- "Form II, also called Makashi, represents the ultimate refinement of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat."
- — Cin Drallig
Form II: Makashi, the Way of the Ysalamiri, or the Contention Form, is the second of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Makashi users tend to be elegant, precise, calm, confident, and even arrogant. Form II users are usually supremely confident in their chances for victory, and often look relaxed when they are fighting, or even appear to be dancing.
After Form I's proliferation as a lightsaber combat technique, Form II came about as a means of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. It is described as being very elegant, powerful, and requiring extreme precision, allowing the user to attack and defend with minimal effort, often wielding the blade one-handed for greater range of movement and fluidity. The form relies on parries, thrusts, and small, precise cuts - as opposed to the blocking and slashing of the other forms. It requires very fluid movements of both the blade and the body. Form II counters sun djem, the goal of early Shii-Cho masters, by being well trained in the prevention of disarming and weapon destruction.
The opening stance for a dedicated Makashi user is a single-handed low guard, with the blade angled downward at the practitioner's side. The formal salute that Count Dooku offered Yoda on Geonosis was a "Makashi salute", while a Makashi flourish consists of drawing a rapid X in the air with the blade.
Feints are commonly used to confuse or set-up their opponents for a trap. Precise footwork and movements are 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 is very refined and requires intense focus. Timing, accuracy, and skill, rather than strength, are relied on to defeat one's opponent, and with a skilled practitioner, the results can be extremely potent.
The footwork of Makashi practitioners follows a single line, front and back, shifting the feet to keep in perfect balance as the practitioner attacks and retreats. Makashi is a style which is based on balance, back-and-forth charges, and thrusts and sudden retreats. Elegance, gallantry, enchantment, finesse, artfulness, and economy are the core of Makashi. Makashi duelists generally train themselves to avoid enslavement to form, as such enslavement opens the practitioner to be defeated by unpredictability and the unforeseen.
The drawback of Makashi is a relatively lower level of defense against blaster bolts. When fighting a physically strong opponent, a Makashi user also needs to be careful not to try and match them power for power. As mentioned before, Makashi users rely on timing and precision in both movement and blade manipulation, often wielding the blade one-handed, waiting for the momentum of the opponent to play out for an easy victory. Thus, they are not able to generate as much kinetic power as the two-handed slashes like those used in Djem So.
As a result, Ataru masters often attempt to disrupt the balance of a Makashi duelist by the Force-assisted acrobatics of Form IV, striking from every direction to disturb the balance and footwork of a Form II practitioner; while a Djem So practitioner attempts to overwhelm the Makashi defense with pure strength and frontal, direct attacks. To answer such threats, Makashi duelists usually call on the Force to assist their body movements when facing Form IV masters, or use the Force to strengthen their defense against Form V users.
When facing multiple enemies, a single Makashi duelist tries to isolate the enemy from each other, so that the Makashi duelist can fight each of them in turn rather than all of them at the same time. Makashi masters will even attempt to force the enemies to get in each other's way.
The lightsaber handle of many Makashi users was curved, allowing for better manipulation of the blade during parries and thrusts. This was common during the early years of the Republic, when many of the Jedi used the Makashi form. In the years before the Great Jedi Purge, the curved lightsaber handle fell out of use as interest in Makashi waned.
Known Exodus Masters of Makashi
- "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