The following links are to videos explaining the different forms taken from the Jedi Path .
There are many places to go to find quality Saber instruction such as Youtube for videos, there are multiple sites that offer instructional videos for sale by download or DVD.
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- "He is a fencer. Leverage, position, advantage—they are as natural to him as breathing."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn's spirit to Yoda on Count Dooku
- Form II, also known as Makashi, The Way of the Ysalamiri, or The Contention Form, was the second of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Developed for the purpose of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, to address the failings of Form I, Makashi was the most dueling-centric of the seven classical forms. Relying on precision and efficiency over Shii-Cho's wild, sweeping motions, Form II allowed an initiate to defend himself against an opponent with minimal effort, while placing a heavy focus on avoiding disarmament.
Makashi was described as elegant and focused, and was based on balance and footwork to outmaneuver opponents. Fluidity, precision, and economy of motion were relied on, rather than strength, with Form II bladework heavily utilizing jabs and light cuts rather than hack and slash movements. Overall, the form was at its fore when engaged in combat against a single enemy duelist. However, after the Hundred-Year Darkness saw the destruction of most of the galaxy's Dark Jedi, the chances of a Jedi encountering a lightsaber-wielding opponent began to decrease drastically. In the intervening years, the Great Hyperspace War and the Old Sith Wars began and ended in fits and starts, which caused the appearance of Dark Jedi and Sith to take on a sporadic pattern. This, combined with the increasing availability of blaster technology, resulted in Jedi encountering ever-increasing numbers of blaster wielding opponents, but only rarely encountering enemy duelists. As Makashi had been designed strictly for blade-to-blade combat, it lacked an effective means of combating enemies with projectile weapons. Due to this oversight, Makashi lost a great deal of its practical applicability, and over time it faded into relative obsolescence. It would eventually be supplanted by Form III, which was both the most defensive of the seven forms and designed specifically for blast-deflection. However, the style would see a return to prominence during the New Sith Wars, a thousand years of off and on warfare which saw the rise and fall of numerous Sith organizations. After the Battle of Ruusan concluded these wars, the style once again faded from popular use and never regained any widespread practice amongst the Jedi.
- "That is so like you, Master Kenobi. I am called a great swordsman because I invented a lethal style; but who is greater, the creator of a killing form—or the master of the classic form?"
- ―Mace Windu to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Form III, also known as Soresu, the Way of the Mynock, or the Resilience Form, was the third of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat that was recognized by the Jedi Council prior to and during the Clone Wars. Soresu was developed during the widespread emergence of blasters as an offensive weapon. Essentially a development on Form I blast-deflect training, Soresu relied on tight bladework and subtle dodges to provide maximum defensive coverage, minimizing exposure to ranged weaponry. Over time, Soresu transcended this basic origin, and came to be considered the ultimate expression of non-aggressive Jedi philosophy.
Like Makashi, Soresu relied on economy of motion and energy efficiency, keeping up constant blade-movement to build up momentum and minimize energy-expenditure. Form III focused on strong defensive technique to essentially outlast an opponent, waiting until he began making mistakes due to frustration or fatigue, before taking advantage of these lapses and countering. However, despite its effectiveness, Soresu would receive heavy criticism due to its lack of offensive capabilities, as it facilitated survival rather than victory. As an answer to these weaknesses, the highly aggressive Ataru and Shien forms would be developed side-by-side.
- "Ataru is the name given to the movements of this form—though it is aggressive, it is focused, and its best use is in combat against a single opponent."
- ―Zez-Kai Ell
Form IV, also known as Ataru, the Way of the Hawk-Bat, or The Aggression Form, was the fourth of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. The history of Ataru stretched back through the Old Republic, to at least as early as the Mandalorian Wars, where it was commonly employed by Jedi of that day. Ataru continued to be a common form among the Jedi in the latter stages of the Republic, and was also known to be employed by the Sith.
An aggressive style, Form IV was fast-paced and effective against single opponents, though weaker in prolonged combat and confined spaces. Also, it was not recommended for use against opponents wielding blasters. Ataru was characterized by Force-assisted acrobatics, such as somersaults and leaping strikes, both for attack and defense. Another characteristic of the form was its fast, powerful strikes from multiple directions. Notable users of this combat form during the Old Republic included Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn. The New Jedi Order preserved knowledge of Ataru and Jedi Masters such as Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker, and Kyle Katarn all employed it.
