The 7 lightsaber combat forms are here for a reason. Each one was created to combat a weakness that the prior form had. For example:

Form II, also known as Makashi, The Way of the Ysalamiri, or The Contention Form, was the second of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Developed for the purpose of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, to address the failings of Form I, Makashi was the most dueling-centric of the seven classical forms.

Wookieepedia, Form II

But, in the entire 25,000-300,000 years that the Jedi Order stood they still pushed these forms and these forms alone. Some notable Jedi/Sith have mixed forms, such as Count Dooku; since his form and lightsaber itself was relatively weak against blaster deflection, he incorporated some Niman into his form (he used elements of Niman again when he fought Ventress and Savage Opress, holding off Ventress in a blade lock while holding Savage down with bouts of Force Lightning).

Obi-Wan Kenobi also utilized form mixing into his combat style. When he dueled Darth Vader on Mustafar and was kicked he immediately used that energy of that kick into a flip and landed on his feet. He also used a very basic Form IV aboard the Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith in order to lure Dooku into a false sense of security. Form mixing is also seen in Anakin Skywalker's first duel with Count Dooku when Obi-Wan threw his saber to aid him in defeating Dooku. In all of these cases, form mixing was used to great effect by the best practitioners of their chosen form.

But by incorporating elements from another form into your own formidable one is where we see truly skilled lightsaber duelist. If the Jedi Order taught this the entire order would have been far better at lightsaber combat. They might have survived Order 66 using this technique, or even managed to kill Darth Vader.

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    Comment, not an answer, but it's likely similar to martial arts here; as a beginner one learns Karate or Tae Kwon Do or any other specific style, not a blend. Once one is an expert, one can learn additional styles. My sensei (4th dan Shotokan) had also studied Hapkido (2nd degree), with a particular emphasis on the immobilization techniques (locks) which were complementary to Shotokan.
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 14:35
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    Different forms suit different swordsmen. Their physique and temperament. Also their Force strength.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 14:41
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    Anakin's first duel with Dooku resulted in him being dismembered and nearly dying. Not quite the sterling success you're suggesting
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 14:42
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    The Jedi Order is training everybody from Padawans to Masters and many of those trained wouldn't out as combat specialists. Like most training and education regimes they will go with something versatile and generally competent and allow the prodigies to seek out more advanced techniques and hybrid forms. Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 17:42
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    Not sure how to flesh this out into a proper answer, but IIRC, one of the main themes of the prequel trilogy was how the Jedi Order was too stuck in its ways and refused to evolve. They probably kept using those same forms for thousands of years precisely because they'd been using them for thousands of years.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Because George Lucas was inspired by Kendo (and karate movies)

Meta Answer: And Kendo has forms - there are 10 called Katas.

In-universe: There is only a teacher and pupil Sith. It's unlikely a Jedi would face a Sith opponent. Which meant Jedis in prequel time very rarely fought other Jedi/Sith to the death.

There were schools filled with Jedi, each of which needed to be educated in about the same way. Hence - forms. The forms can easily be shared across teachers and schools. Each master Jedi can only educate so many padawans, so it's great for both evaluation purposes by the council, and friendly rivalries between Jedis or schools (of which there are at least 3). Everyone knows and is measured by the ancient yard-stick. Just like in modern martial arts.

With all the other force powers, it's unlikely a Jedi/Non-Jedi fight would be determined by light-saber skills. This would have made light-sabers less for winning a fight and more for announcing status and comparing your skills against other Jedi.

Remember, Jedis can also control the weak-minded, throw objects with the force, and see the future. Most martial arts stress avoiding a fight whenever possible. As a Jedi, there are much easier ways to win a fight with a non-Jedi like literally pulling the rug out from under someone.

Finally, as order 66 showed, light-sabers are not effective against large groups. They're really only effective against other Jedi that can deflect long-range attacks. As I pointed out above, few Jedi fought to the death in prequel time.

Even in our world, MMA fighters likely learned at least 1 martial art "the long way" and were taught forms. They may not use them in combat, but they used them for practice.

As you mention, battle-hardened Jedi did start using a more MMA style.


The forms are the basic movements once you learn them you can put them together in any way you wish when you fight as we see with the duels you mentioned and others.

You can teach someone a skill you cannot teach them to be skilled

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