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Jar'Kai: Misc



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(Redirected to Niman/Jar'Kai article)

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This article is about the dual blades fighting technique. You may be looking for the sixth form of lightsaber combat known as Niman.
"Perhaps you would like to learn something before you die. The use of two blades, one to support the other, can be traced back thousands of years and was common to both of our species. The invention of lightsabers has done nothing to lessen the effectiveness of this strategy—as you are about to learn."
Bocas'eca to Kyle Katarn

Jar'Kai was originally a style of swordplay that utilized dual-blades, developed by the Yovshin Swordsmen. A similar dual-blade technique referred to as Niman was developed by the Royale Macheteros of the Kashi Mer monarchy.[2] Niman was adopted by the Dark Sider group known as the Legions of Lettow during the First Great Schism, as well as the Jedi Order itself.[2] Niman was developed into the sixth form of Lightsaber combat, retaining its name,[2] while Jar'Kai became something of a blanket term for dual-blade combat.

It should be noted that the fourth form of Lightsaber combat; Ataru; was also known to employ dual-blades as part of its training regimen.[2][16][17]



"This challenge you will not overcome. Your lightsaber is nothing against the power of the dark side."
"That's why I always carry two."
―An unknown Sith and Fortris Gall
Exar Kun, a Niman practitioner, taking up a second blade in combat.

The Jar'Kai style developed by the Yovshin Swordsmen was named for a city on Atrisia. The city of Jar'Kai was also the site where the original Jar'Kai dueling sabers were crafted. These weapons were utilized by the Yovshin and were designed for the express purpose of being dual-wielded.

Niman, the dual-blade style developed by the Royale Macheteros of the Kashi Mer, was named for the dual triumvirate of the Kashi deities. The style was adopted by the Legions of Lettow, a group of Dark Siders responsible for the First Great Schism of the Jedi Order. After the defeat of the Legion at the hands of the Jedi, Niman was adopted by the Jedi order, eventually being refined into the sixth form of lightsaber combat, referred to by the same name.[2] It should be noted that there were Jedi who engaged in dual-blade combat prior to the adoption of Niman by the Order, an example being Awdrysta Pina, who wielded a pair of Jedi katanas in battle. Many Jedi Knights and Sith Lords trained to use Form VI in the hopes of gaining a basic knowledge of the dual-bladed combat, but very few ever achieved complete mastery of Niman.

Both styles predated the invention and usage of lightsabers, but being designed to be practiced with swords, they were easily adapted. In addition, the word "Jar'Kai" became a blanket term for dual-blade combat in general, leading to the birth of the term "Jar'Kai tactic", which was to simply employ two blades in combat, regardless of whether one received training in any dual-blade fighting style.

Dual-blade practitioners of Niman included Jedi Master Kavar, who utilized a shoto as his secondary weapon, and the Jedi trainee turned Sith Lord, Exar Kun, who took up an additional weapon on occasion. However there were few dual-blade duelists that practiced classic Niman, though the Jar'Kai tactic saw fervent usage. Numerous Jedi and Sith were known to take up a secondary blade in combat, though few did so regularly.


Anakin Skywalker engaging in dual-blade blast-deflect training.

Dual-blade fighters, whether classical Niman duelists or individuals applying the Jar'Kai tactic, were able to maintain a strong offense, as the speed of attack that two blades allowed would overwhelm most opponents. A typical maneuver was to continually attack with one blade whilst relying on the other for defensive coverage, ensuring that the duelist could keep up his guard even as he attacked. However, it was common that both blades be used for offensive purposes, keeping up a continuous wave-front assault.

Another advantage of Jar'Kai was that the two blades made it easier to hold off multiple opponents, as one simply had more blades to parry with. Asajj Ventress, a dual-blade practitioner, demonstrated this during her mission on Ruul, where she held her own against up to three Jedi simultaneously.[18] Dual-blades could also be used as a defensive or compensative measure when engaging another opponent who utilized multiple blades in combat, as shown when Kit Fisto stole and took up one of the blades of the cyborg Grievous, whose bizarre mechanical anatomy allowed him to wield up to four lightsabers at once.[7]

