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PostSubject: Lightsaber Combat   Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:03 am

Form I: Shii-Cho


As the most ancient style of lightsaber combat, Shii-Cho was developed during the transition period from swords to lightsabers. Lightsabers were wielded in a manner similar to swords, so many of the maneuvers, such as attacks or parries, remained unchanged, as the key principles of the old sword-fighting methods continued to be incorporated. The simplicity and persistent methods of the form led it to being dubbed the "Way of the Sarlacc" and the "Determination Form". Shii-Cho swordplay was simplistic and raw. In the hands of a master, the bladework was described as "like watching water flow over the falls." However, less adept practitioners displayed much more basic and somewhat clumsy performance. In combat, Form I encouraged deliberate tactics, calling for continuous, step-by-step advancement while cutting off the opponent's angles.
Shii-Cho was specialized towards engaging multiple opponents, the wide, sweeping motions being ideally suited towards attacking numerous adversaries. However, Form I was not as useful against single opponents, as such enemies had complete mobility and could find a weakness in Shii-Cho's comparatively clumsy bladework. Shii-Cho fostered an emotionally-heated mindset, which resulted in the considerable temptation to execute combat with lethal intent, requiring great restraint to exercise the form without going too far. Despite the pull to kill, the style was designed for the purpose of disarming without seriously injuring.
As the most simplistic form, Shii-Cho was the first form taught to initiates within the Jedi Order. Form I training provided the basic knowledge of the sword-fighting principles and blast-deflection skill that was required for practice of all the other forms. In order to teach students to draw upon the Force rather than rely on their senses, early level Shii-Cho blast-deflect training was conducted with a blindfold, forcing the initiate to rely upon his instincts. Later training was conducted through the use of sequences and velocities, the continuous repetition making the moves instinctive reflexes. These training regimens were carried over to all following lightsaber combat forms, which used similar methods. As Shii-Cho philosophy emphasized victory without injury and as such, the ''sun djem'' mark of contact was traditionally employed by Form I practitioners. Keeping with the use of ''sun djem'', one of the attacks utilized by Form I practitioners was referred to as the "Disarming Slash", consisting of a strike directed at the opponent's weapon in an attempt to rip it out of their grasp.



Form II: Makashi


Makashi was the most dueling-centric of the seven forms, developed during an era where engagements with Darksiders and rogue Jedi became an almost routine activity. Form II's primary purpose was to serve as a counter to Form I: Shii-Cho the first form; Shii-Cho. Makashi relied on precision swordplay to counter the sweeping movements demonstrated by Shii-Cho, and a heavy focus on protecting one's weapon to avoid being Sun djem disarmed, the primary goal of Form I. Form II emphasized fluid motion and anticipation of a weapon being swung at its target, and so required very fluid movements of both the blade and the body. Timing, accuracy, and skill, rather than strength, were relied-upon to defeat one's opponent. With a skilled practitioner, the results were deadly. Makashi users were often elegant, precise, calm, confident to the point of arrogance (as befit Dooku's personality). Form II users were supremely confident in their chances for victory, and often looked so relaxed when they were fighting they even appeared to be dancing. Makashi duelists also trained themselves to avoid enslavement to form, as such enslavement opened the practitioner to be defeated by predictability and the unforeseen.
Due to Form II's emphasis on blade manipulation, and its many fluid one-handed moves, Makashi practitioners often wielded lightsabers that were specialized for such use. The most prominent weapon for this purpose was the curved-hilted lightsaber. These weapons were used because the curved hilt fit better into the palm, granting better blade control and allowing for greater precision and strength. In addition to this, wielders often created highly decorated weapons, and occasionally included blade-guards, as shown with Dooku's lightsaber. The other, considerably rarer, weapon type was the Lightfoil, a specialized type of lightsaber used by the Mecrosa Order. Original lightfoils were built with small handles for exclusively one-handed usage, and were much better balanced than typical lightsabers, allowing for greater precision.



Form III: Soresu


The original purpose of the Soresu form was to counter blaster-wielding opponents, as the previous combat styles focused on lightsaber dueling. Becoming the most defensive of the seven forms, Soresu utilized tight moves, subtle dodges and short sweeps designed to provide maximum defensive coverage, leaving the duelist less exposed to ranged fire. Over time, Form III came to trancend this basic origin and become an expression of non-aggressive Jedi philosophy.
Soresu utilized motions that occurred very close to the body, in an attempt to achieve near-total protection and expend as little energy as possible while executing moves. Form III stressed quick reflexes and fast positional transition, in order to overcome the rapidity with which a blaster could be fired. This technique minimized the body's exposure, making a well-trained practitioner nearly invincible. Form III involved preparation for prolonged battles where the user observed and learned as much as possible about their opponent's or opponents' technique while engaged in combat. Also, by being more capable in lengthy battles, a Soresu user had the ability to gain control of a combat situation, creating multiple options for the Jedi employing the form. A Form III user could choose to kill, disarm, or even reason with their opponent.
Truly focused masters of Soresu were very formidable due to their strong defense technique. However, Form III merely facilitated survival rather than victory. Form III initiates were more than capable of defending themselves from attack, but they needed a large amount of experience to learn how to effectively counter-attack and entrap opponents. Masters had to maintain an incredibly strong focus on the center of the combat circle, since the defensive tactics of the form included guards and parries engaged very close to the body. Jedi who left small lapses in their otherwise strong defense left little room to avoid injury.



