Chapter 9

Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad

"Six there were for generations of Jedi. The seventh, is not well-known." ―Yoda

     Like Form V, Form VII is split into two parts, Juyo and
Vaapad. They are known as the Ferocity Form and the Way of The
Vornskr. The Vornskr was a vicious, predatory animal that was
able to detect and hunt Force-Sensitive creatures. Their
favorite prey was the Ysalamir, the animal Symbolizing Form II.
This viciousness and focus on Force-Users is key in
understanding Form VII.
     The history of Juyo is hard to place. It first appeared
about a millenia before the Rise of the Galactic Empire, around
the time when the Jedi and Sith were in a state of Civil War
amongst each other. Each move was a constant form of attack, and
left no space for defense. Juyo attacks were bold and direct,
moving in a series of seemingly unconnected movements. It was
the most most kinetic form, requiring a constant state of
movement. However, it was not as acrobatically inclined as
Ataru. Its main strength came from the user relying on a well of
emotion, almost to the point where they had to enjoy the combat.
     This last aspect is why Juyo was eventually looked at with
a cautious eye by the Jedi.  Enjoying the battle, the thrill of
the fight, lead to the Dark Side of the Force. Eventually, the
Jedi Order restricted the teachings of Juyo, with only the
highest ranked Masters being able to study it. Juyo was perfect
philosophically for the Sith, whose main tenets were to give
into desire and anger to relish in the combat. This has led many
to believe that Juyo was for Sith only, while there were still
some Jedi (though few) who used it. Despite what side used it,
it was widely considered the most dangerous of the Forms.
     Vaapad is the youngest of the Seven Forms, having been
developed in the last few decades of the Old Republic. It was
developed by Mace "BMF" Windu as a means of channeling his
tendencies towards the Dark Side. It was developed alongside
Lightsaber Combat instructor Sora Bulq. Aside from Mace and
Sora, the only person to know Vaapad was Mace's Padawan, Depa
Billaba. Unfortunately, both Sora and Depa fell to the Dark
Side, making Mace the only Master of the Form. Mace had since
restricted use of the Form, so much as halting a sparring match
with a friend and demanding he never use those techniques again
for fear he would slip to the Dark Side.
     While Vaapad was every bit Mace's Form, Juyo was
exemplified by Darth Maul. Maul was Emperor Palpatine/Darth
Sidious' first known apprentice, and a master of the saberstaff.
In his fight with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jin, he is moving with
nearly reckless abandon. He is putting all of himself, not just
his body and his mind, but his emotional being into every
stroke. You can see in some close ups that he is enjoying this.
His movements against Obi-Wan are sharp, going from one move to
the next without hesitation and preamble, not giving the young
padawan much time to react.
     Form VII is, in many ways, similar to Niman as both
required the practitioner to have mastered several of the other
Forms. This took time, at least ten years if one is studying it
the same way one did Niman.  That meant that a Juyo/Vapaad User
had to not only use these form, but understand them at their
core, to know and acknowledge what each meant. They then had to
learn the principle of Juyo, to give in to their emotions and
impulses and to never give up the offensive. While Form VI
focused on commitment to defense, Form VII relies on full
commitment to the attack.
     In a sense, Juyo is the culmination of Lightsaber Combat as
a whole. Lightsaber Combat began with the simplistic style of
Shii Cho and culminated in Niman, combining it and the five
forms before it into a central focus and discipline. Niman was
the closing of the Circle. Juyo and Vaapad are outside of that
circle, relying on the user's emotional core and personal
feelings above and beyond some doctrine. Form VII is, with no
doubt in my mind, the Anarchist Form.
     So the question becomes, what is the ultimate difference
between Juyo and Vaapad? Ultimately, it boiled down to
philosophy. Juyo relied on emotion-pure, unbridled emotion-
fueling the fire of the attack; it was unrestrained inside the
user while the outside remained calm. While Juyo was the
Inferno, Vaapad attempts to channel that fire, giving more focus
and control without succumbing to it. Think of a steam
locomotive: all that fire, heat and coal burning hot and keeping
the engine going, with only the conductor making sure it doesn't
jump off the rails.
     Form VII's strength lies within its unpredictability and in
its tenacity. The opponent is not sure what move will be coming
next, or from where. Like Niman, the movements were at the
discretion, imagination and improvisation of the user, which
meant the use of either form was only as good as the quick
thinking of the person using it. Another concern was becoming
too engulfed by the heat of the moment, and therefore losing
sight and focus of their goal and/or their surroundings.

