Zangief's Spinning Piledriver, an example of a Command Grab

A Command Grab is an attack that does not simply strike the opponent; if the attack finds the opponent and the opponent is in a state that is considered "grabbable" by the given command grab, the opponent will be caught in a hold and damage will be inflicted. The attack is similar to a regular throw, but usually requires directional input, cannot be escaped by also inputting a throw, and cannot be teched if thrown.[citation needed] Different command grabs possess different properties.

Some command grabs, such as the Spinning Piledriver (shown at right) cannot be blocked. They have a different startup and range than a regular throw, but cannot be performed on an airborne opponent. Others, such as the Oil Dive, can also be used on an airborne opponent, while still others such as the Siberian Blizzard can ONLY be performed on airborne opponents.

Command grabs usually inflict severe damage, and in games such as Street Fighter IV, they also initiate a short cinematic when successful. Most command grabs require a full-circle directional input or a half-circle backward input. Characters who possess command grabs are often referred to as "grapplers" (e.g., Zangief & T. Hawk). However, this is not always case, as there are characters - such as Yun, Yang, Makoto and Fei Long - who possess command grabs but are not grapplers.

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