Form-Specific Maneuvers in Lightsaber Combat

Lightsaber forms are often discussed in terms of broad generalities. For instance, Soresu (Form III) is known as the style that emphasizes defense, while Ataru (Form IV) and Juyo (Form VII) are for those who prefer to go on the offensive, and Niman (Form VI) is the “balanced” form for combatants who want to be able to do a little of everything. 

The casual fan doesn’t need to know more about lightsaber combat forms than what can be expressed in brief summaries like these. The more devoted fan, however, will eventually want to know more about the intricacies of these forms—particularly if they are really serious about learning how to spar with combat lightsabers. And there is indeed more to learn.

As it happens, the distinctions among the forms go beyond merely their relative balance of offense and defense. Although all forms of lightsaber combat share certain commonalities, each of them has specific moves that are unique to it (at least in Legends). Keep reading for an overview of the most notable of the unique moves associated with each of the 7 forms of lightsaber combat.

Form I: Shii-Cho

  • Disarming Slash – A blow that strikes the opponent’s weapon to destroy it or knock it out of their grip.
  • Sarlacc Sweep – A broad sweep of the lightsaber that attacks multiple opponents in one blow.

Form II: Makashi

  • Contentious Opportunity – Spotting a weakness in the opponent’s defense and then quickly moving in for an attack.
  • Makashi Riposte – Deflecting an opponent’s strike to one side and then immediately launching a counterattack.

Form III: Soresu

  • Circle of Shelter – Creating an impenetrable defensive perimeter around the lightsaber user and, if applicable, their allies as well. 
  • Deflecting Slash – Deflecting an enemy projectile and using the momentum to launch an attack at a nearby opponent.

Form IV: Ataru

  • Hawk-Bat Swoop – An extremely quick attack intended to land a blow before the opponent can react.
  • Saber Swarm – A flurry of quick strikes directed at an opponent.

Form V: Shien & Djem So

  • Barrier of Blades – A defensive tactic that blocks incoming blaster fire and attempts to redirect them back at opponents.
  • Falling Avalanche – Delivering a powerful blow with an overhand stroke, like an avalanche from above.
  • Fluid Riposte – A fluid, quick transition from a parry into a counterattack.
  • Shien Deflection – Blocking enemy projectiles while leaping at an opponent to deliver a deadly blow.

Form VI: Niman

  • Draw Closer – Using the Force to pull the opponent into the wielder’s lightsaber blade.
  • Pushing Slash – Slashing an opponent with a lightsaber strike and then immediately using the Force to shove them away.

Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad

  • Assured Strike – Sacrificing power to deliver a speedy lightsaber strike.
  • Vornskr’s Ferocity – An extremely strong, aggressive attack named after the fierce canine species of the planet Myrkr.
  • Swift Flank – Speedily running or maneuvering around an opponent to deliver an attack from an unexpected angle.
  • Tempered Aggression – A ferocious but emotionally controlled attack generally associated with the Vaapad variant.

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