In my travels I learned the fundamentals of Tekken from legendary Tekken players in Dallas. JOP, EP, Jinkid etc and I have decided to post the very basics of what I learned.
I have broken this up into 4 layers of yomi making it very easy to understand:
1. The object of Tekken and a lot of other fighting games is forcing your opponent to whiff so you can hit them with your most powerful attack or in Tekken's case: Launchers. That is the very first layer of Tekken's mind game.
2. Here is when it evolves from that. When the opponent is looking for you to whiff so that they can launch you this is when you move in for a quick low poke or an attack to put you in frame advantage or a throw to break their defense. After you have established this you then back away and Layer 1 restarts to form a new situation.
3. Now when the opponent knows you know that they are looking for a whiff, and they also know you are going to want to come in and hit them with a poke into 50/50 or a throw. They will use a move to keep you out once you get into that zone of space. Moves that can keep you out are say generic df+2 or magic 4 aka the counter hit 4 at the most basic level and then of course you have the all powerful EWGF.
4. However the opponent now knows you know they are looking for and whiff and they also know you are going to come in and try to hit them with something and they are going to try and keep you out with a keepout attack, but now this is when you move in and back away to force them to whiff (going back to layer 1) and you are able to launch them.
These are the very basics of Tekken. Of course when choosing a character you can go by the properties of their attacks by how much range/safety/usable launchers and lows that they have, oh yes and the damage.
Definitely big ups to the crew in Dallas for helping out.