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4/04/2014

Lightsaber Combat: Form II: Makashi

FORM II: MAKASHI

Form II: Makashi, also known as 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: Shii-Cho, 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 and economy of motion were relied on, rather than strength, with Form II blade-work heavily utilizing jabs and light cuts rather than hack and slash movements. Though Makashi was superb for one-on-one lightsaber dueling, it was not without its weaknesses, being relatively ineffective against multiple opponents and failing to address the issue of blast-deflection. After the Hundred-Year Darkness, during which a Jedi might encounter enemy duelists on a fairly regular basis, the Great Hyperspace War and the Old Sith Wars began and ended in fits and starts. Due to the rapid cycling of the various Sith Lords responsible for starting these wars, Dark Jedi and Sith began to appear only sporadically. This, combined with the increasing availability of blaster technology, resulted in Jedi encountering mounting numbers of blaster wielding opponents, and very few enemy duelists. As such, Makashi became fairly obsolete in terms of its practical application, and it would eventually be supplanted by Soresu, the most defensive of the seven forms.

Makashi duelists were typically skilled in the application of two Marks of Contact; the Sun djem and the Shiak. In a marked difference from the Shii-Cho "disarming slash" maneuver, which was a power attack designed to rip an opponents weapon from his grasp, the typical Form II applications of the sun djem were precise attacks directed at the weapon itself, often destroying it or even burning through an opponents fingers to disarm them. Applications of the shiak were a natural result of Form II footwork and swordplay, all of which followed a single back and forth line, and was seen as an indication of skill and control. 

Advantages of Form II: It is amazing against single opponents and is fueled by a competitive spirit. This form is also useful for variation, as it needs an altered grip lightsaber to get full use. Unpredictable and meant to disable your weapon, Form II: Makashi is meant to easily defeat your opponent in a one-to-one duel.

Disadvantages of Form II: It is horrible against multiple opponents.Mostly considered an acrobatic-footwork form, it is horrible against brute-strength. Anyone with brute-force will eventually defeat a Makashi duelist. This form is also horrible with blast deflection, and this made Makashi useless and unused due to the rise in blaster wielding opponents.

Notable Master of this Form: Jedi Master turned Sith Lord Count Dooku

In the next segment, I will go over the form that was the answer to Form II's complete lack of defense: 
Form III: Soresu. I am Jedi Master Ryan Vickers. May the Force be with you!


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