Earthbending

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Earthbending

Post by Story Teller on Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:03 am



Earthbending, one of the four elemental bending arts, is the geokinetic ability to manipulate earth and rock in all their various forms, prevalent in the Earth Kingdom and the United Republic.

Earth is the element of substance, while the people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse, strong, and enduring. Following the lion turtles' decision to relinquish their role as protectors of mankind, Oma and Shu were the first earthbenders to learn this art from the badgermoles.



The key to earthbending is utilizing neutral jing, which involves waiting and listening for the right moment to strike and, when that moment comes, acting decisively. In other words, earthbenders generally endure their enemies' attacks until the right opportunity to counterattack reveals itself.



Earthbending is one of the most diverse of the bending arts, ranging from the rigid and collectively learned earthbending of the Dai Li, which is the most commonly used earthbending style, to the individually taught styles, such as Toph's unique earthbending technique. Earthbenders are generally muscular, tough and direct, and like all benders their technique reflects on their individual personalities.



With the advent of pro-bending, earthbenders have learned to adapt fighting styles that are more suited to a fast-paced pro-bending match. Most earthbenders participating in pro-bending have learned to keep mobile and only root themselves long enough to actually launch and direct the earth discs provided in the arena. Bolin's earthbending is typical of the style used within the arena, although he has exhibited some of the more traditional forms and movements when outside of it.



Earthbending differs from the other bending arts in that it maintains a distinct balance between offensive and defensive capabilities (though waterbending involves a more refined version by channeling defense into offense). Earthbending uses a balance of strength and defense to overwhelm opponents.

The principle of jing is the essence of battle strategy of all bending arts, with a total of eighty-five possible actions. Positive jing occurs when one chooses to fight, while negative jing is when one chooses to evade. The earthbending discipline stresses neutral jing, which involves listening, waiting and attacking at the right moment. King Bumi stressed this in his tactics against the Fire Nation; he allowed himself to be imprisoned in New Ozai for many months before liberating the city on the Day of Black Sun simply waiting for the right moment to fight and liberate the city.



Earthbending is the opposing bending art to airbending. When first learning to earthbend, the pupil must first learn confrontational tactics and familiarity with the brute strength necessary to work with earth. This contrasts with the emphasis of airbenders on mobility and evasion. Earthbenders require a firm root in the ground, while airbenders are constantly moving. This is illustrated when Aang initially had great difficulty trying to learn earthbending from Toph.



Like all of the bending arts, earthbending is balanced so as not to be more or less powerful than the other arts. It is the skill and prowess of the user that determines victory.



WEAPONS

Earthbenders have been known to use hammers and fans to augment their bending, and it has been stated that the Chinese great sword dadao, a heavy war sword, or literally "big knife", would also be best-suited for a strong earthbender. Aang has also demonstrated earthbending by wielding his glider-staff. Additionally, Gow has demonstrated earthbending with his war hammers, and Kori Morishita was able control her meteor hammer with earthbending. Giant maces and axes could work well. Avatar Kyoshi was well known for using her twin fans to assist her in her bending forms, but particularly in earthbending.





WEAKNESSES

Reliance on earth: Since earthbenders rely on having access to earth, their ability can be negated by securing them within a metallic barrier, separating them from any contact with the earth. However, strong earthbenders like King Bumi are capable of bending the earth with only their mind and extreme concentration. Toph, as the inventor of metalbending, is an exception to this, as are any who have been trained in the skill. However, even metalbenders cannot bend highly purified metals such as platinum. Wood cannot be subject to earthbending either.

Reliance on the lower body:
Earthbending is at its strongest when the feet are in direct contact with the ground, enabling earthbenders to transfer their kinetic energies into their bending for fast and powerful moves. However, this weakness can be overcome by bringing other body parts in contact with the earth.



SPIRITUALITY and EARTHBENDING

Earthbending was explored in depth while Toph was teaching Aang, as well as during Iroh's lesson to Zuko on the elements. Earthbending expresses the aspect of neutral jing, which involves listening and waiting, and also requires decisiveness; when the time comes to strike, it must be done without hesitation or uncertainty. If an earthbender lacks determination, the earth will not respond to their will. Being connected to the earth is also an important aspect of earthbenders' spirituality; earthbenders, primarily earthbending soldiers and generals, typically travel barefoot to increase their connection with the earth and thus their power. Overall, earthbending is the least spiritual of the bending arts, almost exclusively treated pragmatically with no observable interactions with supernatural phenomena.





MARTIAL ARTS



The Hung Gar style of kung fu is the main influence for earthbending; they both feature "heavily rooted stances and strong kicks and punches that evoke the mass and power of earth." Hung Gar itself parallels animal movements such as the tiger's hard blows and the crane's affinity to landing gracefully on the Earth. There are exceptions to this rule — Toph, the blind earthbender's style, is based on Southern Praying Mantis, a precise stepping skill which Toph uses to maintain constant contact with the ground and "see".



The concept of neutral jing is also closely related to the philosophy of "sticky hands", a practice common to some southern Chinese martial arts such as Chu Gar Southern Praying Mantis and Wing Chun. The purpose of sticky hands is to enable the practitioner to predict their opponent's next move. Similar to Toph detecting the movements of others through her connection with earth, a practitioner learns to detect their opponent's upcoming move by maintaining constant contact between their own arm and their foe's arm (may also be between their hands or wrists). By practicing with a partner in this manner, a practitioner will learn to "read" the slight movements of their opponent's arms to detect their next attack and subsequently move accordingly to either strike before the attack is made or move in the same direction with the attack and effectively neutralize it. Concepts such as listening, reacting, balancing attacks and defense, and drawing power from a stable lower body are often referred to in the practice of sticky hands, again, closely relating to many primary concepts in earthbending.
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Re: Earthbending

Post by Story Teller on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:02 pm

Earth and Stone Levitation

Earth Block

Earth Column

Earth Compression

Earth Gauntlet

Earth Hand/Mannequin

Earth Launch

Earth Line

Earthen Material Manipulation

Earth Shelter

Earth Sinking

Earth Smash

Earth Wall

Earthquakes/Fissures

Quicksand

Rock Hanging

Rock Shield

Rock Slide

Sand Spout

Slab Shackles

Water Filtering

-- Master Level --

Dust Cloud

Earthen Armor

Earth Bomb

Earth Tunneling

Earth Wave

Magnetization

Remote Earthbending

-- Avatar --

Compressed Rock Bullets

Enhanced Earthen Armor

Enhanced Earth Levitation

Powered Compression

Tectonics

-- Special Techniques --

Lavabending

Metalbending

Mudbending

Rock Gloves

Rock Shoes

Sandbending

Seismic Sense
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