Known Jar'Kai techniques and maneuvers include the "Rising Whirlwind", which consisted of a duelist swinging his blades about his body, creating a "whirlwind" of deadly attacks,[19] and the "Twin Strike", in which both blades were swung in an arc towards the opponent in a deadly power attack.[19]

Though a complete fighting system in and of itself, Jar'Kai was easily adapted to other styles. After beginning her tutelage under Darth Tyranus, Asajj Ventress quickly applied Makashi techniques to her practice of Jar'Kai. As Makashi was Tyranus's favored form, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli was able to recognize his training techiques in Asajj's fighting abilities, stating as much. Mace Windu also infused Jar'Kai tactics into his own Vaapad style while on a mission on Haruun Kal, his former apprentice; Depa Billaba; doing likewise.



"...such fighters tended to rely too much on their blades, and pay too little attention to the Force."
Jai Maruk's thoughts on Jar'Kai.
Anakin Skywalker battering away Asajj Ventress' defense with a series of power strokes, demonstrating one of the primary weaknesses of Jar'Kai.

Despite the advantages offered, Jar'Kai was not without its drawbacks. Firstly, as both hands held individual lightsabers, two-handed blows were impossible, and the duelist was unable to put all his or her weight behind blocks, weakening the defensive capabilities. Thusly, an enemy with a single hilt could simply assault a Jar'Kai practitioners defense with brute force, battering away until the dual-blade duelists guard gave way, as shown during Anakin Skywalker's duel with Asajj Ventress on Yavin IV. However, this weakness was hardly absolute, as some duelists possessed the physical strength to block power attacks with only one arm, examples including Grievous, whose mechanically augmented strength allowed him to both effectively defend against and dole out heavy power blows.[20] Asajj Ventress eventually developed the physical strength necessary to compensate for this weakness, being able to hold up simultaneous bladelocks with both Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, both of whom were Form V practitioners.[21]

Secondly, because of the gyroscopic effect inherent in lightsabers, dual-blades were more difficult to control than a single blade. Due to this, special training was required to practice Jar'Kai, and without it, a secondary blade was more of a hindrance than an advantage. Fortunately, dual-blade training was often quite standard amongst most Force-using organizations, though advanced training seemed somewhat rarer.[22][17]

A third trait worthy of note is that Jar'Kai practitioners were often overly reliant on their weapons and bladework, leaving their abilities with the Force underdeveloped.[23] An example of this weakness was evident in the Jedi Battlemaster Raskta Lsu, who was an exceptional duelist, but in her devotion to lightsaber combat, never developed her skills in other areas, forcing her to rely on both her skill with the blade(s) and the support of more Force-adept allies to compensate.[24] Some duelists, such as Asajj Ventress, would become overly reliant on simply having two blades to back up one another, and would be left at a disadvantage if deprived of the one.[25]

Weapon Specifications

Sora Bulq, a Jar'Kai practitioner, wielding a shoto as his secondary weapon.
"...two lightsabers against my poor stick."
Vodo-Siosk Baas

As both Niman and Jar'Kai were developed prior to the invention of lightsabers, they were designed with metal blades in mind. Jar'Kai even had a type of sword created that was specialized to the use of the dual-blade style, the Jar'Kai dueling saber. However, due to the sword-like nature of lightsabers, the styles were relatively easily adapted.

With lightsabers, it was common to wield a short lightsaber, the shoto, as the secondary weapon, as the smaller blade was easier to control. This seemed to be a relatively common practice amongst Jar'Kai duelists within the Jedi Order, with such individuals such as Sora Bulq,[18] Aayla Secura,[26] and others doing so. The Zabrak Maris Brood even took it a step further and wielded dual Guard shotos in combat.[10] Other secondary weapons utilized by Jar'Kai practitioners even included weapons other than lightsabers, such as electrostaffs, as demonstrated by Shaak Ti[27] and Obi-Wan Kenobi,[28] swords composed of a lightsaber-resistant material, which Revan[29] or the Jedi Exile[30] conceivably did, or even simple knives, as shown by Mara Jade Skywalker.[31]

However, since such specialized weapons were not required to utilize Jar'Kai, many dual-blade combatants simply wield two standard blades in combat.


A Jar'Kai practitioner applies the "twin strikes" manuever in combat.

