The centuries of evolution of lightsaber forms ended up in the Shien lightsaber form (Fifth lightsaber form.) It balanced out both the offensive and defensive approach of combats. But, like any other preceding forms, form v also had weaknesses. The form v proved inefficient due to its lack of mobility in the combats. It was not what Jedis could call the best lightsaber form.
If the Jedi Order overcame one weakness, the other had appeared. The Jedi Order struggled to invent the best lightsaber form they could rely on. So, they came up with a unique lightsaber combat form. It was not a newly invented form but combined all preceding combat forms in one form. Let’s talk about the sixth lightsaber form, Niman, its other names, Niman users, and why it is the best lightsaber form.
Lightsaber Form VI – Niman
The lightsaber combat form VI is known as Niman, also known as Moderation form, or a Diplomat’s form. Jedi Order also names this form, the way of the Rancor, after a carnivore beast native to Dathomir planet. You may remember this beast as the one Boba Fett kept in his place, as seen in the “Book of Boba Fett.” series.
Niman is a moderate form. It is a hybrid form that combines all the effective moves of the preceding five lightsaber forms. Likewise, form 6 lightsaber stances do not follow the specialties of previous forms. It is a more generalized form that combines the general moves of those forms.
Niman users are precise like Makashi users, defensive like Soresu users, aggressive like Ataru users, and balanced these two forms like Djem So users. The focus, defense, and aggression may not be as strong as those forms, but it balances all Combat aspects like a Shien lightsaber form. Although the Makashi form was considered excluded, it still had some role in form 6 lightsaber stances.
Niman is a simple lightsaber form with loose bladework. Despite the simple form 6 lightsaber stances, expert Niman users can be absolutely deadly in combat. A Niman user gets enough time to handle the lightsaber tactically and wisely. It is why this form is called the Diplomats form, or the best lightsaber form.
The lightsaber Form 6 users were very effective against thugs and looters. They had mastered the basics of all the lightsaber forms and could easily block thugs’ blasters or go aggressive, ultimately disarming them like a Makashi user. Niman suited the Jedi code and was adopted by many Jedis. Those Jedis who preferred peace and harmony preferred this form and spent most of their time studying the Niman form and its various aspects.
The general approach of the lightsaber from 6 users did not help them dominate the combats. So, this form heavily relied on Force-based attacks to complement their moves. Force abilities like Telekinesis, Telepathy, Force vision, etc. The use of Force is more common during the lightsaber combats compared to other lightsaber forms.
Despite the involvement of all the preceding lightsaber forms, many Jedi masters heavily criticized the Niman form. It was not very popular among the Jedis of the Old Republic, and the reason was its weaknesses.
As we know, Niman users fought moderately in the combats. The Niman form was designed not to leave any weakness, but that main aspect became its own weakness. If Niman users did not give any opening during the combats, they did not get an edge over their enemies either. A lightsaber form 6 user could easily attack like Ataru form or defend like Soresu, but a skilled master of any of these forms could easily dominate a Niman user even if he had mastered form 6 lightsaber stances.
Secondly, Niman was not worth it because of its demanding training. A form that cannot give you an edge in a fight needs a lot of training and study. So, it received critics because it was highly demanding.
Jedis criticize this form for another important reason. Niman users preferred peace but always comes a time when the Jedis have to involve in dangerous combats. Even if the Jedi code is peace, it has to be achieved by all necessary means. Despite being considered the best lightsaber form, Niman had few practitioners due to its soft fighting approach in the lightsaber combats.
Who uses Niman?
Niman was invented in ancient times, and both Jedis and Sith lords practiced one of the best lightsaber forms. During the Jedi civil war, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, and Zez Kai Ell were the Jedi council masters who used the Niman form.
During the Old Sith Wars, some notable Niman users are the Kas’im, also known as blade masters. He was the instructor at the Sith academy. Another famous name of the lightsaber form 6 users is Johun Othone, who was a Jedi during the era of the Old Sith Wars.
Many great Jedis and Sith lords used Niman during the Clone Wars. The very cause of the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious, was a master Niman user and considered it the best lightsaber form. As we know, he preferred to rely on his Force lightning than his lightsaber form. We saw him fighting against Maul and Savage Opress with Niman’s balanced fighting approach.
Darth Maul was the apprentice of Sidious, and he also learned the form 6 lightsaber stances. He wielded a double-bladed lightsaber and had an advantage against multiple opponents.
Master Yoda is a name everyone knows. Master Yoda mastered all the best lightsaber forms, including the Niman form. He preferred to use Ataru mostly. Qui-Gon Jinn was also a master of Niman form, but like Yoda, he trained himself in other lightsaber forms. He even taught Niman to his padawan, Obi-Wan, who taught his Padawan Anakin Skywalker the form 6 lightsaber stances.
Anakin was a proficient Niman user, but as he said, he learned it as an exercise to get control. He was not seen applying the Niman form anywhere. Anakin transferred this knowledge to his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. We did not see her practicing this form either. He was an expert reverse Shien user, a variant for form V.
Cin Dralling was an ultimate Niman user who served during the Clone Wars and even survived the Great Jedi Purge. Despite his mastery in Niman form, Darth Vader, who mastered form V defeated him. We get to see why the Niman form was not worth it against a specialist of other forms. The form 6 lightsaber stances lacked any special moves, as seen in Cin Dralling’s fight against Darth Vader.