If you've never been in a similar position, I envy and applaud you.
One of my roommates and I have been playing a lot of Street Fighter IV lately. As we're both relatively new to the series (and when I say that I mean we've both maybe played a game of Street Fighter in our childhood), watching the two of us play competitively is probably not incredibly impressive. While we've stuck with it long enough to get the hang of the controls (before SF4, even pulling off a Shoryuken seemed like a complex maze that my thumb was just not prepared to guide the joystick through), neither of us are pulling off some of the more complicated combos that Street Fighter veterans likely consider to be basics. This is why, with my limited ability to pull off combos that really make the characters shine, playing against someone who mains Zangief--a character whose entire strategy is to simply grab his opponent and crush their bones repeatedly until they die--is a challenge indeed.