Anakin Skywalker applied Jar'Kai in battle, in conjunction with his skills in Ataru, during his duel with Count Dooku on Geonosis.[17] While his sudden flurry of attack momentarily caught Dooku off guard, Skywalker's lack of advanced training in either Jar'Kai or Ataru allowed Dooku to break through the Jedi's array of weapons, forcing Skywalker onto the defensive before destroying one of the lightsabers.[17] Skywalker's master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, also displayed skill in dual-blade combat, taking up the lightsaber of deceased Jedi Ky Narec, alongside his own during his duel with Narec's fallen student, Asajj Ventress, on Rattatak.[32] Skywalker himself applied Jar'Kai in battle several more times during the Clone Wars.

Ventress, herself a Jar'Kai practitioner, originally took up the style after Narec's death, wielding his lightsaber alongside her own. However, without Narec's guidance, she spiraled down the path of the Dark Side, and this showed in her bladework, which became furiously aggressive. She demonstrated her skills to Count Dooku during his visit to Rattatak, viciously killing off the competitors in The Cauldron in a furious display of bladework and raw power in the Force. During her subsequent duel with the Count, she fell on him in a blind fury, but was nonetheless defeated. However, she did impress the Count, and his Sith Master, Darth Sidious, with her skills. The Count awarded her with a high-ranking position within the CIS military, and the twin curved-lightsabers of his former student, Komari Vosa.[33] Wielding these new lightsabers, Ventress developed her skills under Dooku's tutalege, applying her skills in dual-blade combat to Makashi.[34] Eventually, her prowess as a duelist allowed her to hold her own against up to three adversaries with little difficulty, as she demonstrated during her mission to Ruul.[18]

Asajj Ventress engaging Jedi Master Mace Windu in combat.

Her skills even advanced to the point where she was able to battle and defeat or at least hold her own against Jedi Council masters, something few of her contemporaries could do.[35][18] However, despite her skills, she was not without her weaknesses. During her earlier years, she lacked the major levels of physical strength to compensate for the inherent weaknesses of Jar'Kai; her blows lacked power, as shown by Dooku's casual defensive moves during their bout on Rattatak;[33] and she was left vulnerable to power attacks, as shown by her retreat before Anakin Skywalker's offensive frenzy during their duel on Yavin IV.[36] However, she eventually developed the physical strength necessary to compensate for this weakness, demonstrating the ability to hold up simultaneous bladelocks with both Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano,[25] both of whom were Form V practitioners.[21]


"What was to become of elegance and gallantry if a duelist couldn't make do with one blade?"
Dooku's thoughts on Jar'Kai.


The Dark Jedi Bocas'eca utilizing Jar'Kai against Kyle Katarn.

While many duelist have utilized Jar'Kai at some point, fewer combatants did so on a regular basis. Among the ancient Jedi who did so are Awdrysta Pina, who practised with a pair of Jedi katanas, Kavar,[4] Bastila Shan, Vandar Tokare[3] and Fortris Gall.[37]

During the Jedi Civil War, many of the Dark Jedi that pledged their allegiance to Darths Revan and Malak's Sith Empire used Jar'Kai against their former Jedi brethren.[38] Many of the Sith following Darth Traya's Sith Triumvirate applied the Jar'Kai form in combat.[4]

During the New Sith Wars, the Sith Lord known as the Dark Underlord practiced Jar'Kai, wielding two Sith swords. During this time, the style also had its share of Jedi practitioners, including the Echani Jedi Master Raskta Lsu,[24] and the Twi'lek Jedi Newar Forrth. Over a millennium later, the Twi'lek Dark Jedi Bocas'eca attempted to imitate Forrth, resulting in a clumsy, though effective, style.[39]

During the Clone Wars, the cyborg General Grievous included elements of Jar'Kai in his style of combat. He commonly utilized two lightsabers in battle, but demonstrated the ability to wield four lightsabers, achieving this by splitting his mechanical arms and hands along their lengths, resulting in four arms.[40]Grievous utilized this ability against Jedi such as Kit Fisto[7] and Obi-Wan Kenobi.[40]

Grievous' contemporaries Asajj Ventress and Sora Bulq also utilized Jar'Kai in combat.[33][18] Bulq himself, a master of all known forms of lightsaber combat, often wielded a shoto in combat as his secondary weapon and applied his skills in Jar'Kai to his practice of Vaapad, the legendary Form VII varient that he had aided Mace Windu in the development of prior to his defection to the CIS.

