Airbending

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Airbending

Post by Story Teller on Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:01 am



Airbending, one of the four elemental bending arts, is the aerokinetic ability to control and manipulate air. The peaceful Air Nomads utilized this type of bending in their everyday lives.

Air is the element of freedom. The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly problems and concerns; finding peace and freedom was the key to solving their difficulties in life. Airbenders continually sought spiritual enlightenment, and, as a result, all children born into the Air Nomads were benders. The first airbenders learned their art from the flying bison. The bison typically use their massive beaver-like tail to create gusts of wind and, as the name suggests, can fly without any visible means of propulsion. It is also said that the airbenders borrowed the arrow mark from the flying bison for the design of their traditional tattoos. These markings symbolize one's mastery of the airbending art and are given to a practitioner once their training is complete.



The key to airbending is flexibility and finding and following the path of least resistance. Airbending is notable for being almost purely defensive, as well as the most dynamic of the four bending arts. Airbenders can overwhelm many opponents at once with large and powerful attacks that could prove fatal; however, due to the pacifist nature of the Air Nomads, such attacks are rarely used. Due to their aforementioned spirituality, they often adapt to the situation surrounding them and employ negative jing, preferring evasive maneuvers as opposed to direct confrontation.



Airbending is the most passive of the four arts, as many of its techniques center around mobility, evading and eluding the opponent. Along with this, the Air Nomads also taught pacifism. Earthbending is the direct opposite of this. While the airbenders avoid or deflect oncoming attacks, earthbenders absorb them or overwhelm them with superior force. Airbenders are constantly moving in circles, while earthbenders require a firm root in one place to effectively bend. However, firebending is the spiritual opposite of airbending. Airbenders are passive and peaceful, while firebenders are aggressive and passionate.



Like all of the bending arts, airbending is balanced out as to not be more or less powerful than the other arts, though it is easily the most dynamic and agile of the four. It is the skill and power of the user that determines victory.



TRAINING TOOLS

Several objects can be used to help an airbender hone his ability and master the art.



The airball court doubles as a field for playing airball, as well as training several skills involved with airbending. Balance and dexterity are especially trained by this game. Accuracy is also trained, because the ball is mostly controlled by airbending as well.



Spinning gates are designed so that one has to trust on one's evasive airbending maneuvers to successfully make one's way through the spinning gates. Those wishing to master the spinning gates have to be like a leaf, flowing with the wind instead of forcing one's way through.









WEAPONS



Unlike benders of other nations, who rarely use weapons with their bending, airbenders commonly use their signature staffs to augment their powers in battle. This is usually done by enhancing the air movements created by sweeps or thrusts of the staff. With the staff's narrow profile, the currents created can be more accurately controlled and even shaped into cutting blades. Metal fans can also be used in combination with airbending, as demonstrated by Avatars Kyoshi and Aang.





WEAKNESS

Airbender principles regarding fatal moves: Though deemed the most dynamic of the bending arts, the most controversial aspect of airbending is its supposed lack of fatal moves, being a more defense-inclined art. This aspect in itself is a reflection of the principles held by the Air Nomads, which preaches the preciousness of all life and avoidance of violence whenever possible. But on the issue of principles, there are instances where an airbender has resorted to lethal force during a conflict; for example, Aang used an air slice to knock a buzzard wasp, which had captured Momo, down, though it is vital to note he was attacking it out of anger, something which airbenders are told to avoid. Even Avatar Yangchen herself confessed to deeds that were in direct violation of her Air Nomad teachings, albeit for the greater good. Nevertheless, when applied correctly, airbending can be as lethal as any other bending art. Airbending moves such as the air blade and air blast could prove particularly fatal against living creatures seeing as they can cut through stone/timber and break entire rock-columns in half respectively. Another example of airbending lethality was when Monk Gyatso battled with the Fire Nation's invasion of the Southern Air Temple. Although an elderly and gentle person, when confronted with a life-threatening assault on his people, Gyatso's powerful airbending enabled him to eliminate many Fire Nation invaders before succumbing to fatigue or injury and ultimately death. Another example of how dangerous and lethal airbending can be was when Zaheer used his abilities to suffocate Earth Queen Hou-Ting.





SPIRITUALITY and AIRBENDING

Young airbenders were raised in one of the four air temples at each corner of the globe, hidden away atop mountain ranges on remote islands, where the strong breeze helped their airbending. The Northern and Southern Air Temples were exclusively male and staffed by airbender monks, who instructed young benders in their art, while the Eastern and Western Air Temples were exclusively female. The Eastern Air Temple is also where young airbenders would go to meet their sky bison companions.



An airbender is declared a master once he or she has fully mastered the thirty-six tiers of airbending and/or when he or she creates a new airbending technique; Aang was the exception in this case, since he mastered only thirty-five tiers and made a new move. Airbenders who have mastered the element are marked as such by blue tattoos striping along the head and limbs, terminating in an arrow on the forehead, backs of the hands, and the tops of the feet. This, however, does not apply to Avatars not born in the Air Nation. Male monks sport completely shaven heads, and female airbenders shave their foreheads, but they leave the back of their hair uncut.



Air Nomads generally espouse a philosophy of conflict avoidance and respect for all forms of life; an airbender will never seek a fight, and they will never seek to strike an opponent directly. This accounts for airbending's stress on defensive maneuvers and its apparent lack of fatal finishing attacks. Due to the spirituality of the Air Nomads in accordance to the size of its population, every Air Nomad retains bending abilities. The Air Nomads have the smallest population but the most increased spirituality, while benders in general make up only a small percentage of the larger, more populous nations.

