Lightsaber Combat Forms

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Lightsaber Combat Forms

The Seven Forms of Lightsaber Combat first begun development in the time when the Jedi were transitioning from force-imbued metal swords to lightsabers - a new technology which harnessed the power of Kyber Crystals to create powerful weapons, connected to the force, in order to make it seem as if the lightsaber were an extension of one’s body.

All seven traditional forms can be adapted to suit the practitioner’s species and it is very common, as well as encouraged, that lightsaber users become proficient in more than one form, so that they can create their own fighting style from the aspects of many forms.

Form I - Shii-Cho

Shii-Cho is the oldest and simplest of the Seven Traditional Combat Forms. It was developed by the Jedi in their relatively early stages and so closely resembled that of the sword fighting styles used previously

Due to the weapons being very new to the Jedi Order, Shii-Cho used very basic movements and attacks, as well as retaining the target zones on the humanoid body - Left Side, Right Side, Head and Legs. The form focused primarily on disarming the opponent without injuring them (The sun djem mark of contact was used for this), which made it very difficult to use in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, and so was succeeded by Form II, which was developed in the emergence of enemies using lightsabers.

The form used wide arcs in order to avoid hurting the opponent, however this means that the form can easily be adapted to suit fighting multiple enemies at once and a master of the form can make the very rigid, structured velocities of Shii-Cho seem wild and varied.

Form II - Makashi

Makashi, the second form of lightsaber combat, was created shortly after the first in order to combat against the growing threat of lightsaber users - specifically that of the Sith Order.

Due to the need to fight other lightsaber users, the form aims to counter the use of Form I, by using short, quick movements and precise strikes, rather than the seemingly clumsy and wild movements of Form I, comparatively. Form II users were able to conduct such movements, as they were not attempting to avoid injury of their opponent (Sun djem and Shiak are the most commonly used marks of contact for this form).

Users were able to easily defend themselves against Shii-Cho with little effort and were able to avoid disarmament as a result of being able to focus on it. However, the user could not win with simplest form of Makashi, as a set of offensive strikes are also required to defeat their opponent.

When using Form II, the user must maintain well-balanced footwork, with one foot in front of the other and advances or retreats in a straight line, in order to avoid the acrobatics of Form IV.

Form III - Soresu

The third form, Soresu, was developed by force users to defend themselves against the blasters that non-force users most commonly used as a weapon in the galaxy. Soresu is essentially a more intricate expansion of Form I’s ability to deflect blaster fire, with the intent to survive, rather than perform well in a duel, like that of the first and second forms.

The form uses quick, short movements, close to the body to protect the user’s body, and their companions/surroundings if they please, to provide them with the greatest amount of protection possible. However, by using Form III exclusively, the user forfeits the ability to go on the offensive, as it is the most defensive of all Combat Forms.

This form is one of the least adaptable to users without access to a lightsaber, due to it’s reliance on one.

Form IV - Ataru

Ataru, the fourth of the Seven Traditional Combat Forms, is by far the most acrobatic and one of the most aggressive forms of all, however was generally only effective against single, rather than multiple enemies. This is due to the tiring and powerful acrobatics that practitioners channeled their connection to the force into in order to overcome their physical barriers, such as age, size and speed.

Form IV’s quick, aggressive strikes were extremely energy draining and so the user risked being vulnerable for a period of time if their initial attacks were unsuccessful. Ataru is much more effective against multiple enemies, if the user is quite small, due to the quick, sharp movements that they can employ to dodge their foes and gain an upper hand just from their flurry of acrobatics. Some users would prefer to carry out single, powerful attacks against their opponent, before moving away quickly, so that it is difficult for them to land a hit on the user, while others may prefer to carry out quick, weaker strikes in almost continuous succession in the hope of tiring out the opponent and gaining the upper hand.

Unlike Soresu, Ataru was not generally used to deflect blaster fire, as it is a very aggressive, rather than defensive, form of combat; however, if the practitioner is facing multiple enemies wielding blaster rifles, then a combination of the two may be very effective.

To a non-force user, Ataru would be virtually impossible to use, due to it’s sole reliance on force-powered acrobatics.

