Avatar: Martial Art Bending Styles Explained

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Published on 2 Feb 2021, 17:45
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The animated series and comic books Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra, have both been inspired by East-Asian cultures in a panoply of ways. We can in this rich universe fashion, myths, customs, and many more elements borrowed from Japan or China, to only name two. But one of the most obvious inspirations that comes from the franchise is the presence of martial arts.

Each one of the Four Nations, be it the Water Tribes, the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom, or the Air Nomads, have their own unique blend of real-life martial arts styles. Movements from the Shaolinquan are incorporated into firebending, while the Air Nomads use what is called the baguazhang style. Waterbenders are tai chi practitioners, a type of martial art connected to the philosophy behind the yin and yang. When it comes to earthbenders, most of them practice a form of Hung Ga, while Toph Beifong makes use of the Northern Praying Mantis style, which when combined with earthbending helps her see via seismic sense. Finally there are the woodbenders that were created for CBR videos. The Wood Tribe being inspired by Okinawan culture uses the all around martial arts that is karate.

Today’s video has a total of 12 entries and will explore various martial arts that are part of each elemental bending techniques. Find out how firebender incorporates their firey rage into their technique, and how waterbenders does the exact opposite by channeling their energies in a different way using tai chi.

00:00 Intro
00:41 Airbending 1: Baguazhang
02:09 Waterbending: Tai chi
03:29 Earthbending 1: Hung Ga
04:59 Firebending 1: Shaolinquan
06:02 Airbending 2: Xing Yi Quan
07:34 Earthbending 2: Nanquan
08:52 Firebending 2: Northern Praying Mantis
09:55 Earthbending 3: Southern Praying Mantis
11:00 Woodbending 1: Okinawan kobudō
12:32 Firebending 3: Changquan
13:35 Woodbending 2: Okinawan karate
14:47 Firebending 4: Southern Dragon Claw

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Written by: AGV
Narrated by: Justin Freitas @JustinFreitasVO
Edited by: *Dr. Teuts*

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