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Form II: Makashi
Technical information
Alternate name(s)
  • Way of the Ysalamir
  • The Contention Form[1]
Form number


Historical information
Notable practitioners
"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: Makashi, also known as The Way of the Ysalamiri, or The Contention Form, was the second form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat.



"Form II, also called Makashi, represents the ultimate refinement of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat."
―Cin Drallig on Form II
Dooku using Makashi against Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on the Invisible Hand

After Form I's proliferation as a lightsaber combat technique, Form II came about as a means of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. It was described as being very elegant, powerful, and requiring extreme precision, allowing the user to attack and defend with minimal effort, while his opponents tired themselves out. Practitioners often wielded the blade one-handed for greater range of movement and fluidity. The form relied on parries, thrusts, and small, precise cuts—as opposed to the blocking and slashing of the other forms. Form II countered sun djem, the goal of early Form I masters, by being well trained in prevention of disarming and weapon destruction.[8]

Form II emphasized fluid motion and anticipation of a weapon being swung at its target, and so required very fluid movements of both the blade and the body.

Feints would also be commonly used to confuse or trap opponents, a tactic that Count Dooku commonly used in combat during the Clone Wars.[9] Precise footwork and movements were required for maintaining proper distance from the opponent during defense and/or when moving in for an attack. The blade manipulation required for this form was very refined and required intense focus, such as Dooku's hurling objects at Anakin while using a one-handed bind to keep Obi-Wan at bay.[10] Timing, accuracy, and skill, rather than strength, were relied on to defeat one's opponent, and with a skilled practitioner, the results were extremely potent.

Dooku using Makashi in a sparring match with Grievous

The footwork of Makashi practitioners followed a single line, front and back, shifting the feet to keep in perfect balance as the practitioner attacked and retreated. Makashi was a style based on balance, on back-and-forth charges, thrusts, and sudden retreats.[9] Elegance, gallantry, enchantment, finesse, artfulness, and economy were the core of Makashi. Dooku displayed this to the extreme during the duel aboard the Invisible Hand, using his footwork to evade Anakin and Obi-Wan so that he could fight them one-on-one instead of at the same time.[10] Makashi duelists also trained themselves to avoid enslavement to form, as such enslavement opened the practitioner to be defeated by predictability and the unforeseen.[11]

Makashi users were often elegant, precise, calm, confident to the point of arrogance (as befit Dooku's personality). Form II users were supremely confident in their chances for victory, and often looked so relaxed when they were fighting they even appeared to be dancing.[9]



"Following the Battle of Ruusan, Form II became an archaism, for there were few situations in which Jedi fought lightsaber-wielding enemies."
―Cin Drallig
The elegance of Makashi against the raw power of Djem So, as personified by Dooku and Anakin Skywalker

Despite its effectiveness, Form II was not without its weaknesses. Among the first of these was the fact that it was somewhat harder to deflect blaster shots with this style. Makashi was developed before blasters had become common place in the galaxy, and Form II training taught its practitioners to defend solely against blades.[1] Skilled users could overcome this obstacle with minimal effort, however.[10]

Another drawback was that Makashi was most potent when used against a single opponent, and therefore was reduced in strength when fighting groups of adversaries. Exceptionally skilled users could still fare very well against multiple foes, however. Dooku, for example, could fight up to four adversaries at once with little difficulty. Others, such as Asajj Ventress, compensated for this difficulty by wielding multiple blades.[6]

However, the greatest flaw of the Makashi system of combat was its lack of kinetic force. The focus on precision and blade control hampered the ability to generate momentum in both its offensive and defensive maneuvers, leaving the attacks easily shunted aside and its parries easily battered aside. This lack of kinetic energy left Makashi practitioners vulnerable against duelists utilizing more recently developed forms, which emphasize power and brute force. Perhaps the most notable demonstration of this was during Dooku's fateful duel with Anakin Skywalker; Dooku was simply unable to generate the necessary power to evenly match Skywalker's preferred form, Djem So. The sheer, raw power of Form V wore down Dooku's defenses, physically exhausting him and draining his reserves of Force power.[10]

Known moves and maneuvers

An Unidentified Nautolan Force-user in the opening stance of Form II
"Finesse. Artfulness. Economy."

Opening stance: The opening stance was a single handed low guard. The saber would be held in the strong hand of the user, and held at his side, the blade pointed down, and the feet would be shoulder width apart. Some faced their opponent side on, so the blade was pointed in their direction. The lightsaber hilt would be held with the thumb pointing down the length of the blade to allow for smaller, tighter, more accurate movements of the saber. The rest of the fingers wrap around the hilt holding it tightly, but not so tight as to limit the fluidity of the movements.

