Bluegrass Martial Arts 

Djem So

Most sources will list Soresu as the third form of lightsaber combat, however most sources also confuse 3 of the forms to have an alternate variation. In truth the critical nuances that distinguish the form and "variation" more than merit recognizing these as separate forms in total. Where seven forms of lightsaber combat are the norm, ten should be.

Djem So, like Makashi, is named for how the form is transmitted. It is necessary to know how the Jar of Shii Cho works to understand Makashi. In the same way It is necessary to understand the transmission of Djem So to understand how it varies from Soresu and Shien.

So means single weapon as the other previous forms have also been.

Djem means to destroy or kill, so Djem So means to destroy with one, this could be to to destroy with one blade, or one sword, or it could mean to kill with one blow. It's name comes from an old proverb, "the sword, So, that kills, Djem, is the sword that saves"

Djem So is, like Makashi, also an aggressive form, but this stems from Djem So being born out of a period of war.  Also known as the Perseverance Form or the Way of The Krayt Dragon (fierce and powerful reptile that was native to Tatooine) The design of Djem So is based on manipulating an opponent's attack, and overpowering.

The Djem as a way of transmission works as a role play, recreating a battle. In this two man exercise one party must be the aggressor, or the Trill. The aggressor plays the part of projecting the killing intent and the victor responds with a combination of defensive and counter maneuvers to end the encounter defeating the attacker, often finishing with a final killing Sai. The scenario for each Djem is unique, but the common thread in all is that the Trill attacks with little warning and the sword must be pulled from your side, ignited and a counter attack delivered before the Trill can complete the execution of their first strike. 

Djem So is a form that favors strength, and it is very common for users of this form to augment their strength with the force. This form is also favored by reverse grip fighters. Djem So experts transition seamlessly between forward and reverse grip mid combat.

Once the Trill has signaled his intent to attack the Djem begins with the Trakata, the response of grabbing the sword and igniting it into combat. The Trill can be defeated from the front with the Trakata: before he ignites his weapon, as he attempts a Trakata, as he assumes Djem So to attack, as he attacks from Djem So, after blocking the attack, during the attack, and after Trill's attack has missed.

Trill can also attack from behind, or when you are seated in Onith (meditation), you have to be focused to sense this attack

The Trakata is usually part of a first cutting attack, but can also be done into Shii, with Cresh So (reverse grip), or with a Shiak (thrust)

PHASE I (front attack)
Saber Flash
The focus of the first Djem is speed, beat your opponent to the draw.
In this scenario you are aware of the Trill's intent to kill before they draw
As the he reaches for his sword in attempt to strike first, your Trakata is faster to his right elbow, the closest target. In the same breath Djem Sai his head
1. Right advance step to 12:00, Trakata with Sun Mai Cho
2. Raise sword to Djem So and quickly Djem Sai
3. Zerek Shun

Juyo (Through the Midst)
In this Djem the Trill has drawn his sword and is raising it to Djem So. As his arms pass across his eyes Trakata his neck. Use back swing of sword tip to Cho Mai Trill's left hand off as you raise to Djem So. For this Djem the midst is referring to your attack, launched from the advantage of the Trill's vision being obstructed by his own arms. Juyo means lit. To turn or spin, but the Shii of Juyo places the sword pointing forward held by the temple, thus the temple also came to be called Juyo, and when struck to Juyo it is common to feel dizzy (as if you are spinning) and it is difficult to see clearly temporarily.
1. Right advance step to 12:00, Trakata with Sun Cha Cho
2. Center sword to Soresu
3. Left advance step to 12:00, Raise sword to Djem So, Cho Mai Trill's left hand
4. Right advance step to 12:00, Djem Sai
5. Zerek Cho

Kissaki Sun Sweep Mok
In this Djem you Trakata as the Trill attacks with Sai from Djem So, you move off line and cut under Trill's path of attack. Trill will advance into your Sweep Mok, attempting to complete his own attack. The cut follows an upward diagonal path under Trill's right arm. The Tunic, jacket under the Jedi vest, has a fold across this line. The overlapping lapels of this Tunic are called the Kissaki.
1. Right advance step to 1:30, Trakata with Sun Sweep Mok
2. Moon Juyo with left step to 4:30, orbit sword into Shii Cho
3. Djem Moon Sai Mok
4. Turn right hand to Cresh So for Zerek Nadir

Sai Sun Djem (downward cut to wrist)
This Djem completes the first set designed to teach each possible point of response to the Trill's attack. The Pod Binder retreat is to Soresu Trill's Djem Sai, as you Trakata to his wrist after his attack falls short. From there the steps are similar to Juyo but much quicker as you run Trill down to Djem Sai
1. Left retreat and Pod Binder step to 6:00, Trakata with Sai to Cho Mai Trill's wrist
2. Center sword to Soresu
3. Left advance step to 12:00 raise sword to Djem So
4. Right advance step to 12:00 with Djem Sai
5. Turn right hand to Cresh So for Zerek Niman

