I've played a bunch of fighting games over the years, but generally very casually. One of my first video game purchases was Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES. I think I played Chun Li a lot and did lots of jump kicks and lightning legs. I was 8. Killer Instinct in 5th grade, some MK games, got Soul Blade for the PSX, and later other Soul Calibur games, messed around with Dead or Alive 3 with some friends in between games of Halo, etc... Some time last year, I finally got a 360 and SFIV and Orange Box. I played Street Fighter IV a bit on a pad, and got frustrated. I found that I couldn't really do fireballs to the left (or tatsu's to the right) with much consistency, and it annoyed me. My weak little Akuma and Sakura hovered around 500 BP's. So, a little while ago, I picked up that Tekken 6 bundle with a Hori stick for a reasonable price. Everything I've read says that the stick is perfectly fine. Learning the combos and stuff is a little awkward because all of the command lists for Tekken 6 assume you're playing on a pad. And I've never been that into Tekken. It always felt clunkier to me than Soul Calibur. So I picked up HDR. Lurking and posting on this site has gotten me interested again in the genre, and many people seem to agree that ST is a good starting point... And I still can't do fireball motions to the left, and I have a lot of trouble executing charge specials. Now, I'm not telling myself that I have to go and compete in EVO next year or anything, but I'm having a hell of a time even getting SRK's consistently- I get them about 35% of the time, and Fireballs about 80% of the time. In fact, what little time I did spend playing SF IV seems to have made me much, much worse at executing SRK's because I'm just tapping DF, P, DF, P repeat hoping I magically reversal them. I tried a couple online matches, and I absolutely got stomped by the same Dictator player twice. In our second match, I think he deliberately went easy on me just to see what I'd try to do... he still beat me, and then perfected me the next two times. It's not that I'm afraid to lose, it's just that I'm not sure it's very productive for me to try to learn in that environment when I can't even execute basic moves. To those of you who picked up the game recently, (like Thelo apparently, and others) how did you make the leap from knowing very little about the game to being at least somewhat competent? I get bored throwing fireballs in practice mode, and find that it's a lot different than the pressure of facing an opponent, and I don't really want to waste tons of time playing arcade mode because I think it'll just form bad habits. Should I just suck it up and lose a lot to random online players? I'm thinking I might main Dhalsim because I like how he seems to have a toolbox of cool normals... and no SRK motion. But those might be bad reasons to pick a character if he doesn't really fit my playing style. It's funny to me when Sirlin talks about his execution being bad- it's like when Steven Levitt says he's bad at math- sure, when you compare yourself to the very best you might not have a comparative advantage in that ability, but even Sirlin's ability to combo and Levitt's calculus are much better than most amateur practitioners.