It should be noted that Count Dooku, a famed Makashi practitioner, considered dual-blade combat styles inferior, believing that duelists should either make do with a single blade or not at all. He even went so far as to fault Double-bladed lightsabers for this.[20]

During the Dark Times, a notable Jar'Kai practitioner was the Zabrak Jedi Padawan Maris Brood, who used two guard shotos in combat against Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Galen Marek.[10] Marek himself eventually adopted the form after his apparent death.[41]

Fourteen years after the destruction of the second Death Star, many of Tavion Axmis' New Reborn were trained to use the Jar'Kai style, most notably Axmis' apprentice, Alora. Many Jedi also used Jar'Kai to combat Axmis' Reborn.[42]

Clone Wars-era Jedi Knight A'Sharad Hett also utilized two sabers, using his late father's weapon in conjunction with his own.[43] After he fell to the dark side and became Darth Krayt, he continued to practice Jar'Kai in conjunction with his knowledge of Form VI lightsaber combat[44] up to his death in 137 ABY.[45] Various members of Krayt's Sith Order also practiced Jar'Kai, including the third Darth Wyyrlok[46][47] and Darth Reave.[48]

Other Jar'Kai practitioners include Micah Giiett,[49] Serra Keto,[50] Jeng Droga,[51] and Sa Cuis,[52]


Luke Skywalker utilizing Jar'Kai against Shimrra Jamaane.

Some duelists maintain skill in dual-blade combat, and utilize it often, but not on a regular basis.

In the final year of the New Sith Wars, before the events of the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, the Sith Lord and Blademaster Kas'im displayed his skills in dual-blade combat against against Darth Bane, utilizing the Ataru subform. Kas'im, who had mastered all of the seven classic forms and normally used a double-bladed lightsaber, always discouraged his students at the Korriban Sith Academy against using Jar'Kai, claiming that it was inherently flawed. However, Kas'im's expertise with Jar'Kai was such that he was able to confuse Bane and nearly defeat him.[53]

Jedi duelists known to apply Jar'Kai on occasion include Aayla Secura, who wielded a shoto alongside her lightsaber during many of the more chaotic battles of the Clone Wars,[26] though she was perfectly able utilizing a regular blade as her secondary weapon.[54]

The Grand Master of the New Jedi Order Luke Skywalker displayed his skill with the dual-bladed tactic during the Yuuzhan Vong War, often utilizing it with a shoto in conjunction with his regular lightsaber. During the Swarm War, Approximately five years after the end of the Swarm War, Skywalker applied Jar'Kai in actual combat against the Dark Lady Lumiya on Roqoo Depot[11] and at Gilatter VIII during the Second Galactic Civil War.[55] Luke Skywalker's wife Mara Jade built a shoto per his request when Lumiya re-emerged. She was with Luke on Roqoo Depot when he fought Lumiya; at the same time she dueled Dark Jedi Alema Rar.[11] Mara Jade also used a variant of Jar'Kai when she dueled her nephew and Lumiya's Sith apprentice Jacen Solo on the planet Kavan, using her shoto and vibroblade.[31]

The Sith Master Lomi Plo used Jar'Kai against Skywalker twice out of the three times they dueled, using a standard lightsaber and a shoto.[56][57]


Obi-Wan Kenobi applying Jar'Kai in combat against Grievous.

Kit Fisto took up the lightsaber of his former Padawan, Nahdar Vebb, during his duel with General Grievous, in order to even the odds against the General's multiple weapons. Using the lightsaber, he unleashed his own skill with Jar'Kai,[7] utilizing it in conjunction with his mastery of Form I lightsaber combat, driving back Grievous and holding his own against three of the General's IG-100 MagnaGuards.[7]

In addition to his use of the fighting method against Dooku on Geonosis, Anakin Skywalker performed Jar'Kai against Duros Bounty Hunter, Cad Bane with Ahsoka Tano's lightsaber over the Devaron system and in the Progate Temple on Geonosis, shortly with Luminara Unduli's before releasing her from Queen Karina the Great and returning it to her.

