The Martial Arts of Avatar
The awesome Martial Arts scenes that you see in Avatar the Last Airbender are taken from real life Martial Arts, The animation and the depth that the creators went into the study of each of these Martial Arts scenes was truly extraordinary. Below find out more information about each of the different types of Bending/Martial Arts.
Martial Arts Form: Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a primarily non-violent form of Martial Arts (although it can be used for self defense and combat just as well as any other Martial Art), Tai Chi means “Incredible Energy” And is used modernly as a way to excercise every part of the body from the core and promotes health, vitality, and strength.”¬† I think Tai Chi was an excellent choice for Water benders as it is more of a Defensive type of Martial Arts which promotes healing and regrowth, which are both big themes that the Waterbending Nations were trying to promote throughout the show.
Martial Arts Form: Northern Shaolin
Northern Shaolin is an aggressive form of Martial Arts where the you push the
energy through your body in explosive movements and imagine sending the attack for many miles behind your opponent (a common technique which other Martial Arts use as well).”¬† Norther Shaolin was probably chosen for firebending because of it’s intense and extravagant moves.
Martial Arts Form: Hung Gar
The main theme behind Hung Gar is that it is dependent on a strong and firm stance.”¬† The word Hung Gar means “to stand firm and tall with integrity” The art also emphasizes fluid movement between the different strong types of stances which really fits well with Avatar The Last Airbenders take on Hung Gar for Earth Bending.”¬† Hung Gar is also practiced Blind which is a cool tie in for Toph.
Martial Arts Form: Ba Gua Zhang
Ba Gua Zhang is similar to Tai Chi in that it is internal, but it focuses on following the movements of different types of animals, including: Lion, Snake, Bear, Dragon, Phoenix, Rooster, Qilin, and Monkey.”¬† Training for Ba Gua Zhang is taught with long circular motions designed to allow the student to learn how to move without taking his eyes off his opponent and also ways to quickly get behind and opponent.”¬† You might notice throughout the course of the show Aang constantly moves in circles, this is because of Airbendings roots in Ba Gua Zhang.
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