I can't see grabs: is there something wrong with me...?


I apologize in advance if I post things in the wrong area

I’ve always had trouble seeing grabs in SF. However, if people spam grabs, I can anticipate it a bit, however, I really have trouble visually seeing grabs. Not command grabs but the universal grab.

I looked it up and on start up it’s 4 frames :confused: that’s pretty fast.

So I wondered. Is there something wrong with me…? Should I be able to see them easily…? Do I just suck >.< Or is it simply that I have not played enough SF

I don’t have as much trouble in Tekken. Tekken is unfortunately often much harder, because you have 3 universal grabs and a lot of characters have character specific grabs, even the characters that aren’t grapplers at all. However the fastest grab in Tekken is 10 frames I believe. There are tricks that at the same time make it easy to recognize grabs and break them in Tekken.

I played SF 2 when I was a kid and some of the others as a kid, but, I only started seriously playing about a year ago. I played SFIV for about 6 months, then SFV for a few weeks, then quit and have been playing Tekken for 8 months or so playing and practicing almost daily, now I return to SFV a much better player, but, I have a lot of the same problems I had when I left. I’m a more motivated player and breaking grabs is an essential skill

Thanks for any answers


Grabs are not sightable, the basic mixup of SF is to get in grab range where you can’t react to the grab and mixup grabbing you or baiting your attempt to not get grabbed (mashing grab yourself or mashing a button). Them being unreactable is the fundamental tenet that creates these mixup situations.


It’s not about seeing them, it’s about judging player tendencies and knowing what kind of tick throw setups each character has and preparing yourself to tech. You often can see the throw frames before they actually execute just by knowing what their next move will be.


OP probably is used to older games where there was a very definite and clear grab animation. SF5 still has one but its faster. To be honest SF5 grab animations can be ambiguous and some of them i wasn’t 100% sure if i was hitting grab or doing something wrong until i tried it out in training mode.

Just assming op is talking about SF5 cause his signature says so and also that he plays 3rd Strike which is another one with very clear and obvious grab animations. They were awesome too, especially Q’s and his supers.


You’re not looking for the grab, you’re looking for how they set up the grab. In SF this is often accomplished with tick throws or things like empty jumps, and the fact that you generally can’t visually react to the startup of a grab is what creates mix up situations like empty jump low/grab, frametrap/grab, etc. Therefore, countering the grab is more about sniffing out your opponent’s tendencies, what set ups they like to do and when they like to grab, not actually seeing the grab and avoiding it. This is also what makes the “shimmy” work, since people aren’t teching in reaction to the grab attempt, they’re teching in reaction to their opponent walking forwards into grab range. You mess with that reaction by then walking backwards, causing their tech to whiff (and therefore coming out as a whiffed grab) which you can then punish.



You can’t react to throws in SF. You have to predict them based on the situation, matchup and player tendencies.

Also, just to hijack a newbie dojo-thread: what kind of tricks are you referring to for making throwbreaking in Tekken easier? I’m curious, because I’m sort of fascinated by how consistent top players manage to break throws in that game.


in tekken each throw will be broken based on the hand that extends the farthest.

just for explaining we will use the notation

button 1 is left hand
button 2 is right hand
button 3 is left kick
button 4 is right kick

so based on the side your on you have to react to the hand that extends farther and press the button that matches with that hand
these standard throws are 12 frames.

some throws have both arms extended at the same time.
in that case you would press 1 and 2 at the same time to break.

other throws have command notations hadoken motion, half circle back and 1 or two
but both hands are coming out at the same time.

example armor kings giant swing is half circle back + forward then button 1 its the fastest grab in the game at 10 frames and both arms come out.
but you only press button 1 to break it.
when your opponent has their back to you they can throw. back turned throws are sometimes press with various combinations of kick and punch buttons. those are hard to react to because the arms come out at the same time but they could use a different button combination so that you have to guess which button to break the throw.

so throw breaking in tekken is a combination of reaction (because you can train yourself in practice mode to break standard throws and
throws that use both arms or 1+2

some throws you have to do research on and learn the characters set up for the throw
michelle has a throw call mad axes that is bufferable from any move that leaves her in the standing position and gives fantastic oki setups if she lands it and does high damage
so you have to learn the setups in which she may attempt the throw
both arms come out but its a button 2 break.

so to be direct
throw breaks are a combination of reaction,
knowledge of the character, positioning and situational awareness
so hit that training mode!
its what i have been doing

also not all throw breaks in 3d fighters e.g tekken, virtua fighter, Dead or Alive are created equal
some give frame advantage to the person that breaks and some give frame advantage back to the person that initialized the throw even though you broke it.

now i say all that but in the new tekken 7 they have made it easier
all standard throws can be broken with button 1

it doesnt matter which arm extends.

you still have double button breaks and command notation throws to learn how to break though.

*oh and to the person that created this topic *

throws in street fighter 5 are 5 frames
throws in 3rd strike were/are 3 frames

you arent reacting to that lol as someone said before you react to the setup.

i think human benchmark/ for prime/peak reaction is i9 and even thats a stretch to do consistently
your a tekken player so you would know punishing 13 frames with a launcher is tough


Tekken is just easier for me. I can tell what people are doing or trying to do to me, I can do that with SF but, I can’t always figure out what I should do in SF.

p.m novaroad pilot did a good job answering.

A good example of dumb shit done online is the stupid shit King/Amor King players will do to do high damage throws. Like silly jump ins then an attempt at giant swing…“ah, you’re acting awful weird/annoying, you’re getting pretty anxious to grab me aren’t you…” :stuck_out_tongue:

For some reason, in Tekken, I know to watch out for these things so I’m on guard. I know most Akuma players are going to try and throw me at some point, but, I have a tough time breaking grabs. It’s frustrating…


Wow this thread just turned into a Tekken goldmine, thank you for the insight on how throw breaks operate in that game I had no idea.


The reason why breaking throws in Tekken is easier for you than doing the same in SF is because you’re much more used to how the game works.
In SF5 throws are 5f and every single character has at least one normal that is faster than 5f (either 3 or 4f). This means that in a perfect neutral situation if your opponent tries to throw you and you press a 3f light button it will beat the throw attempt.
This only happens in truly neutral situations though. If the opponent has some frame advantage that makes your light button become active at the same time as his throw, then the throw will actually win. This is why tick throwing is such a common strategy across the roster.
MU knowledge plays a very important role here: some characters like Ryu or Chun can’t throw you right after pressing a button and require a microwalk forward to do so, while other characters like Urien or Laura can tick throw you out of basically every light normal because of a combination of long enough throw range, small pushback on their buttons and frame advantage on block. And finally some characters like Cammy or Akuma have a button with low pushback and small advantage on block (+1) that can be used as a tick throw because of the mixup situation it creates (if they try to tech or press a button the might get tagged by their 3f lights).
Also keep in mind that in SF there are specific throws - namely the command grabs - that cannot be teched or broken. These have usually a long ass recovery though, so if you escape them by jumping or backdashing and then punish them.

In the end, everything boils down to knowing what the character can do and to being able to read the player’s tendencies. Great players are able to see most of the times if the opponent is gonna throw in said situation, but for the same reason they might also be easily baited through shimmies.

And finally, throws are not extremely powerful in SF5 since the last patch, they deal low damage and don’t give any true oki after that. You just need to be careful about the relatively few throw loops that are still in this game.

When you consider that there are games like GG where throws are instant (even if they have zero range) and give oki setups you’ll know that SF5 throws aren’t really that scary.


Thank you so much for this thread. I was having the same problem, and driving myself to insanity and eyestrain trying to “correct” it.

Now I know! And knowing is half the battle!