A few months passed and Karena was easily at the top of her class. Many that had started with her had been killed by the various trials and tasks they had gone through; killed by the environment or an overcompensating Overseer. Her prior combat skills came in handy during those lessons, but she struggled with the Force. “How am I supposed to control something I can’t see or hold?” she questioned. There were some abilities that seemed to come with ease during combat, but she had no idea how she actually caused them to occur. They seemed to happen instinctively. Outside of combat, she had problems focusing on “smaller” things like moving rocks.
This frustrated her immensely. Her entire life, she had been taught that combat was how you got to know another person. Her people didn’t argue…they let out their frustrations in the combat areas. Whether it was hand-to-hand or with their various staffs and practice blades, you always left feeling better than when you walked in. And you always survived. You may leave with some new bruises and a smashed mouth, but you were always able to walk away. Their practice weapons were designed to give a little shock when they hit skin. It was meant less-so to hurt and more-so to inform you that you did something wrong that could get you killed in a real fight.
Back home she always preferred the longer staff during practice. That translated to either a pike or a double-bladed vibroblade in real combat. She didn’t have her own weapon just yet at 13 so it was always a matter of picking from what was left. If anything, it gave her practice with multiple different weapons and techniques. She loved the longer hilts though and the way they fit against her forearm when held.
On Korriban, she wasn’t presented such a luxury. You got what you got…and everyone got the same thing. A dingy practice blade that could barely hold a candle to a walking cane. The hilt itself was enough to annoy her…she could barely fit both hands on it. Even still, her advantage over the other acolytes had been clear…where the Overseer claimed Karena was untrained, her fellow acolytes actually WERE untrained and she felt obligated not to hit as hard during training sessions. She didn’t want them to die; she had seen enough of that. They were in this together after all.