"Cho mai translates as "to cut off the weapon hand." Because this strike instantly ends an opponent's ability to use a weapon but does not kill, cho mai is always a preferred move in combat."
Cin Drallig[src]

In lightsaber combat, cho mai was the act of cutting off an opponent's weapon hand.

Application and descriptionEdit


Darth Kruhl uses cho mai against Rikkar-Du.

Cho mai was a precision technique as it demonstrated the skill of a swordsman. Considered honorable among lightsiders, it allowed for a victory by causing minimal physical damage. Darksiders consider the mark to be merciful as such individuals prefer to kill opponents rather than maim.[1]

In lightsaber combat, cho mai was often performed by simply driving the opponents blade aside before cutting at the wrist.[2] Other methods include altering the angle of one's parry to catch the opponent's wrist instead of the blade or sliding the weapon inside an opponent's guard during a bladelock to cut off their hand. An even more vicious method consisted of grabbing the opponent's wrist and holding it in place while cutting it off.[3] Executing cho mai was often a question of recognizing an opening and exploiting it, attacking when the opponent left their weapon hand vulnerable. Jedi Knights commonly used it against blaster-wielding opponents.

Notable examplesEdit

In 5000 BBY, in their first duel, Saes Rrogon used cho mai on Relin Druur.[4]

In 3951 BBY, aboard the Hammerhead-class cruiser, Harbinger, Darth Sion initiated cho mai against Kreia. During the confrontation between Meetra Surik and Darth Traya, the former used cho mai against her after weakening the Sith Lord.[5]

In 990 BBY, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane applied cho mai on Hetton shortly before finishing him off on Ambria. Shortly afterwords, he severed the weapon hand of Johun Othone while they dueled in Belia Darzu's stronghold.[6]

In 22 BBY, Obi-Wan Kenobi used cho mai against the bounty hunter Zam Wesell when she tried to shoot him in the back in the Outlander Club. Later on, Count Dooku, alias Darth Tyranus, used cho mai against Anakin Skywalker in a duel during the Battle Of Geonosis.[7]

In 21 BBY, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker used cho mai against Tactical Droid TV-94 when he tortured Eeth Koth and during the First Battle of Saleucami.[8] In that same year, he later used cho mai against bounty hunter Twazzi when she tried to punch him.[9]

In 20 BBY, Asajj Ventress used cho mai against General Grievous in the Battle of Dathomir. She severed one of the general's arms off in an attempt to defeat him, but failed.[10]

Later on, Nightbrother Dathomirian Zabrak Savage Opress used cho mai against Tatsu when he called him a coward in a duel.[11] Shortly after, Obi-Wan Kenobi used cho mai against Savage during the Skirmish on Florrum.[12]

In 19 BBY, Anakin Skywalker used cho mai on Darth Tyranus shortly before killing him through Sai cha on the Separatist flagship Invisible Hand.[3]

During the Battle of Utapau, Obi-Wan used cho mai twice against General Grievous.[3]

At the end of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker again applied cho mai on Mace Windu, as he saw only a brief opportunity to prevent the death of his soon-to-be master.[3]

In 19 BBY, Darth Vader assailed a secret meeting of surviving Jedi with the first to die by his blade being the Jedi Knight Sia-Lan Wezz, having been impaled by the Dark Lord before cutting of her hand as she fell dead, adding insult to injury.[13] That same year, Vader utilized cho mai in combination with a lightsaber throw to sever the hand of Bothan Jedi Master Kai Hudorra during the failed ambush at Kestavel.[14]

In 0 BBY, Obi-Wan used cho mai in Mos Eisley cantina to protect Luke Skywalker.

Cho Mai Jung Ma

A cho mai maneuver combined with Jung ma.

In 3 ABY, Darth Vader severed Luke Skywalker's right hand during the duel at Cloud City.[2]

In 4 ABY, Luke Skywalker returned the favor during his rematch with Vader during the Battle of Endor.[15]

In 10 ABY, during a brief but fierce duel, Luke Skywalker proved victorious after cutting off the hand of a reborn Darth Sidious during the Battle of Pinnacle Base.[16]

Jaden Korr, like his former master Kyle Katarn, was quite skilled in applying cho mai just after winning bladelocks.[17][18]

Years later, Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, used this technique on Luke Skywalker during their duel at the Roqoo Depot.[19]

In 137 ABY, Imperial Knight Elke Vetter lost her hand to Darth Talon.[20]

Also in 137 ABY, Sith Lord Darth Kruhl applied cho mai against Rikkar-Du in between application of two brutal shiim marks. He then killed Rikkar-du.[21]

In 139 ABY, Imperial Knight Jao Assam severed both of Darth Wredd's hands in the Battle of the Floating World.[22]


Non-canon appearances


Notes and referencesEdit

Duel · Dun Möch · Fast style · Jar'Kai · Medium style · Strong style · Form "Zero" · Lus-ma · Mounted · Sokan · Three rings of defense · Trispzest · Tràkata
I (Shii-Cho) · II (Makashi) · III (Soresu) · IV (Ataru) · V (Shien/Djem So) · VI (Niman) · VII (Juyo/Vaapad)
Center of Being · Cho mai · Cho mok · Cho sun · Dulon · Faalo's cadences · Faalo's Will · Falling Leaf · Flowing Water · Jedi ready · Jung · Jung ma · Kai-kan · Mou kei · Mountain Storm · Praetoria Ishu · Praetoria Vonil · Sai · Sai cha · Sai tok · Sequence · Shiak · Shiim · Shun · Snake Ascending a Waterfall‎ · Su · Sun djem · Twin Suns · Velocities
Crossguard lightsaber · Curved-hilt lightsaber · Darksaber · Dual-phase lightsaber · Double-bladed lightsaber · Forcesaber · Imperial Knight lightsaber · Interlocking hilt · Lightclub · Lightfoil · Lightwhip · Long-handle lightsaber · Lightsaber pike · Protosaber · Sabercane · Shoto / Guard shoto · Sith lightsaber · Training lightsaber (Electroblade training sword · Sith training saber)
Lightsaber-resistant materials:
Amphistaff · Armorweave · Cortosis · Force weapon · Mandalorian iron · Neuranium · Orbalisks · Zillo Beast · Phrik · Sith alchemy · Songsteel · Ultrachrome · Vonduun crab
Activation stud · Bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse · Blade power adjustment knob · Blade emitter · Crystal · Diatium power cell · Discharge energy cell · Emitter matrix · Enhancement jewel · Fibercord · Field energizer · Flux aperture · Focusing lens · Force-activated · Hilt · Inert power insulator · Ion energy cell · Locking activator · Pommel cap · Power pack · Pressure grip · Stabilizing ring · Trapped grip
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