Within the Street Fighter series, criminal groups make up the majority of antagonistic forces and associations throughout its universe. Whether they exist as a gang collective of misfits and delinquents in the heart of cities and metropolitan areas, or are a powerful syndicate of criminal underworld and racketeering activity, they fit into the Street Fighter world as examples of those who take to the streets literally fighting for an ill willed or twisted concept, motivation, or ideal. This is emphasized in how these groups adhere most to the brutal aspects of the concept of "survival of the fittest", a lust for power untouched by discipline, and the constant underworld maxim of might makes right, utilizing strong armed force and even illegitimate and unlawful behavior to gain and extort what they want, whether it be from everyday people or even the authorities, and are the examples of civilization's excesses and flaws unchecked, be it from badly and ill-raised thugs to the corrupt, vituperative, scornful, opprobrious, insulting, and abusive that wield their power unjustly.
Criminal groups and organizations represented in martial arts fiction is an old and classic concept. Martial arts tie into such a concept largely due to how it is the knowledge and study of how to fight and be fit, and hence, wield power, which can be bent towards either good or evil. While military might and weaponry, be it guns or cold weapons, are as much a crucial part of fighting, hand to hand is generally regarded as the most accessible and "purest" form of battle, relying on one's own body as their weapon instead. Attaining that fitness to wield one's art properly, it is often preached and repeated in reputable and well to do schools of martial arts that power comes with responsibility, and is a step forward to either good choices or bad choices. In the field of moral relativity, martial arts is also seen as a way of expressing one's power as much as it is being fit. Villains who desire power will as much likely turn to martial arts and physical fitness as a means of a foundation to establish their dominance, whatever their designs may be.