Airbenders emphasize intuition and imagination; to an airbender, there is always another path to take, as air flows wherever it can. This makes airbending the most dynamic of all the bending arts, and air itself is considered to be the element of freedom.



The AIR NOMAD GENOCIDE



In 0 AG, the airbenders were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Fire Nation. The temples were invaded, and all the airbender monks slaughtered in an effort to break the Avatar's cycle of reincarnation and ensure the Fire Nation's victory in their imperialist war. Although some airbenders did survive, they were later lured into mountainous areas with relics from home and were killed, as later revealed by Admiral Zhao.

Ironically, the only known survivor of the massacre is the same person the Fire Nation sought to kill in its quest for supremacy: The twelve-year-old airbender and Avatar, Aang, had run away from home shortly before the war began in earnest and became trapped in suspended animation, frozen in an iceberg near the South Pole.

The last known vestiges of airbender culture included one surviving flying bison, Appa, and a winged lemur, Momo, both of whom were Aang's companions. The abandoned Northern Air Temple was colonized by displaced Earth Kingdom citizens, led by the mechanist. The Eastern Air Temple was inhabited by Guru Pathik, who claimed to be an old friend of Monk Gyatso. The Southern Air Temple is the only temple in which bodies of countless Fire Nation soldiers and Monk Gyatso's corpse are present. Years later, Aang found an island filled with healthy flying bison and ring-tailed winged lemurs, which indicated that Appa was not the last surviving flying bison.

In the years following Aang also established the Air Acolytes and Spirit's Friendship Festival, an annual holiday re-imagined from Avatar Yangchen's Festival.





AFTERMATH

Even 170 years after the Air Nomad Genocide, airbending culture survived through Aang's youngest son, Tenzin, and Tenzin's children, of whom three are also airbenders. The Air Acolytes were formed to carry on the traditions of Air Nomad culture. Both Tenzin's family and some of the Air Acolytes reside at Air Temple Island in Republic City while most of the acolytes live in each of the four ancient Air Temples. Prior to Harmonic Convergence, Tenzin's family were the last airbenders, thus were Amon's target in an effort to effectively erase one of the four bending arts from the world permanently. However, after Harmonic Convergence, airbenders emerged again across the world as several nonbenders obtained the ability.





REBUILDING the AIR NATION

After the Harmonic Convergence of 171 AG, numerous nonbenders across the world suddenly discovered they had airbending abilities. Korra, Tenzin, and the rest of Team Avatar set out to find these people and convince them to train with Tenzin at the Northern Air Temple and help restore the Air Nation. Their quest proved to be largely unsuccessful as nobody wished to give up their existing lives, save for a young boy named Kai.

In Ba Sing Se, the Dai Li had been kidnapping the new airbenders and trained them underneath the Earth Queen's Temple to form Earth Queen Hou-Ting's first airbending regiment. After Team Avatar discovered this practice, they freed all the captives, after which the new airbenders all agreed to go to the Northern Air Temple to learn the way of the Air Nomads. Initially, progress was slow as Tenzin struggled to motivate them with his teachings, though after they all banded together to rescue flying bison calves from bison rustlers, Tenzin and the new airbenders found a new dynamic as master and students.

Two weeks after Zaheer was taken down by Korra, Tenzin announced that the Air Nation would reclaim its nomadic roots and roam the earth, promoting peace, balance, and harmony while Korra recuperated from her fight with the Red Lotus. He also anointed Jinora an airbending master, stating she would help them follow their new path.







MARTIAL ARTS



Airbending is based on the Baguazhang style of martial arts, also known as "circle walking" or "Eight Trigram Palm", along with a small hint of Xingyiquan, also known as "mind heart boxing". Baguazhang involves "smooth coiling and uncoiling actions". Such moves employ dynamic footwork, throws, and hand techniques. These martial arts feature swift, evasive maneuvers that evoke the intangibility and explosive power of wind; drawing energy from the center of the abdomen.



Ba Gua, which utilizes circle walking of the Eight Trigrams, is known for its constant circular movement, which makes it difficult for opponents to attack directly or land a blow, a philosophy that is prevalent within airbending as well. Maneuvers employ the entire body with smooth coiling and uncoiling movements, utilizing dynamic footwork, open-hand techniques, punches, and throws. A common tactic is to maneuver behind an opponent and mirror their movements, preventing them from turning to face the practitioner, similar to the technique Aang used during his fight with Hide. Korra also practiced her airbending moves on a Ba Gua platform on Air Temple Island.



Last edited by Story Teller on Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Airbending

Post by Story Teller on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:52 am

Air Ball

Air Blast

Air Bomb

Air Cushion

Air Funnel

Air Manipulation

Air Punch/Kick

Air Shield

Air Swipe

Breath of Wind

Enhanced Agility

Enhanced Speed

Heat Regulation

Suction

-- Master Level --

Air Blades

Air Cocoon

Air Propulsion

Air Spout

Air Vortex

Air Wake

Asphyxiation

Levitation

Tornado

-- Avatar --

Air Sphere

Strong Wind

Tornadoes/Hurricanes

-- Special Techniques --

Air Scooter

Air Wheel

Cloudbending

Hypersensitivity

Flight

Gliding

Spiritual Projection
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