In our article discussing the traditional lightsaber forms, we mention all 7 of the styles depicted in Star Wars lore. From the original disarming style of Form I through to the deadly Juyo/Vaapad, almost every physical possibility of saber combat is explored.
But what happens when you put a second saber into your hands? How do you adapt a form designed for a certain balance to suddenly cater for double the considerations? How do you fight with two lightsabers at once?
That's where Jar'kai comes in. This un-numbered form is the favoured style of Asajj Ventress and Ahsoka Tano - both of whom wield two sabers.
What is Jar'kai
Jar'kai is not strictly a form. Instead it is the concept of using two sabers effectively in combat. Many Jedi were forced to briefly employ Jar'kai during fights when they retrieved their fallen comrade or enemy sabers in battle.
Jar'kai wielders had to also learn the forms - with Niman and Ataru particularly useful for their style thanks to the focus on balance and force-enhanced agility. When you're using two sabers, any force advantage is worth taking. Asajj Ventress adapted Jar'kai to include Makashi, Ataru and Juyo - using all of these styles to rack up her fearsome reputation during the Clone Wars.
Strangely, General Grievous was able to employ Jar'kai with multiple sabers at once despite having no force abilities. However, his multiple limbs and cybernetic strength made the feat far easier.
Famous Jar'kai users
Let's take a look at some famous Jar'kai users.
Why does Ahsoka have two lightsabers? Why not!? If you've only glimpsed this ex-Jedi in The Mandalorian, you may have wondered why Rosario Dawson's character wields two sabers.
Ahsoka is a supreme duellist in the lore, so adept with duelling sabers that she crafted her own secondary weapon to use to overwhelm opponents. Her second saber was a shorter length Shoto-style blade, which allowed her to make swift parrys and disarming attacks.
However, after being framed for treason and exiling herself from the Jedi and Sith, Tano switched to a pair of two white lightsabers to wield during her time with the nascent rebellion.
As a former student of Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress was always destined to build a great duelling reputation. In the original Star Wars Legends universe, Ventress wielded two single red sabers. In the new Canon, she instead wields red-bladed curved hilts that mimic Dooku's unique duelling hilts and can be attached together to form a double-bladed saber.
Asajj would eventually be betrayed by Dooku, which led to her replacing her sabers with a yellow bladed single one. However, it was during her time with the dual wielded lightsabers that she became the terrifying assassin she was known for being.
How to fight with two duelling sabers
Fighting with two sabers gives you lots of new opportunities for duelling - but it also comes with a number of considerations. The most important ones are:
- Be aware of each blade: when wielding dual sabers, you run the risk of accidentally catching the other blade when you're duelling. This can be a critical error when every moment counts.
- No two-handed control: wielding a single blade means you can often switch to a two-handed grip for added power and control. When you're dual wielding, this isn't possible - and your opponents can press their advantage.
- Apply other forms like Niman and Ataru: Jar'Kai isn't a form in itself. You still need to practice other duelling concepts and forms to build your attacks - then adapt them to Jar'kai. Niman and Ataru are both good options here.
- Experiment with different grips: Ahsoka Tano is famous for using her shoto saber in a reverse grip, with the blade facing down. This allows her to strike from unexpected angles and get the better of more traditional opponents.
- Try shorter offhand blades: the 'shoto' style of saber is inspired by the real-life Samurai Wakazashi and tanto, both smaller versions of a katana. A shoto blade can be wielded in your offhand as a lighter, faster weapon that can dart in for strikes and parries. Try it out for yourself by choosing a 'small' blade in the options when buying our Duelling Sabers.
Whether you already own a Saberzone saber and want to add another, or you'd like to buy two from the get-go, you'll find that Jar'kai style favours you. Grab your sabers and channel Ahsoka Tano to outduel your opponents in ferocious style.