During their participation in the Summertime War on Haruun Kal, Mace Windu and his former student, Depa Billaba, both applied their mastery of Form VII lightsaber combat with dual-blades on occasion.[58] Shaak Ti also appeared to have some training in the style, as she expertly wielded an electrostaff in conjunction with her lightsaber during the Battle of Coruscant;[59] sources describe her wielding dual lightsabers after the Jedi Purge.

It is known that many, if not all, duelists have applied Jar'Kai in combat at some point, even if they lacked specialist knowledge, usually doing so whenever the situation demanded and/or facilitated it. Duelists known to do so include Exar Kun,[60] Joclad Danva,[61] Aurra Sing,[62] Lycan,[63] Quinlan Vos,[64] Corran Horn, Anakin Solo,[65] Darth Maul,[66] Saba Sebatyne,[67] Vestara Khai,[68] and Kol Skywalker.[69]

Behind the scenes

William C. Dietz and Dave Dorman's novella Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, suggests the dual-blade combat predates the invention of the lightsaber. Furthermore, in the Star Wars computer game X-wing Alliance, there is a pair of "Jar'Kai dueling sabers" that are ordinary metal swords. This also suggests that Jar'Kai predated lightsabers, even though the release of X-Wing Alliance was before the behind the scenes "invention" of lightsaber forms. This was confirmed by a Wizard of the Coast supplement, which revealed that the Jar'Kai style, and swords, originated with the Yovshin Swordsmen of Atrisia.

Dooku wielding two lightsabers.

Originally, Dooku would have displayed his ability with two blades against Jedi Master Yoda in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which would have made him a possible Jar'Kai practitioner. However, the idea was later dropped, and in the novel Labyrinth of Evil, Dooku was stated to dislike usages of multiple blades, which made him no longer likely to be a Jar'Kai practitioner. Photos with Christopher Lee wielding two lightsabers with visual effects became promotional pictures; one of them can be seen in the Attack of the Clones Visual Dictionary. Also, the scene where Dooku is wielding two lightsabers was seen in the comic version of Attack of the Clones.

In the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a character's skill in the Jar'Kai form was measured by a set of three feats called Two-Weapon Fighting. Acquiring these feats made the character excel in dual sword or lightsaber combat, but it also increased the character's proficiency in wielding double-bladed lightsabers and swords, and even dual blasters.[38] However, in the game's sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, one of the available implants, called the Enhancement D-Package, allowed a character to use two weapons effectively without having to purchase the Two-Weapon Fighting set of feats.[4] Furthermore, Sith Marauders and Jedi Weapon Masters had the opportunity of leaning the "Superior Two-Weapon Fighting" feats, enabling unparalelled mastery of two-weapon combat.


  • Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  • Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  • The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  • Nomad
  • Star Wars Republic: Emissaries to Malastare
  • Star Wars Republic: The Hunt for Aurra Sing
  • Star Wars Republic: Rite of Passage
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novel
  • The Lesson
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 6"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 7"
  • Rogue's Gallery
  • Jedi: Mace Windu
  • Star Wars Republic: The New Face of War
  • Star Wars Republic 53: Blast Radius
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 17"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 18"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 19"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 20"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 21"
  • Jedi: Count Dooku
  • Old Scores
  • Star Wars Republic 60: Hate and Fear
  • Star Wars Republic: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 22"
  • Star Wars: Obsession
  • Star Wars Republic: The Siege of Saleucami
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 24"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 25"
  • The Clone Wars (film)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destroy Malevolence"
  • The Clone Wars: The Fall of Falleen
  • Star Wars The Clone Wars: In Service of the Republic
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cloak of Darkness"
  • The Clone Wars: The Dreams of General Grievous
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lair of Grievous"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Hidden Enemy"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Legacy of Terror"
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed novelization
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game (PS2, Wii, PSP)
  • Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
  • Resurrection
  • Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady (First appearance)
  • Star Wars 100: First Strike
  • Star Wars 102: School Spirit
  • Star Wars 105: The Party's Over
  • Star Wars 106: My Hiromi
  • Star Wars 107: All Together Now
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Dark Tide I: Onslaught
  • Dark Tide II: Ruin
  • The Unifying Force
  • Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
  • Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
  • Tempest
  • Exile
  • Sacrifice
  • Fury
  • Omen
  • Star Wars Legacy: Broken
  • Star Wars Legacy: Claws of the Dragon
  • Star Wars Legacy 27: Into the Core (cover)
  • Star Wars Legacy 29: Vector, Part 10
  • Star Wars Legacy 31: Vector, Part 12


