- "Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?"
- — Yoda
Form IV: Ataru, the Way of the Hawk-Bat, or the Aggression Form, is the fourth of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Form IV was one of the more popular fighting forms in the Jedi Order for many centuries, during and preceding the era of the Clone Wars. The opening stance for Ataru is a balanced two-handed guard: holding the lightsaber vertically with both palms, either on the right or left side of the body.
Ataru is an aggressive combat form relying on a combination of power, speed, and grace. Practitioners of Ataru are always on the offensive, attacking with wide, fast, and powerful swings. Form IV practitioners constantly call upon the Force to aid in their movements and attacks. By allowing the Force to flow throughout their body, they can overcome their physical limitations, including old age, and perform amazing feats of acrobatics, such as somersaults and backflips, not only for attack, but also to evade the attacks and strikes of their opponents.
Those who use Form IV can move at amazing speeds and can deal strong blows by jumping and attacking through the air. Powerful and lightning fast spinning attacks can be utilized from all angles, either from the ground or air. A master in Ataru combat can appear like a blur to their opponents, attacking from all directions - from the front, the sides, overhead, or behind. The Force not only allows them to perform amazing athletic feats, but it also helps to guide their actions and movements in combat.
This form is not as effective for prolonged combat, as the nature of Ataru greatly taxes the body. Nevertheless, Ataru can prove to be an effective combat form when used properly. Jedi skilled in Ataru fight with amazing grace and eye-blurring speed, using Force-assisted acrobatics and maneuvers to attack their opponents with powerful swings and offensive flourishes, never staying in one place long enough for their opponents to mount a proper counterattack.
Through the Force, masters can take Form IV to its highest level. Their moves flow from one to another in the smooth transitions characteristic of Form IV. In addition, three kinds of rotation, called su ma, figure prominently in the style. They are jung su ma (spinning), ton su ma (somersaults), and en su ma (cartwheels). These three moves represent the three possible axes of rotation in a three-dimensional space. Together with Force-enhanced jumps, the rotational su ma moves compose the style, making a master of Ataru a whirlwind of destruction.
Users of other forms have criticized Ataru for its reliance on acrobatics, which tend to require large open spaces to maneuver. Makashi users often use this to their advantage by countering Ataru with a series of flashing thrusts toward the enemy's legs to draw the opponent into a flipping overhead leap, giving the Makashi user a perfect opening to disable or kill their opponent. However, Ataru tends to be popular with smaller species as Ataru’s leaps and flips help to put them on par with larger opponents and their small size means that they don’t need as much room to pull off Form IV’s movements.
Known Exodus Masters of AtaruEdit
- "Ataru is the most acrobatic Form, filled with numerous elaborate moves, and relies heavily upon a Jedi's ability to run, jump, and spin using the Force."
- — Cin Drallig