Forms of Lightsaber Combat
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OtetTiswi
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Joined: 29 Nov 2005
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Location: Theed, Naboo

 Post Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:28 pm    Post subject: Forms of Lightsaber Combat
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This will be a guide to help out the Jedi and FS on here. I will describe the 7 MAIN forms of Lightsaber combat, and the 3 forms that are not as well known and tend to mix elements of the main seven togethor.

Each Jedi chooses a style of combat that is best suited them. For example, Master Yoda used the Ataru form to compensate for his lack of reach and height; Mace Windu used Vaapad to tap into his anger and employ it constructively (but without giving himself over to the dark side); Count Dooku's practice of the Makashi form fit first of all his intention to frequently engage in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, and second his emphasis on class and elegance as well as precision.

Form I: Shii Cho
Form I: Shii-Cho was the first of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

Younglings, the Jedi initiate rank, first learn Form I before they begin a Padawan apprenticeship with a Jedi Master. They most often utilize it to deflect plasma bolts from training remotes.

Shii-Cho is very good versus many enemies, and blaster-wielding enemies, but weak versus a single enemy, especially a lightsaber-wielding enemy with Force powers.


Form II: Makashi
Form II: Makashi was the second form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

Makashi is described as being very elegant, powerful, and requiring extreme precision, allowing the user to attack and defend with minimal effort, often wielding the blade one-handed for greater range of movement and fluidity. The form relied on parries, thrusts, and small, precise cuts—as opposed to the blocking and slashing of the other forms. It required very fluid movements of both the blade and the body.

The blade manipulation required for this form is very refined and requires intense focus. Timing, accuracy, and skill, rather than strength are relied on to defeat your opponent and with a skilled practitioner, the results are extremely potent.

When ranged weapons such as blasters come into play or there is more than one opponent, the advantages of Makashi become obsolete.

Count Dooku was a master of Form II to the highest degree, fighting with the precision built into the ancient technique. The handle of his lightsaber was curved allowing for better manipulation of the blade during parries and thrusts.

Makashi users are elegant, precise, calm, confident, even arrogant. Form II users are supremely confident in their chances for victory, and often look relaxed when they are fighting, or even appear to be dancing.

Form III: Soresu
Form III: Soresu was the third form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

The third form of lightsaber combat utilizes motions that occur very close to the body, in an attempt to achieve near-total protection and expend as little energy as possible while executing moves. This technique minimizes the body's exposure, making a well-trained practitioner nearly invincible. Followers of Soresu comfortably remain on the defensive until their opponent leaves an opening that a Soresu practitioner can usually exploit in mulitiple ways.

Soresu's greatest power lies in the endurance and control a practitioner eventually develops. Masters of the form leave no opening for their opponents to take advantage of, while waiting for the eventual lapses in their opponent's own defense.

Even though a truly focused master of Soresu is nearly unbeatable due to a strong defense posture, there is more guarantee of survival rather than victory. Initiates in Form III are known to be more than capable when defending themselves from an attack, but might lack the experience to trap an opponent in their own offense.

Form IV: Ataru
Form IV: Ataru was the fourth form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

Ataru is an aggressive combat form relying on a combination of power, speed, and grace. Practitioners of Ataru are always on the offensive, attacking with fast and powerful swings. Form IV practitoners constantly call upon the Force to aid in their movements and attacks. By allowing the Force to flow throughout their body, they can overcome their physical limitations (including old age, as was the case with Master Yoda), and allow them to perform amazing feats of acrobatics, such as somersaults and backflips, not only for attack, but also to evade their opponents attacks/strikes.

Those who use Form IV can move at amazing speeds and can rain strong blows jumping and attacking through the air. Powerful and lightning fast spinning attacks can be utilized from all angles, either from ground or air. A master in Ataru combat can appear like a blur to their opponents, attacking from all directions—from the front, the sides, overhead, or behind.

The Force not only allows them to perform amazing athletic feats, but it also helps guide their actions and movements in combat. Howevever, due to its aggressive nature, a user can easily become reckless and sometimes leave him/herself open to counterattacks.

Form V: Djem So
Form V: Djem So was the fifth form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

Djem So evolved into a combat style by combining the defensive maneuvers of Soresu with the more aggressive philosophy/tactics of Makashi. Form V came into existence by taking the defensive skills derived from Form III and quickly channeling it into offense. Form V emphasizes strength and power over your opponents.

Many Jedi disapprove of this philosophy. Some in the Order may felt that this lightsaber form led too quickly to violence, instead of diplomacy when dealing with disputes, and because it appeared to call for the physical domination of an opponent, which is counter to Jedi beliefs.