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1  The Dark Forces Saga, Part 4 on (article)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  5. Star Wars Legacy 1: Broken, Part 1
  6. Jedi: Mace Windu
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Lair of Grievous
  8. Cloak of Darkness
  9. Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 25"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Force Unleashed
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Tempest
  12. Jedi Council: Acts of War
  13. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed novelization
  14. Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady
  15. Dark Tide I: Onslaught
  16. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Fightsaber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Jedi: Mace Windu
  19. 19.0 19.1 Jedi Academy Training Manual
  20. 20.0 20.1 Labyrinth of Evil
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
  22. Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  23. Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
  24. 24.0 24.1 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  25. 25.0 25.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (film)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Star Wars: Battlefront 2
  27. Clone Wars Chapter 25
  28. Grievous Intrigue
  29. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  30. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  31. 31.0 31.1 Sacrifice
  32. Star Wars Republic 60: Hate and Fear
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Clone Wars Chapter 7
  34. Cloak of Darkness
  35. The Cestus Deception
  36. Clone Wars Chapter 19
  37. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 2: New Galactic Order
  38. 38.0 38.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  39. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  40. 40.0 40.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  41. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  42. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  43. Star Wars Republic: Emissaries to Malastare
  44. Legacy Era Campaign Guide
  45. Star Wars Legacy 31: Vector, Part 12
  46. Star Wars Legacy 14: Claws of the Dragon, Part 1
  47. Star Wars Legacy 27: Into the Core, Cover only
  48. Star Wars Legacy 29: Vector, Part 10
  49. Jedi Council: Acts of War
  50. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (video game)
  51. The Dark Forces Saga
  52. In His Image
  53. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  54. Heart of Fire
  55. Exile (novel)
  56. Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
  57. Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
  58. Shatterpoint (novel)
  59. Clone Wars Chapter 25
  60. Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War
  61. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  62. Star Wars Republic: The Hunt for Aurra Sing
  63. Nomad
  64. Star Wars Republic: Rite of Passage
  65. Dark Tide II: Ruin
  66. Resurrection
  67. Fury
  68. Omen
  69. Star Wars: Legacy
Combat Duel · Dun Möch · Fast style · Medium style · Strong style · Form "Zero" · Mounted · Niman/Jar'Kai · Sokan · Three rings of defense · Trispzest · Tràkata
Forms I: Shii-Cho · II: Makashi · III: Soresu · IV: Ataru · V: Shien / Djem So · VI: Niman · VII: Juyo / Vaapad
Techniques Cho mai · Cho mok · Cho sun · Dulon · Faalo's cadences · Faalo's Will · Falling Leaf · Flowing Water · Jedi ready · Jung · Jung ma · Kai-kan · Lus-ma · Mou kei · Sai · Sai cha · Sai tok · Sequence · Shiak · Shiim · Shun · Su · Sun djem · Twin Suns · Velocities
Variations Crossguard lightsaber · Curved-hilt lightsaber · Dual-phase lightsaber · Double-bladed lightsaber · Imperial Knight lightsaber · Lightclub · Lightfoil · Lightwhip · Long-handle lightsaber · Lightsaber pike · Protosaber · Shoto / Guard shoto · Training lightsaber / Sith training saber
Lightsaber-resistant materials Armorweave · Cortosis · Darkswords · Force Weapon · Mandalorian iron · Neuranium · Orbalisks · Phrik · Sith alchemy · Ultrachrome
Technology Blade emitter · Crystal · Diatium power cell · Emitter matrix · Focusing lens · Hilt · Inert power insulator · Pommel cap

This article uses material from the "Niman/Jar'Kai" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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"Perhaps you would like to learn something before you die. The use of two blades, one to support the other, can be traced back thousands of years and was common to both of our species. The invention of lightsabers has done nothing to lessen the effectiveness of this strategy;as you are about to learn."
Boc Aseca to Kyle Katarn
Darth Krayt utilizing Jar'Kai, having had plenty of time to practice.

Jar'Kai was a combat form developed to utilize a specific type of paired blades in sword combat. This duel-wielding technique weathered the ages as an effective combat form, to eventually become a form of lightsaber combat.