Trill Cresh Mai Shiak (stabbed with your own sword)
Like Saber Flash, the necessity of beating the Trill to the attack is repeated. In this Djem you are aware of the his intent to kill before he reaches for his weapon. As Trill reaches for his sword in attempt to strike first, you close the distance and strike to his face. In the same breath you grab his sword from his belt, ignite and thrust. If necessary, and if the Jedi has learned any of the Jar, he can follow up with Jar Kai, having now acquired his opponent's Lightsaber.
1. Right advance step to 12:00, right outward hammering sword hand chop directly under Trill's nose, left hand pin Trill's right elbow
2. Right retreat step taking Trill's sword from his belt and ignite
3. Forward Kessel Run advance with Mai Shiak
4. Retreat Kessel Run pulling sword back to Soresu
5. Moon Juyo with left step to 3:00, raise sword to Moon Djem So facing 9:00 then Djem Sai
6. Zerek Shun

Cresh So Cha Shiak
In this Djem Trill is in Djem So and ready to attack. Use Force shout to break his focus and cause his attack to halt as you Cresh So Shiak to his neck. Pull sword back and keep forward intention to push Trill back with Soresu, then advance and Cresh So Djem Sai
1. Right advance step to 12:00, Trakata with Cresh So Cha Shiak and Force shout
2. Pod Binder advance with right front kick to push Trill back, and step forward into Soresu
3. Left advance step to 12:00 and raise sword to Cresh So Djem So
4. Right advance step to 12:00 with Cresh So Djem Sai
5. Zerek Nadir

Cresh So Trakata Moon Mai Cho
This Djem is the defense for Flashing Saber. In this Djem the Trill is quicker with his Trakata and he attacks with Sun Mai Cho. You retreat with Pod Binder to Soresu his attack as you pass your sword around behind your back. As Trill follows with his Djem Sai you Moon Juyo to Soresu his second cut and Cresh So Trakata with Moon Mai Cho to his back. Advance and Djem Sai to the back of Trill's head.
1. Pod Binder retreat and left hand pass handle around back
2. Moon Juyo with left retreat step to 3:00, Cresh So Trakata with Moon Mai Cho
3. Left advance step to 7:30 and raise sword to Cresh So Djem So
4. Right advance step to 7:30 with Cresh So Djem Sai
5. Zerek Nadir

Trill Tallon Roll
In this Djem Trill attacks while you are seated in Onith.  Having the advantage Trill moves to Djem So. As he attacks roll backwards to Soresu his cut. Be sure to pass your sword first to your front so you do not roll over it, then around behind your back to Cresh So Trakata. Trill chases you having missed the first attack and confident his second will kill. Cut his forward knee before he can attack again and quickly rise cutting him with Cresh So Sweep. Change to forward grip then drop with Djem Sai
1. Retreat with Trill Tallon Roll into Sun Krenth, pass sword around back to Cresh So Trakata with Moon Tai Cho
2. Stand with Cresh So Sweep
3. Keep sword high and turn right hand to Xesh So Djem So
4. Drop onto left knee into Sun Krenth and Djem Sai (Falling Leaf)
5. Stand with Zerek Niman

PHASE II (attack from behind)
Shii Cho Moon Sai Mok
Trill strikes from behind in this Djem. Sensing his intention to kill you move forward and just miss getting cut. Your counter attack is delivered from Shii Cho after Trill has completed his first attack and his sword is low enough to not be a danger of advancing into. Keep forward intention to push Trill back with Soresu, then advance and Djem Sai.
1. Right step to 12:00 and Moon Juyo to face 6:00, Cresh So Trakata into Cresh So Shii Cho
2. Left retreat step to 12:00 and Cresh So Moon Sai Mok
3. Turn right hand to forward grip and assume Soresu
4. Left advance step to 6:00, Raise sword to Djem So
5. Right advance step to 6:00 and Djem Sai
6. Zerek Cho

Juyo Moon Cha Cho
In this Djem Uke attacks from behind. Feeling his intention to kill you side step his Djem Sai and Moon Jung to face Trill in Juyo and Moon Cha Cho to the back of his neck. Then quickly finish with Djem Sai.
1. Moon Jung with right step to 9:00 and Trakata into Juyo
2. Moon Jung with left step to 9:00 with Moon Ch Cho
3. Raise sword to Djem So facing 3:00 and Djem Sai
4. Turn right hand to Cresh So and Zerek Niman

