This article contains information regarding the seven classic lightsaber dueling forms as well as the four sub forms that are taught out at JoF.
The Forms of Lightsaber Combat
"Six there were for generations of Jedi. The seventh, is not well-known."
― Yoda on the seven forms of lightsaber combat
The different forms of lightsaber combat are divided into individual sets of forms. Traditionally, each jedi chose the style of lightsaber combat that was best suited for him or her. The forms teaches the practitioner different approaches to the arts of lightsaber combat. It was often seen that jedi sought to make up for their flaws by utilising their forms to their full potential. For example, Yoda, who was a formidable practitioner of the fourth form; Ataru, chose to use the form of Ataru to compesate for his lack of reach and height. Also, Yoda was one of the jedi to ever master all of the seven classic lightsaber forms. Another example could be Mace Windu utilising the seventh form of Vaapad to turn his inner darkness into a weapon of the light. There exists a total of seven classic and unique lightsaber forms including four classic sub forms. Six of the forms have been around for generations of jedi practitioners, however, the seventh is not well-known amongst jedi, as it is truly an advanced form that has been said to lead to the dark side of the force. The forms of lightsaber combat has been around for ages, but very few ever managed to master all of them. Last but not least, please note that the seven forms of combat was not merely swordplay moves, but each represented a different kind of fighting philosophy. In addition, the seven forms including the sub forms could easily be applied in unarmed combat, as a lightsaber was not necessary in order to execute the lightsaber forms.
The forms of lightsaber combat was implemented and developed into the game Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy by Aldro and Shree Koon. The group studied the game mechanics together and came up with their own interpretation of the lightsaber forms and applied the form philosophies into the game with great accuracy. The forms are exclusive to JoF and only taught by the dedicated form masters of the clan with Aldro and Shree Koon as head teachers.
The Seven Classic Forms including the Sub Forms
Below you will be able to find a short description of each of the seven forms of lightsaber combat as well as descriptions of the sub forms.
Please note, that learning a form does not necessarily guarantee that the practitioner will be able to beat different dueling styles, what learning a form means, is that the practitioner will be taught a specific dueling philosophy, that can be applied when dueling other form practitioners as well as duelers in general.
"Many people have asked me to use a specific form against them while dueling, as well as questions stating that I did not use forms against them or whether or not that I actually did use any. What people need to understand is that when you learn and study a form for a very long time, the stuff that you learn sticks and you can not simply forget what you have learned and not draw from it. You tend to use what you have learned even though you do not realise it - You will always have what you learned in the back of your head, or in your sub-conscience so to speak. For example, even though you might be using the rarely used blue style in-game, you still draw upon your knowledge regarding range, movement and footwork etc."
― Aldro Koon on form usage
The first form, Shii-Cho, also known as the "Way of the Sarlacc" or the "Determination Form", is the most 'basic' of all the seven forms and is learned by every jedi youngling. Shii-Cho features the fundamental elements of all the lightsaber forms, including attack, parry, body target zones as well as practise drills called velocities.
The first form is practised in-game on the same level as any other form, and is therefore not to be confused with being merely a 'basic' form that anyone can learn and master. Mastering the form of Shii-Cho takes as much effort as mastering any other form.
In-game the first form is considered to be a passive approach on dueling. Shii-Cho utilises the yellow dueling stance and teaches the practitioner how to apply the yellow stance in order to defend oneself as well as a certain movement pattern, timing and of course distance. The form of Shii-Cho is best used against an opponent using the yellow dueling stance.
The second form, Makashi, also known as the "Way of the Ysalamir" or the "Contention Form", was said to represent the ultimate refinement of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. Practitioners that mastered Makashi developed unique offenses as well as defenses and trained studiously against having their sabers taken or damaged during combat.
It is required that members that wish to learn the arts of Makashi must have at least mastered two other forms before they begin studying the second form.
Makashi is considered to be an an offensive yet also defensive approach on dueling. Makashi utilises the yellow and focuses on striking the opponent during all possible openings using rapid hits while still maintaining distance to the opponent. Practitioners of Makashi is taught to be unpredictable. The second form is best used against an opponent practising the red stance.
The third form, Soresu, also known as the "Way of the Mynock" or the "Resilience Form", was first developed in response to the rapid advancement and use of blaster technology in the galaxy. The form of Soresu is said to be the most defensive and passive of the seven classic forms due to its emphasis on tight and efficient movements that, if used correctly, expose very minimal target areas.
In-game the arts of Soresu is taught out like the defensive style that it is, and features a passive approach on lightsaber dueling. While being a passive defensive form it teaches the practitioner how to protect itself using most of the dueling stances. The practitioner of Soresu is taught theories on walkovers, counters and parries etc. The third form can be used against practically any lightsaber dueling type and/or stance, because of its extensive focus on defense.
