Form III, also known as Soresu and the diplomat's form, was the third form of the seven forms of sword combat. Overall, Soresu had a fairly relaxed focus on bladework, designed as a simple, easily mastered fighting form for duelists who preferred to devote most of their time to study and diplomacy. Despite this, it could be absolutely deadly in the hands of a skilled practitioner, as demonstrated by such notables as Edmund Volaren.
Soresu was the calmest and most defensive of all the Forms, balanced out between the various specializations of the other Forms. Although it covered many of the basic moves, it generally focused on moderation. Form III attempted to balance all elements of sword combat, combining the techniques from Forms that came before into a less intensely demanding combat style. This resulted in a fighting style that lacked a significant advantage, but also lacking any serious drawbacks, and thereby not leaving adherents as exposed as some of the more aggressive or specialized forms. In practice, Form III was a combination of the other forms (Forms I, II, V, and VI), and all of them in moderation. In the blending, much of the individuality was lost, but the strengths were spread evenly, and there was little weakness in it. Due to its “jack-of-all-trades” nature, the success of this form was largely dependent on the practitioner’s intuition, improvisation, and creativity in combat rather than the rote responses derived from other forms. This broad generalization made Form III well suited for diplomats, as they could spend their time training in the areas of politics and negotiation instead of combat training.
To compensate for the relaxed focus on bladework and lack of significant specialization, Soresu training regimens encouraged the inclusion of power-enhanced attacks in combat, such as telekinetic pulls and shoves used in sync with sword strikes. Also, as Soresu was developed from two pre-existing martial arts fighting forms that both emphasized the use of dual-blades, also including the future Forms, it provided a firm foundation for duelists looking to study into such practices. Ultimately, Soresu's success in combat was dependent on a practitioner's intuition and creativity in combat, rather than the rote responses common to the other forms.
According to Baby Intelligence, if a duelist dedicated himself exclusively to Form III, he could expect to study the style for at least ten years before achieving mastery.
Moves and ManeuversEdit
The opening stance of the Soresu form was wide and open, with the blade held out from the body in a one-handed grip, the blade angled upwards and back, while the off-hand was folded across the chest. The feet were evenly spaced. Another Soresu stance featured the blade held at head-height in a two-handed grip, angled upwards and slightly in, with the dominant foot placed forwards. A third position was a two-handed low guard, with the hilt held at waist height in both hands, blade held back and to the side, angled downwards, with the feet closely spaced.
In keeping with the tactic of incorporating superpowers into combat, two primary Form III maneuvers, the "draw closer" and the "pushing slash", were conjunctions between sword moves and telekinetic attacks. Effectively polar opposites of one another, the "draw closer" involved telekinetically seizing an opponent and pulling the enemy into the path of his blade, while the "pushing slash" slammed the opponent with a telekinetic shove after scoring an attack.
Ironically for a fighting form designed to encourage moderation over aggression, Soresu was the chosen discipline of the conflicted yet powerful Edmund Volaren.
Lindsay Kellerman studied Soresu during her apprenticeship, attempting to learn how to apply Appiration (her power) while in the midst of combat, a practice she commented as being difficult. She also studied it to develop her skills with dual-blades, though she commented that she was working on this mostly as an exercise in control, and was doubtful that she would ever need to apply it. Lindsay's assumption was proven wrong when she wielded dual swords against Hell Burnbottom during the Skirmish at the Yellowstone Base. Burnbottom himself possessed enough skill in Soresu to coach his friend, Rotta Hecks. Cecelia Martez was considered the most prolific instructor of Form III, as she was of the five forms below it, teaching Soresu to hundreds of students during her police career. However, despite her skills and mastery, she was easily cut down by the Form IV specialist Sebiscuits during the Second Police Purge.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Soresu was first described in the Saber Danger Combat article, written by Melinda Reid and personally confirmed by D. Isaac Thomas, identified it as Form III sword combat.
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