Seriously, until you hit platinum, you can win most of the time by just waiting for the opponent to jump in and punishing.
what I do versus Akuma is I try to keep him out, throw pokes to try and tag him, but keep the jab button held so I can bullhorn when he jumps, as bullhorn as projectile invincible and the move goes up.
That said, it’s a pretty char specific strategy, and if I get knocked down once, I can lose the round due to Akuma’s vortex game. On top of that, Birdie’s ground attacks while good, are slow enough that they can be jumped over, Akuma just has to guess right once and the matchup goes from really good to really, really bad.
Against good players (better than I am- I’m a fraud), they won’t jump much because they know you can beat the air fireball, they’ll make you come to them and then jump when you attack, then play the vortex game. You have to beat that by guessing right with some chain attacks, or if they run away to full screen, you can drop a can and use that to try and get in, though you have to get around their fireball in the process.
Unsure if any of this helps, but this is the thought process I have vs Akuma with my character.