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4/07/2014

Lightsaber Combat: Form III: Soresu

Form III: Soresu

Form III: Soresu, also known as 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. A master of Soresu was considered invincible, and the focus on long-term survival allowed such duelists to take stock of and control of their situation, choosing to kill, disarm, or even reason with enemies. However, despite its effectiveness, Soresu would receive heavy criticism due to its lack of offensive capabilities, as it merely facilitated survival rather than victory. As an answer to these weaknesses, the highly aggressive Ataru and Shien forms would be developed side-by-side.

For the Soresu opening stance, the duelist held the blade back in a one-handed grip, angled forwards with the left arm held parallel, the off-hand held up in a challenge. The dominant foot was positioned back. The brace-ready stance had much in common with the "Ataru guard," with the hilt held at waist height on the dominant side in a two-handed grip for greater control, extended vertically upwards. The dominant foot was placed back while the other was extended forwards and to the side in a brace-position. A variation on this stance featured the blade held high in a drop-parry position, though the foot positions were the same. Against individual shooters, Form III duelists were encouraged to apply the "deflecting slash". This move served the dual purposes of allowing a Jedi to redirect the momentum generated by deflecting an enemy projectile into a slashing attack at an adjacent target, and allowing the Jedi to advance and close the distance before the attacker could fire off another shot. A careful application can allow a Jedi to redirect the shot back at the attacker, though this skill is more commonly applied by Shien practitioners. Against multiple blaster-wielding attackers, the "circle of shelter" was advised. This technique could allow a Soresu practitioner to hold off as many as twenty shooters by dropping into a moving meditation, relying on the Force to perceive the various positions of the attackers and the necessary movements to evade or deflect their shots. As this maneuver was executed while in a meditative state, prolonged use may open a Force-adepts mind to visions of the future.

Advantages of Form III: Soresu: Soresu is the perfect expression of Jedi philosophy of defense over offense. Sorseu practitioners often are able to fight for long periods of time without running out of energy. They use blocks and defensive slicing to prevent any injury or harm.

Disadvantages of Form III: Soresu: Soresu's strength is also its weakness, as it has no offense what-so-ever. The complete lack of offense means that Soresu is either a beginning form to wear down your opponents stamina, or it is a last resort so you can get out alive. It must be paired with a more agressive form to be used effectively in combat.

Notable Master of this Form: Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi

Personally, this is my favorite form of Lightsaber combat. However, I do note its weakness in having no offense, so in my next segement, I will cover the Form of lightsaber combat meant to cover this weakness: Form IV: Ataru. I'm Jedi Master Ryan Vickers, May the Force be with you!
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