Makashi flourish: The flourish consisted of rapidly drawing an 'X' in the air with the tip of the blade. It often followed the Makashi salute.[11]

Makashi salute: The salute was not an attack or maneuver but a challenge to an opponent. The saber was held in one hand, brought up vertical directly in front of the practitioner's face, then swung down in a Makashi flourish.[11]

Contentious Opportunity: A tactic based upon recognizing and exploiting an opening in the opponent's defense before swiftly moving to strike the exposed enemy.[12]

Makashi Riposte: A defensive technique where the duelist slightly alters the angle of an opponent's attack before quickly retaliating with a counter strike.[12]

Makashi Weapon Specifications

"It feels strange."
Darth Bane referring to a curved-lightsaber, a weapon heavily favored by Makashi practitioners.

Due to Form II's emphasis on blade manipulation, and its many fluid one-handed moves, Makashi practitioners often wielded lightsabers that were specialized for such use. The most prominent weapons for this purpose were Curved-hilt lightsabers. These weapons were used because the curved hilt fit better into the palm, allowing greater precision and strength. In addition to this, wielders often created highly decorated weapons, and occasionally included blade-guards, as shown with Dooku's lightsaber. The other, considerably rarer, weapon type was the Lightfoil, a specialized type of lightsaber used by the Sith Mecrosa Order. Original lightfoils were built with small handles for exclusively one-handed usage, and were much better balanced than typical lightsabers, allowing for greater precision.[13]

However, curved lightsabers and lightfoils were not the only weapons that Makashi could be effectively utilized with; Shaak Ti and Kento Marek both wielded standard lightsaber hilts, and Asajj Ventress proved able to utilize the style with a saberstaff.


"Even with my vision clouded, I recognize the fighting style of Count Dooku."
Luminara Unduli analyzing Asajj Ventress' bladework.

During the New Sith Wars, the Sith apprentice Fohargh practiced Makashi besides Soresu during his training, having been trained by the Sith Blademaster Kas'im.[3]

Asajj Ventress utilizing her dual-blade practice of Makashi against Obi-Wan Kenobi

Dooku was a master of Form II, fighting with the precision built into the ancient technique. When Dooku wielded this form, he had an advantage; the system of Jedi training immediately before and during the Clone Wars did not prepare many of them for the finesse and precise movements of a form bred for lightsaber dueling. It was also one of the forms taught to General Grievous by Dooku himself, and the cyborg General in turn taught Makashi to his IG-100 MagnaGuards.[11] Dooku's Dark Jedi apprentice, Asajj Ventress, was deduced by Jedi Master Luminara Unduli to be a Makashi practitioner.[6]

Jedi Master Cin Drallig, the legendary lightsaber instructor, was another practitioner of Makashi. Additionally, Jedi Council Member, High General Jedi Master Shaak Ti was a master of Makashi, utilizing it in a personalized mix with Form IV. Kento Marek, a Jedi who survived the initial stages of the Great Jedi Purge, had knowledge of basic aspects of Makashi. Darth Vader also incorporated Form II into his specialized variant of Form V.[4] The Jedi Knight Jax Pavan also received Form II training at some point, applying some basic Makashi moves and tactics against Aurra Sing in combat.[14]

Behind the scenes

While it has never been specified, Valenthyne Farfalla may be a practitioner of the second form of lightsaber combat. While dueling Darth Bane, Farfalla's style was described as elegant and clean, and with perfect form.[15] These characteristics are synonymous with those shared by masters of Makashi.[1]

In Republic: Trackdown, Count Dooku commented that Master Tholme was keeping up the dueling instead of blast-deflecting skills, respecting and followed the old ways, both suggesting Tholme may have been another Makashi practitioner.[16] This argument is weakened by the fact that Tholme is seen using Force enhanced acrobatics throughout most of his duels.

Another likely practitioner of Makashi is Sora Bulq, based on statements in the official Databank.[17]

While Darth Sidious is believed to be a Form IV and VII user, no source has confirmed his lightsaber form. Due to comments from Nick Gillard that Sidious has been shown to use several different forms proficiently, it is possible that he has mastered most of them, including Form II.

Makashi, along with the other lightsaber forms, appears in Star Wars Galaxies as part of moves and techniques employable by Jedi characters. This has not definitively been clarified to be canonical. [18]


  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars
  • The Cestus Deception (Possible appearance)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cloak of Darkness"
  • Labyrinth of Evil
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novelization
  • Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows
  • The Force Unleashed novel


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fightsaber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Force Unleashed (novel)
  5. Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Cloak of Darkness
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fury
  8. Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (novel)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Labyrinth of Evil
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jedi Academy Training Manual
  13. Jedi Academy Training Manual
  14. Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows
  15. Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  16. Republic: Trackdown
  17.  Sora Bulq in the Databank
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 "Form II: Makashi" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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