A pair of Jar'Kai Dueling Swords
"Ancient style, ancient weapons. No less effective."
—Ancient Sith Blademaster

Jar'Kai was developed by the Yovshin Swordsmen of Atrisia, and the style was named after the city of the same name. It was in this city that forgesmiths origially crafted the Jar'Kai dueling sabers, before 22,000 BBY. The weapons proved to be highly effective for their intended purpose in combat, which was to defend against multiple strikes, and to misdirect opponents to better pierce their defences. From the Yovshin Swordsmen, Jar'Kai spread throughout the galaxy, becoming a relatively popular and effective style of combat for those who were willing to devote time and effort to learning the techniques. As technology progressed, the effectiveness of Jar'Kai also improved, with many of the later saber pairs being vibroblades for additional cutting power to circumvent the loss of power that a single-handed weapon entailed. Jar'Kai was used extensively in some Force sects, particularly the Shards of the Force, who were all required to become at least proficient in the technique. Additionally, it became quite popular in dueling rings, as the nature of coordinating two blades at once could be tweaked to become rather flashy and spectacular, and any Jar'Kai user tended to draw in the betting crowds.

Jar'Kai experienced a change after the advent of lightsabers, and for a time it fell into almost total disuse by those who utilized lightsabers, and those who expected to combat lightsaber users. The reasons for this were varied, but for those who utilized lightsabers, the power cables became a significant issue when using just one, and once a second lightsaber was added to the equation the tangle of power cables essentially ruled out Jar'Kai for lightsaber users. Conversely, the effectiveness of lightsabers at cutting through any material rendered the idea of a defensive offhand pointless, and so Jar'Kai lost the majority of its followers during this period. Some, such as the Shards of the Force, utilized Force Weapon in order to make their blades somewhat effective against lightsabers, but this only slowed the slide of Jar'Kai into obscurity. Then, around 9000 BBY, cortosis was discovered, and suddenly it was possible to defend against lightsabers once more. This helped to further slow the loss of Jar'Kai, until finally it found a stable niche around 7000 BBY, when lightsabers finally developed enough for internal power cells.

Since then, Jar'Kai has had a significantly loyal following amongst both Jedi and Sith, despite being a small following. During the Sith Wars around 3956 BBY there were several Jar'Kai masters, such as Revan and the Jedi Exile, and over the next several thousand years there were a very few highly skilled Jar'Kai practitioners. There were many Jedi and Sith who attempted to learn dual-wielding, but never specifically the Jar'Kai style of combat. However, it became popular with the opponents of the Jedi during the Clone Wars, such as General Grievous and, in particular, Assaj Ventress, who utilized twin curved lightsabers. The most recent truly notable practitioner of Jar'Kai was Darth Krayt, who had plenty of time to learn it over his long lifetime. However, the unparalleled master of Jar'Kai was Amara, who started practicing it when it first developed on Atrisia, and continued to practice it, utilizing both Jar'Kai dueling blades and Jar'Kai lightsabers, right up until Amara was removed from the galaxy at large by Darth Sideous.


Asajj Ventress utilizing Jar'Kai with dual curved sabers.

Jar'Kai was originally developed to be utilized with Jar'Kai dueling sabers, which were specifically designed for dual blade combat. The longer blade was held in the prime hand, and was designed for stabbing, slashing and balanced attacking. In the off-hand was held the shorter, stubbier blade, which was primarily utilized as a supporting blade, operating to defend the user and launch only opportune attacks. By utilizing the off-blade to parry and defend, Jar'Kai left the user with the primary blade free to attack the open gaps in an opponent's guard that formed through their own attacks. Commonly, off-hand parries were combined with simultaneous stabs to vital areas with the primary blade, in a quick strike that would often prove lethal. However, skilled Jar'kai practitioners would extend the form, by utilizing misdirection and confusion to launch attacks from unexpected angles, either by utilizing the off-blade to engage in a proactive offensive, or to defend with the primary blade, or even to perform feints that involved utilizing one blade for a false attack, and pulling it away quickly to be followed up by the second blade. Jar'Kai in this form lent itself far more to stabbing and precise cuts than slashes and sweeps, as the force generated by punching the arm out for a stab was far more explosive and concentrated than the one-handed slashes that would otherwise be relied upon.