- "I prefer more straightforward tactics."
"Master of understatement."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Form V, also known by its two primary disciplines of Shien and Djem So, as well as The Way of the Krayt Dragon or The Perseverance Form, was the fifth of seven forms recognized as canon by the last Jedi Council for lightsaber combat. It was developed by practitioners of Form III who felt that the defensively-minded form would unnecessarily extend time spent in combat by forcing its users to wait for an opportunity to strike rather than create their own openings. Form V combat was characterized by power attacks and defense immediately followed by a counter-strike.
Shien, considered the classical variant of Form V, was more adept at blocking blaster bolts than for blade-to-blade combat, whereas Djem So was developed later and was specifically intended for use in lightsaber combat. Both Shien and Djem So were designed to use an opponent's attack against them, as evidenced by Shien's focus on returning blaster bolts to their origin and Djem So's emphasis on immediate counter-attacks. Although some Jedi felt that Form V encouraged aggression and domination, that sentiment did not stop many Jedi from practicing the form.
Form V was developed sometime prior to the Great Sith War, which began in 3996 BBY, and it continued to be used for millennia, during the Jedi Civil War, New Sith Wars, Clone Wars, and beyond. Like the other lightsaber forms, it saw use among both the Sith and Jedi. Knowledge of the form survived the Great Jedi Purge initiated in 19 BBY and into the era of the New Jedi Order. Practitioners of Form V included Jedi Masters Plo Koon and Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker, Aayla Secura, and Ulic Qel-Droma, and Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane.
Form VI Niman
- "For superior balance, use the Niman form. This form has no specific strengths, but no weaknesses either."
Form VI, also known as Niman, the Way of the Rancor, the Moderation Form, and The Diplomat's form, was the sixth form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. This fighting style was a hybrid martial art created by effectively combining elements of the preceding lightsaber forms into a single, generalized form. Niman balanced out between the various specializations of the other forms, covering many of the basic moves, but focusing on overall moderation. This resulted in a fighting style that lacked a significant advantage, but also lacking any serious drawbacks, and thereby not leaving adherents as exposed as some of the more aggressive or specialized forms. Overall, Niman had a fairly relaxed focus on bladework, designed as a simple, easily mastered fighting form for Jedi who preferred to devote most of their time to study and diplomacy. Despite this, it could be absolutely deadly in the hands of a skilled practitioner, as demonstrated by such notables as Exar Kun.
To compensate for the relaxed focus on bladework and lack of significant specialization, Niman training regimens encouraged the inclusion of Force-based attacks in combat, such as telekinetic pulls and shoves used in sync with lightsaber strikes. Also, as Niman was developed from two pre-existing martial arts fighting forms that both emphasized the use of dual-blades, it provided a firm foundation for duelists looking to study into such practices. Ultimately, Niman's success in combat was dependent on a practitioner's intuition and creativity in combat, rather than the rote responses common to the other forms.
Form VII Juyo / Vaapad
How many blades do yo u see?—Ancient Sith Blademaster
Dubbed The Way of the Vornskr, or The Ferocity Form, Juyo, a term from High Galactic, was originally considered an incomplete form for millennia. Developed as an answer to the weakness of Form VI: Niman, whose broad balance left practitioners with no strengths to capitalize on, Juyo had a focus on attack, the type being user-preference. However, Form VII's focus on attack led to a dangerous mindset that tread along the border of the Dark Side. Due to this, it was rarely practiced by Jedi and elements of it were lost. Thanks to this, Juyo was not one of the common forms for generations of Jedi for generations, although it was still formally the sevenths. Then a new Form VII variant was developed, which was nicknamed Vaapad after a creature from Sarapin which moved with speed similar to the bladework utilized by the variant. The nickname, Vaapad, came from students likening it to a predator, the vaapad, which used its tentacles in lightning-fast whipping attacks. It was said to be impossible to tell how many tentacles a vaapad had until it was dead.
The most challenging and demanding of all forms, Form VII required intense focus, a high degree of skill, and mastery of other forms. Only few Jedi have ever mastered Vaapad fully, and most who have fell to the Dark Side despite this.