads to turn the tide.
However, having said that, the majority of characters are good characters to learn the game with. I personally think the best characters to learn with are ones that are not grapplers, charge character, or characters with a unorthodox playstyle(Guy, Viper, El Fuerte etc). Everyone else is fine really.