In terms of lightsaber combat, Jar'Kai changed slightly, due to the almost-weightless nature of lightsabers and the standardization that tended to be seen amongst lightsaber designs. Though in the strictest sense a curved-hilt lightsaber would serve as the prime and a shoto as the off-hand weapon, it was far more common for Force users who merely wanted to practice Jar'Kai, rather than master it, to simply use a pair of standard lightsabers, necessitating alterations to the combat style. Lightsaber Jar'Kai still tends to utilize the off-hand defensive tactic, but because of the equal length of the blades, and the fact that the lack of weight allowed off-hand lightsabers to be utilized quite effectively, it was not uncommon to see lightsaber Jar'Kai utilizing the off-hand as an attacking blade far more often than the original form of Jar'Kai.

Jar'Kai was not a showy type of combat, focusing far more on finesse and dexterity than the powerful attacks of Form V: Shien / Djem So or the acrobatics of Form IV: Ataru. In this way, it was much more like Form I: Shii-Cho or Form II: Makashi. Once properly trained, any Jar'Kai practitioner could adeptly misdirect and disorient foes to pierce masterfully through their defences, similarly to the style of Form VII: Juyo / Vapaad. To this end, Jar'Kai proved to be significantly effective against those who utilized Form III: Soresu, as the single blade was not often able to stop simultaneous assaults from the prime and off-hand weapons. With standard lightsabers, Jar'Kai tended to focus more on slashes and sweeps of the blades at the opponent, whilst the usage of a curved-hilt saber and a shoto tended to lead to much tighter defences, due to the smaller and more maneuverable nature of a shoto, as well as both the shoto and curved sabers lending themselves more to stabbing than slashing, in a manner very similar to Makashi. Whatever sort of lightsaber was being used, the lightsaber variant was simultaneously far more adaptable and far more deadly than the original form, due to the fact that every edge of a lightsaber was able to cut with ease, as opposed to the single-bladed dueling sabers.


Though a highly capable and deadly form of combat, Jar'Kai was not without its deficiencies. Whether utilzing solid blades or lightsabers, Jar'Kai required intense trainingto be utilized effectively, and also required reasonable concentration during combat, as the user had to be aware of the positions of both hands at all times, and often would have to operate them independantly of each other, which could become significantly difficult if concentration was lax. Additionally, the fact that each blade was held in a single hand, although allowing for faster and more flexible attacks, denied Jar'Kai great power in its attacks, especially with the original blades. Also, the one-handed nature of the defensive blade meant that if an opponent was powerful enough, it would be possible to simply batter through the parries and blocks to injure the Jar'Kai user. Finally, those who were trained strictly in Jar'Kai would often find themselves at a severe disadvantage in combat if either one of their blades were unavailable for use, or rendered inoperable in combat.

Mutability and Broadened Connotations

Jar'Kai was a strong combat discipline all of its own, but many Sith and Jedi tended to blend it with another lightsaber form, practising both, so that if one lightsaber were to be rendered unusable, the owner would not be in mortal peril. Given the precise nature of Jar'Kai, the curved lightsabers used for it, and the era that it was most heavily relied upon, the preferred forms to blend with Jar'Kai were Makashi and Shii-Cho, with Soresu also being a solid choice. Of course, there were other blends, such as Jar'Kata, which was a highly deadly hybrid of both Jar'Kai and Trakata.

However, because of the initial significant use of Jar'Kai in melee combat, the term itself has come to take on a different connotation within the wider community, which is that Jar'Kai is simply a term that refers to utilizing two lightsabers at once. This misinterpretation has lead to beliefs that Force users such as Boc Aseca and Anakin Skywalker have utilized Jar'Kai, when in the strict sense of the combat style they have done no such thing. This rampant misuse of the terminology has even seen its way through to being used to describe wielders of double-bladed lightsabers, which is wholly incorrect. There are several other styles of combat that utilize twin lightsaber blades, and to term them all Jar'Kai is quite wrong. The most predominant of these is dual-bladed Form VI: Niman, which is simply Niman utilizing some of the more basic features of Jar'Kai combat.

Known Practitioners

This article uses material from the "Jar'Kai" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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