Jedi Knight – A Jedi, Part 4

Life As A Jedi Knight:

Upon completing his training, a Jedi apprentice becomes a Jedi Knight. His life suddenly loses a great deal of structure. He no longer lives and trains on his Teacher's schedule, though he might still cling to it out of habit. Instead, he stands ready to undertake any task that a Jedi can undertake, or resolve any problems that he discoveries on his own. In gaining this freedom and taking on responsibility, the Jedi Knight's life becomes considerably more complicated than when he was simply required to heed his Teacher's instructions and follow his advice. He gains a great deal of autonomy, but loses an equal amount of direction.

The Teacher still has the responsibility to provide the newly titled Jedi Knight with a task, one that gives the new Knight time to adjust to his new status. For some Knights, this is a solo mission, not unlike the mission they might have taken at the culmination of their trials. They might be assigned to assist another Jedi Knight. Others receive an appointment to an office within the Jedi hierarchy based on their skills and talents. They become archivists, researchers or other similar positions. Some might even help train their Teacher's new student as a primer for training their own, or go on a journey of discovery, during which he could find a place or a problem that needed a Jedi Knight.

He might also join a group of others to help a noble cause. Such a Jedi Knight has great autonomy. He might wander the world, lending his skills where they are needed. Alternatively, he can pursue a specific goal such as watching over a person or researching Jedi lore to its completion, even if that means spending the rest of his life in one place. Such decisions are subject to change if the Order has more important tasks for the Jedi Knight.

Training Duels:

When Jedi need to practice their fighting skills, they call upon one another to duel. When they choose to use weapons capable of killing one another, Jedi must be careful not to seriously injure one another. Similarly, when a Jedi Teacher teaches an apprentice the art of combat, he must be mindful of not only his own attacks but those of his student, who might lack the control to attack without harm. Jedi in Training Duels check their attacks. Jedi also observe certain customs to dueling etiquette, both to preserve harmony and to guarantee the safest possible duels. Much of this thinking carries over into the day-to-day behavior of the Jedi Knights.

Fighting Duels are for practice, not for Resolving Disputes.

The Jedi realize that temptation to solve problems with fighting is often very strong, especially for younger Jedi. Thus, this rule is generally the first imparted to a Jedi when his training begins.

Never Endanger Bystanders:

The Jedi Teachers should sternly reprimand Jedi who duel in public, specifically because they wish to avoid accidents.

The Duel Ends if Someone is Injured:

An injured Jedi who insists on continuing a duel might not be thinking clearly. Thus, the duel ends the moment one of the participants suffers a wound. Paradoxically, most Jedi do not consider wounding an opponent in a duel as a victory. Instead, it tells them that they have unconsciously wanted to injure their opponent, which is cause for meditation. A Jedi who has injured an opponent in a duel generally does not participate in a duel again until asked. Some even wait until the opponent they have injured asks for a duel.

Always Honor a Request to End the Duel:

When a Jedi asks for the duel to end, it is considered good form to immediately do so. Customarily, the person who makes the request puts away his weapon or bows if in hand to hand fighting when he makes the request. However, some Jedi Teachers use this point as a test. They leave their weapon out to see whether their apprentices are unwise enough to lower their defenses against an armed opponent - even one they otherwise trust.

Never Strike an Unarmed Opponent:

Jedi Consider armed attacks against an unarmed opponent possible evidence of the dark side's influence. Of course, the same thinking does not apply to unarmed attacks against an unarmed opponent.

Never Strike an Opponent Who is Unprepared:

Even an armed opponent may not be ready for an assault, so the Jedi customarily indicate battle readiness either with a formal salute or by adopting an "on guard" stance. Any other stance indicates that the combatant is not prepared for combat, though he could still verbally indicate otherwise. A weapon held to one side and directed at the floor signifies the default "at rest" stance.

Never Use the Force During a Duel:

Duels are a test of combat skill, not of proficiency with the Force. If a Jedi uses the Force against his opponent during a duel, it is taken as a sign of desperation. This provides a good reason to end the duel, before someone gets hurt. Unfortunately, the habit of not using the Force in combat practice sometimes works against the inexperienced Jedi It does not occur to them that their opponents might not respect this custom. Similarly, using the Force to improve fighting skills is allowed if both participants agree to such beforehand. Calling upon the Force however, is considered extravagant and disrespectful to the Force.

When Practicing Armed Combat Un-Armed Combat Tactics are Considered Fair Game:

Despite the injunction against using the Force, other combat tactics are perfectly legal, since weapon combat involves more than simply exchanging blows. Jedi frequently employ rushing, disarms, knockdowns, and trips, though grapples are generally frowned upon. Attacking an opponent's weapon to try and destroy it is a gross sign of disrespect, since it damages the personal property of a fellow Jedi.

Consequently, few Jedi resort to this tactic. Except in life-or-death struggles.