Form V - Shien/Djem So

The fifth form of Lightsaber Combat was formed out of the need for a compromise between the defensive nature of Soresu, and the aggressive nature of Ataru; the form is split into two variations: Shien and Djem So. Ultimately, Form V attempts to use the opponent’s strength/power against themselves.

Firstly, Shien is effectively a more advanced version of Form III, as it focuses on deflecting blaster blots, however instead of deflecting them away from the user in general and into the surrounding environment, as a result, Shien aims to fire the bolt back at the opponent, injuring or killing them, depending on how practiced the user is. If the practitioner were facing multiple enemies at once, then it is not uncommon for them to use a reverse lightsaber grip - By doing this, it allows for the user to attack in long, sweeping arcs in an attempt to damage multiple enemies in a single strike.

Secondly, Djem So was a variation of the form that is more suited towards duellists, as it aims to use an opponent’s lightsaber strike, rather than blaster fire, against them. Djem So achieves this, by employing various combinations of blocks and parries that counter the enemy’s attacks. Unlike Form III, where the objective is to simply hold off the attack, Djem So uses force-imbued powers, like Form IV does, to push back against the opponent’s attack and try to overpower them.

Both aspects of the form are quite simple to master, if the user is already proficient in both Form III and Form IV, as many of the same aspects and concepts are carried across from them.

Form VI - Niman

Accurately nicknamed as “The Diplomat’s Form”, the sixth form of Lightsaber Combat, Niman, is an attempt to combine all previous forms into one, generalised form with no major advantages or disadvantages, so that a force user who devotes their time to things other than combat, such as a diplomat, can still learn and become proficient in combat, should they need to fight at any given time.

As a result of this, Form VI is one of the easiest forms to learn, aside from Form I, and so is often taught as one of the first combat forms to newer force users, such as Jedi Initiates.

Due to it’s simplicity in terms of blade work, Niman used telekinesis and force powers in general extensively to push, pull and disorientate the opponent, possibly making them weaker and vulnerable to the less aggressive attacks of the user. In addition, many users of the form use the force to push the foe(s) away after striking, in order to prevent them from making any viable counter attack and giving the practitioner time to reassess the situation in the brief period between fights/duels.

Form VII - Juyo/Vaapad

The seventh and final form of the Traditional Lightsaber Combat Forms is split into two variations, similarly to Form V: Juyo and Vapaad. The ferocity and extremely violent nature of the seventh form is feared to pull practitioners towards the Dark Side of the Force, as a result of continued, excessive use.

Firstly, Juyo is undoubtedly the hardest form of all to learn and requires years of consistent use, meditation and practice to truly master. The chaotic and emotional nature of the form allowed for the user to unleash powerful attacks against their enemies in a short space of time.

Vapaad is the second variation of Form VII and is viewed as many to be borderline Dark Side, due to the need to let it penetrate the user’s mind, in order to unlock their full aggressive potential that would be delivered through the powerful strikes made by the practitioner. While Juyo has a set of movements and attacks that the user can make use of in order to take advantage of their situation, Vapaad does not, making it wild and chaotic, going against the strict Jedi Code’s principles - As a result of this very few Jedi may attempt to learn Form VII.

Intent - Site Lore

To expand on the forms of Lightsaber Combat that are often referenced by Character Profiles, so that users can have a better understanding of how each character may perform in combat.

 

Malon

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I'll be frank; this lore article is entirely unnecessary.

For one, canon is already re-expanding on the lightsaber forms. There would be no point in approving this and then having to immediately unapprove it because canon reference materials made it obsolete. More to the point, all of this information can already be found over on Wookieepedia. We don't stop anyone from using Legends info (within reason), so all they need to do is go over there, read the articles, and they'll understand how these forms work.
 

Stratus

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I'll be frank; this lore article is entirely unnecessary.

For one, canon is already re-expanding on the lightsaber forms. There would be no point in approving this and then having to immediately unapprove it because canon reference materials made it obsolete. More to the point, all of this information can already be found over on Wookieepedia. We don't stop anyone from using Legends info (within reason), so all they need to do is go over there, read the articles, and they'll understand how these forms work.

Completely understandable.
 
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