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The grappler is a staple of the fighting game genre, having begun with Street Fighter 2's wrestling giant, Zangief and having gone on to have a representative in virtually every major fighting franchise.
Grapplers are defined by their speclialising in throw-based moves, usually including at least one command-grab that is more effective than standard throws, as well as other moves which make successfully landing a throw on opponents easier. Examples include Zangief's Lariats and quick sweep in Street Fighter 2, which allowed him to knock down opponents consistently and put them in a position where catching them with a throw would be easier, or in Guilty Gear where Potemkin's Slider Head and Hammer Fall allow him to close the distance more easily, and his Megafist helps him to keep opponent's on the ground and make them more susceptible to throws.
While Grapplers are generally thought of as a slow, bulky characters, there are quite a few fast, athletic ones available as well. Clark and Blue Mary from King of Fighters would be examples of this.