Sun Sai Mok Cortay
In this Djem Trill attacks from behind. Feeling his intention to kill you react. If you move before Trill strikes, then Sun Sai Mok across his Kissaki. This Djem should be practiced as he strikes. Use your Sun Sai Mok as a Sun Mai Cortay to deflect Trill's sword. Your Second cut rises up Trill's arms to his throat, then quickly Djem Sun Sai Mok.
1. Sun Jung with left step to 12:00, Trakata with Sun Sweep Mok to the front and continue to orbit sword into Sun Sai Mok facing 6:00
2. Sun Shien parry Trill's sword down
3. Left advance step to 4:30 with Moon Sweep Mok
4. Djem Sun Sai Mok
5. Zerek Shun

Xesh Tallon Roll
In this Djem Trill attacks from behind while you are seated in Onith. Feeling his intention to kill you react with Xesh Tallon Roll to Soresu his cut. Be sure to pass your sword to your front so you do not roll over it. Trill chases you having missed the first attack and confident his second will kill. Sun Jung and Trakata Trill's forward knee before he can attack again.  If Uke falls forward he will fall onto sword in Krenth, if not then use Krenth to push him back. Djem Sai also is from Krenth, do not stand until Zerek Cho
1. Advance with Xesh Tallon Roll on left shoulder and Sun Jung into right Krenth facing 6:00, Trakata with Sun Mai Cho
2. Center sword to Krenth
3. Left advance Hut Slide to 6:00and raise sword into Krenth Djem So
4. Right advance Hut Slide with Krenth Djem Sai
5. Stand with Zerek Cho

PHASE III (multiple attackers)
Djem Sai
In this Djem you are attacked from the front while another opponent sneaks up behind. As the forward opponent reaches for his sword in attempt to strike first, you advance and Trakata to the front. In the same breath you Sun Jung and Djem Sai behind before the rear attacker can initiate his attack
1. Left advance step to 12:00, Trakata to 12:00 with Sweep
2. Sun Jung with Djem Sai to 6:00
3. Moon Jung with right step to 12:00 and Djem Sai
4. Zerek Cho

Ataru Moon Sweep Mok
In this Djem you are attacked from behind while another opponent attempts to distract you from the front. Pretending you didn't know the attacker behind you was there, and sensing his intent to kill you move forward and just miss getting cut. You Trakata into Ataru to counter attack with Moon Sweep Mok to the rear opponent. In the same move, Moon Jung to attack to the front with Sai Mok. Moon Jung to face the rear attacker again and Djem Sai, then repeat to the front.
1. Right step to 12:00 and Moon Jung to face 6:00, Trakata into Ataru
2. Right advance step to 6:00 with Moon Sweep
3. Moon Jung with right step to 12:00 and Moon Sai Mok
4. Moon Jung with right step to 6:00 and Djem Sai
5. Moon Jung with right step to 12:00 and Djem Sai
6. Turn right hand to Cresh So for Zerek Nadir

Aurek Xesh So Shiak
In this Djem you are attacked from the front with another opponent behind. As the forward opponent reaches for his sword in attempt to strike first, you advance and Trakata punching the attacker in front with your handle. In the same move, Moon Juyo to Aurek Moon Mai Shiak the rear attacker. Sun Juyo to face the front attacker again with Sun Mai Cho then Djem Sai. Moon Jung to face the rear attacker again and Djem Sai.
1. Right advance step to 12:00, Trakata with pommel punch to 12:00
2. Moon Juyo with Aurek Moon Mai Shiak to 6:00
3. Sun Juyo with Sun Mai Cho to 12:00
4. Raise sword to Djem So and quickly Djem Sai
5. Moon Jung with right step to 6:00 and Djem Sai
6. Zerek Shun

Thesh Cresh So Shiak
In this Djem you are attacked from behind while another opponent attempts to distract you from the front. Pretending you didn't know the attacker behind you was there and sensing his intent to kill you Cresh So Trakata and Thesh Cresh So Sun Mai Shiak to the rear attacker while still facing the front attacker. Cresh So Moon Mai Cho the front attacker. Moon Jung to face the rear attacker with Cresh So Djem Sai. Moon Jung to face the front attacker again with Cresh So Sweep.
1. Right retreat step to 6:00 with Cresh So Trakata and Thesh Sun Mai Shiak to 6:00 under arm
2. right advance step to 12:00, Cresh So Moon Mai Cho
3. Moon Jung and raise sword to Cresh So Djem So facing 6:00
4. Right advance step to 6:00 with Cresh So Djem Sai
5. Moon Jung with right step to 12:00 and Cresh So Sweep
6. Zerek Niman

The most famous Djem So master is Darth Vader. Although he never displays use of the reverse grip his disciple Starkiller in the Force Unleashed games shows the quality of his reverse grip instruction.

Anakin's internal struggle to not give into his anger and respond by using the dark side to supplement his strength is a common theme in the Star Wars history.


Bluegrass Martial Arts

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