Finally, Form VII's reliance on pure attacks left it no defense.
While this can be compensated for with creative attacks, it was
a particular blind spot.

In finding a martial art for Form VII, I still am drawn to the teachings of Bruce Lee and Jeet Kune Do. Bruce Lee studied several different arts, many of which appealed to his strengths and his preferences as a fighter. He had made his martial art a personal thing, not bound by rote or dogma. He had become a fighter that reacted on reflex, to the point where he was intercepting the opponents attack before they could fully engage (hence "The Way Of The Intercepting Fist"). Another thing to look at is the now infamous training scene in Lee's Film Enter The Dragon, where he tells his student that fighting isn't just for show. One must use emotional content in their attack. Perhaps to the chagrin of the Sith, he snapped at his student when he employed anger in his attack.

     Another Martial Art that matches the overall feel and vibe
with Form VII is Kenpo. It relies on fast strikes, both
offensively and defensively. As a Kenpo practitioner described
it to me, "The idea isn't to just block the punch, it's to make
it as uncomfortable as possible". The practitioner attacks the
attackers arm, pushing it out of the way and leaving them open
to follow up attacks. The attacks seem random, but it is only
due to the rapid succession of blows going up the arm and to
other vital or open spots.
     There should be something said in terms of the movies. Juyo
was based on the performance of Ray Park as Darth Maul in
Episode I. Park is a champion Wushu user, and used several
techniques in the fight. While I did say that Ataru employed
some Wushu techniques, there is some ground for overlap. It can
also be argued in Canon that Maul may have preferred using Ataru
style techniques in his attacks.
     In terms of Stage combat, the Jedi Community has the
Numbers System. The Numbers System is a pattern of attacks.
Unlike the Alphabet System, they focus more on rapid high and
low attacks in a number of exchanges (hence the name). The
distinctness of the numbers is that both characters fighting are
attacking, the blades clashing in mid air. There's some
discrepancy in its usage on stage, some preferring it above the
others while others feel that it's flashy and takes away from
the "story of combat", meaning that there is no clear image of
who is the attacker or defender in the exchange. I feel that the
numbers work as a bridge, a moment in the fight where the
characters are evenly matched and are trying to find a chink in
the others defenses. I personally use it to transition from one
major exchange to another, or while speaking lines. Regardless,
it does match the fast and sharp approach of Form VII.
     Not surprisingly, Form VII is a favorite among the
community. Even less surprising is its popularity amongst
Sith/Dark/Rogue characters. Notable Juyo users include Roy
Kaiser (as Darth Malice), NY Jedi Master and Founding member of
New Jedi Order; "T" Hannigan (Sith'ari Dra'Kaz), a ninjitsu
practitioner who employs the form with a saberstaff. Other users
include Brad Worrel (Ar'vage) another co-founding member of NJO,
he wields a five foot long Claymore Saber; Melissa Koval
(Tindome Uruva) developed a solo form based on Trispzest, which
is flying Juyo (Tindome is a Bat-Humanoid and can fly); Other
users include Chris Abrams (Xeo Xeniro); John Loobie (Jai'ko
Lybro); and Mike Merin (Darth K'Sheen)'s staff work. Vaapad
users include Flynn (Talek), founder of New York Jedi; Jess
Mermelstein (Tarynn Fireside), stage combatant and director; and
Steve Cohen (Joga Crosswind).
Chapter 10
Subpages (1): Chapter 10