Last edited by Streiter on Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lightsaber Combat   Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:10 am

Form IV: Ataru


Ataru was an aggressive combat form relying on a combination of power, strength, and speed. Practitioners of Ataru were always on the offensive, attacking with wide, fast, and powerful swings, constantly calling upon the Force to aid in their movements and attacks. By allowing the Force to flow throughout their body, they could use the Force to overcome their physical limitations (including old age, as was the case with Jedi Master Master Yoda) and perform amazing feats of acrobatics, such as somersaults and backflips, not only for attack, but also to evade the attacks and strikes of their opponents.
The standard components of Form IV focused on application of and smooth transition between the three axes of rotation in a three-dimensional space; the ''su ma''. Specifically, the ''jung su ma'' (spinning), ''ton su ma'' (somersaults), and ''en su ma'' (cartwheels). Those who used Form IV could move at high speeds and could rain strong blows, jumping and attacking through the air. Powerful and quick spinning attacks could be utilized from all angles, either from ground or air. A master in Ataru combat could appear like a blur to their opponents, attacking from all directions—from the front, the sides, overhead, or behind. The Force not only allowed them to perform athletic feats not possible otherwise, but it also helped guide their actions and movements in combat. Obi-Wan Kenobi's backflip upon being kicked in the head is a perfect example of a Form IV recovery, redirecting the kinetic energy.



Form V: Shien/ Djem So


Form V was created by Form III: Soresu Form III masters who desired a more offensive style, since the defensive nature of Form III could lead to prolonged combat, sometimes dangerously so. It evolved into an accepted style by combining the defensive maneuvers of Form III with the more aggressive philosophy and tactics of Form II: Makashi Form II. Form V also required a higher level of physical strength than the other lightsaber forms, due to its focus on complete domination of opponents. The form was developed alongside Form IV: Ataru Form IV at a time when the Jedi were increasingly called upon to actively keep the peace. Form V had two distinct variations: Shien and Djem So.
Classic Form V, Shien was developed first. Known as the "Perseverance Form", Shien was designed to protect against enemy blaster fire and strikes without compromising one's ability to launch powerful counterattacks. With its focus against blaster fire, Shien kept in mind that Jedi were often outnumbered by their opponents and needed to defend themselves while retaining offensive capability. However, it lacked effectiveness against single opponents. Shien practitioners were known to favor, or at least regularly utilize, reversed grips.
Whereas Shien specialized in blast-deflection, the more advanced Djem So focused on lightsaber dueling. Utilizing a combination of blocks and parries, a Djem So user maintained a proper foundation in terms of defense against both ranged and melee attacks, but rather than counter only when necessary as per Soresu training regimens, Djem So actively pressed the offense. Djem So placed a heavy focus on brute strength, utilizing wide, powerful strikes and parries. Power attacks from a Djem So user could even knock an opponent back just through sheer kinetic force, throwing them off balance and leaving them vulnerable to further brute force strikes and power blows that sought not just to penetrate an opponent's defense, but drive them back and leave them unable to counter.



Form VI: Niman


Niman, the dual-blade style developed by the Royale Macheteros of the Kashi Mer, was named for the dual triumvirate of the Niman Kashi deities. The style was adopted by the Legions of Lettow, a group of Dark Siders responsible for the First Great Schism of the Jedi Order. After the defeat of the Legion at the hands of the Jedi, Niman was adopted by the Jedi order, eventually being refined into the sixth form of lightsaber combat, referred to by the same name.
Form VI attempted to balance all elements of lightsaber combat, combining the techniques from Forms that came before into a less intensely demanding combat style. In practice, Form VI was a combination of older forms (Forms I, III, IV, and V), and all of them in moderation. In the blending, much of the individuality was lost, but the strengths were spread evenly, and there was little weakness in it. Due to its "jack-of-all-trades" nature, the success of this form was largely dependent on the practitioner's intuition, improvisation, and creativity in combat rather than the rote responses derived from other forms. This broad generalization made Form VI well suited for diplomats, as they could spend their time training in the areas of politics and negotiation instead of combat training.



Form VII: Juyo


Juyo was described as the most vicious form of lightsaber combat, and was said to be filled with both fury and "malignant grace. The form was given the title of the most difficult and demanding form in all of saber combat. Skilled combatants with Juyo were said by Jedi Master Vrook Lamar to be able to "eviscerate a lone enemy." According to the Sith Lord Kreia Darth Traya, the form was both chaotic and erratic, with a heavy focus on offense.
Jedi battlemaster Cin Drallig listed bold, direct motions as characteristics of Juyo, qualifying them as more open and kinetic than Form V: Shien / Djem So Form V, but with a less elaborate appearance than Form IV: Ataru. Drallig contrasted the tactics of Juyo as not nearly as graceful or linked as those of Ataru, instead referring to them as "seemingly unconnected staccato sequences." He also listed one of the strengths of the form as its unpredictability. The form was said to necessitate greater energy than Form V, due to a broader wielding of a user's focus and a deeper emotional link. Despite the challenges inherent in the use of the form, it could serve as a pathway to considerable power.

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