The fourth form, Ataru, also known as the "Way of the Hawk-Bat" or the "Aggression Form", is hands down the most acrobatic of all the lightsaber forms and therefore requires a practitioner to first master the acrobatic force abilities such as jump, run and spin. By incorporating the acrobatic force powers and abilities that allow a practitioner to exceed standard norms of physical abilities, practitioners may resemble nothing less than a blur when applying the style of Ataru.
When applied in-game, the form of Ataru relies heavily on acrobatic feats such as strafe-jumping as well as different types of advanced cartwheels, which are each employed in their very own situation. Ataru is said to be a defensive approach on dueling despite its heavy use of acrobatic maneuvers, but is yet also considered to be an offensive approach depending on the situation. The fourth form teaches the practitioner how to implement strafe-jumping, cartwheels and different aerial attacks in duels, as well as how to use the environment to your advantage. Ataru specialises in the use of the yellow dueling stance and is often used against opponents using either the red or the yellow stance.
The fifth form, Djem So, also known as the "Way of the Krayt Dragon" or the "Perseverance Form", was like the third form also developed in response to the use of and advancement of blaster usage in the galaxy. Unlike the third form, the fifth form differentiates itself by exploiting the blocking abilities of lightsabers to block back bolts and deflect them back onto the opponent in a counter-attacking maneuver. While dueling the fifth form focuses on strength.
The fifth form of Djem So is considered an aggressive approach on lightsaber dueling. It utilises the strong red stance in-game, but while still being somewhat slow the practitioners of Djem So is widely considered to be aggressive duelers. Practitioners of Djem So is taught how to attack aggressively using the red dueling stance. This is done by teaching the practitioner the arts of red stance aerials, extensions and delays just to name a few. Djem So is best utilised against opponents using the red stance as well as staffs and dual lightsabers.
The sixth form, Niman, also known as the "Way of the Rancor" or the "Moderation Form", seeks to balance the emphases of lightsaber forms 1 through 5. The aim of Niman is to allow the practitioner to fight with a certain harmony and justice in their moves without having to resort to aggressive and powerful movements or overt emotion.
The form of Niman is strictly an attacking form and is applied in-game using the yellow dueling stance. Practitioners of Niman is taught how to use the yellow dueling stance in order to successfully attack and neutralise opponents with deadly yellow stance combos and ways to break an opponents defense. The sixth form is best used against opponents using the yellow stance.
The seventh and last of the classic seven forms, Vaapad, also known as the "Way of the Vornskr" or the "Ferocity Form", employs rapid bold and direct movements, more open and kinetic than the style of the fifth form, but then again not as elaborate as the acrobatic form of Ataru. The style of the seventh form requires greater energy and intensity out of the practitioner because the focus of the seventh form is wielded more broadly and draws upon from a deeper well of emotion, even though the outward bearing of a Vaapad practitioner is one of calm, the inner pressure verges on explosive. It was said that practitioners of Vaapad was constantly fighting on the edge of falling to the dark side of the force when using the form, which is why it by many was considered the most dangeroues in regard to falling to the dark side, because it required a certain amount of actual enjoyment in the fight from the person experiencing it.
Basically, it was said that the practitioner used the form to reflect the opponents rage against himself. Incorporating that in-game would mean that the practitioner would need to adapt directly to its opponent and therefore possess an enormous amount of knowledge regarding dueling techniques applied in the game. Possessing such high understanding of the game mechanics is considered to be very difficult and would require years of practise and mastering of basically every other form, which is why the form of Vaapad is not to be taught out.
The sub form of Sokan is said to be a method of fighthing that focused heavily on tactical superiority of the practitioner; on using the terrain and environment to one's advantage.
Sokan is incorporated into the game as a passive approach on dueling and is to be carried out using the yellow dueling stance against opponents using the red stance. When studying Sokan the practitioner is taught how to counter aerial attacks and different advantages with the use of the surrounding terrain and environment.
While being much alike the form of Djem So on many points, Shien is still by form masters of JoF considered to be a sub form.
The sub form of Shien is classified as an offensive yet defensive approach of lightsaber dueling depending on the situation the practitioner find itself in. The form of Shien is applied by the use of the lightsaber staff, and is best used against opponents wiedling a single-bladed lightsaber using either of the stances. Shien practitioners are taught general and advanced staff gameplay ranging from everything from movement to distance, delays and aerials.
The sub form of Jar'Kai revolves around dual-lightsaber combat.
The sub form of Jar'Kai is like many of the other forms said to contain both offensive and defensive approaches to lightsaber dueling. Practitioners of Jar'Kai is taught how to successfully wield dual lightsabers to their advantage and basically anything from movement patterns to distance, delays and aerials. Jar'Kai is carried out by using dual lightsabers and is best applied against opponents wielding a single-bladed lightsaber using either of the stances.
The last sub form, Zero, was unlike the rest of the forms emphasised on avoiding conflict whenever possible.
The sub form of Zero is implemented in-game with the use of a single-bladed yellow-stanced lightsaber againt an opponent using the yellow stance as well. The main area practitioners of sub form Zero is taught is to be unpredictable and avoid leaving openings for the opponent to exploit.