Using a combination of blocks and parries derived from Soresu and Makashi, a Djem So user has a proper foundation in terms of defense against both blaster and melee attacks. After defending an attack by an opponent, a Djem So stylist might follow with an attack of their own. While Makashi relies on precise and small cuts of the blade, Djem So utilizes a series of flourishes and attacks that include wide two-handed swings and powerful overhead/over-shoulder slashes.

The philosophy of Djem So not only emphasizes strength and power in defeating an opponent, but more importantly on action. Which makes it a more favorable combat form for Jedi who want quick resolutions and favor "aggressive negotiations." Bold, powerful, fearless, and confident are also traits used to describe practitioners of Djem So.

Form VI: Niman
Form VI: Niman was the sixth form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

Form VI attempts to balance all elements of lightsaber combat, combining the Forms that came before into a less intensely demanding combat style. The result is that the users' skill in each individual area of lightsaber combat is only moderate - they do not excel in any one area. This broad generalization makes Form VI well suited for diplomats, as they can spend their time training in the areas of politics and negotiation instead of combat training.


Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad
Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad was the final form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.

The most challenging and demanding of all forms, Form VII requires intense focus, a high degree of skill, and mastery of other forms. Intrepid, somewhat direct movements are used in combination with advanced techniques involving Force-powered jumps and motions. Form VII does not appear as fancy as Form IV, as there are not moves like twirling and flipping, but the technical requirements are much higher. Vaapad uses seemingly free-wheeling and open movements, but with utter control on the part of the wielder.

In Windu's duel with Palpatine, Windu constantly had his arms spread wide, torso open to stabbing motions by Palpatine, as though Windu was daring him to strike. While appearing reckless on the surface, Windu knew exactly what he was doing. The end result, if practiced correctly, is a very unpredictable lightsaber style. The staccato swings and flow of the form make it seem as if the attacks are not linked—but in reality, it is merely confusing the opponent.

Form VII demanded the emotional and physical intensity of Form V, but it much more effectively controlled it—if mastered. Form VII, when fully mastered, resulted in extraordinary power.

However, Vaapad borders on the edge of falling to the dark side, as it channels one's anger and darkness into an attack. Only Windu's mastery and concentration on the light side prevented him from succumbing to his own anger, which is why Vaapad is rarely practiced and very dangerous. With that said, Vaapad is not just a fighting style. It is a state of mind and a power. The state of mind requires that a user of Vaapad allow himself to enjoy the fight. He has to give himself over to the thrill of battle, the rush of winning.

Vaapad is a path that leads through the penumbra of the dark side. The power of Vaapad is simple: it is a channel for one's inner darkness; and it is a reflecting device. With strict control, a Jedi's own emotions and inner darkness can be changed into a weapon of the light.

Nevertheless, the power of Vaapad is quite incredible. It is a form of lightsaber combat, a state of mind, and an actual tangible power. To use it requires great mastery, discipline and, above all else, purity of heart and spirit. Vaapad users are intense, focused and introverted.

Form VIII: Sokan

Developed by the ancient Jedi Knights during the Great Sith War, Sokan combineS tactics that allow for evasion and mobility with the kinetic motions of Form IV combat. Sokan involves swift strokes of the lightsaber, which are aimed towards the opponent's vital areas in addition to quick tumbles and movements. Combatants make use of large amounts of terrain, trying to maneuver their opponents into vulnerable areas during the course of battles that involve Sokan techniques.

Obi-Wan employed elements of Sokan while dueling Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar. Towards the end of the duel Obi-Wan sought the high ground and used his favorable positioning to defeat Anakin, attacking his weak points.

Form IX: Shien

Shien uniquely involves a Jedi holding the lightsaber horizontally. The Jedi pointed the end of the blade at the opponent; it was swung in a fast arc while the Jedi punched his or her saber-hand at his or her opposing combatant, in a stabbing motion.

Form X: Niman / Jar'Kai

The dual saber Niman permits a Jedi to fight with two lightsabers, one in each hand, as demonstrated by Anakin Skywalker when he first faced Count Dooku. One of the blades in the wielder's hands is used for attacking while the other one is used for defending, such as parrying, or for more offensive power.

The Jar'Kai was named the Niman by the Minions of Xendor during Great Schism, long before the creation of the lightsaber. Form X, or Niman, is sometimes known as Jar'Kai. This Niman is not to be confused with the Form VI: Niman.
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Last edited by OtetTiswi on Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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