I am very new to the genre and would like to focus on learning the fundamentals before anything else. What would be the best way to do this? My goal is to work on a basic foundation of skills before making it entirely character specific.

Trial mode, Training mode and Arcade mode are the best ways 2 get 2 grips with the basic fundamentals of the game. Youtube is also ur friend. You could try online as well but I wouldnt recommend it.

Check out these threads:

That should get you started. In the future, if you want more help starting out in fighting games, you might want to post in the newbie forums.

Trial mode only teaches you practice and basic combos until just about trial 10 or so, anything past that is usually impractical and inefficient in terms of damage. Arcade mode is great for trying to figure out the basics of how the game is played, but they’re not replacement for playing against actual people, offline OR online. You’re best off doing some research, watching tutorial and match videos on youtube to get an idea about how to play the game properly, and try to imitate that.

Be sure to focus on the basic skills of street fighter, learning how to control space in a match, learning how to do anti-airs, how to read people, understanding the different match-ups, etc etc. Combos are the LEAST important of these things, since the majority of the time you’re playing, you’re not going to be doing combos. You don’t need anything beyond a basic 2 or 3-hit combo to begin to start winning matches against new players.