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 Posting a reply to post #79709

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79709 No.79709
So, we know that each of the basic bending styles in the show were based off of real martial arts styles:

Air: Baguazhang
Water: Tai Chi
Earth: Hung Gar, and Southern Praying Mantis for Toph
Fire: Norther Shaolin Kung Fu

Each was chosen to represent an element because they matched the natures of the elements.

ITT, we go in reverse, and apply the paradigm of the four elements to different martial arts and/or sports we pick, talking about why each fits, and posting interesting things about them.

Tae Kwon Do: Fire
Friend of mine has been learning this along with my next one for 12 years. It translates somewhat literally into: "way of the fist and foot", and is entirely aggressive. Using Tae Kwon Do in a fight means beating your opponent down as quickly and efficiently as possible with swift, strong strikes. Definitely more offensive than defensive. Nifty video semi-related:

Aikido: Water
The other martial art my friend has been studying. Been told that it can translate to "way of the love fist" or "way of harmonious spirit", Aikido is all about taking your opponents attacks and redirecting them to your advantage. It involves blending your movement with your opponent's and using their energy against them. Struggling against various holds and techniques in Aikido only makes them stronger by giving the Aikido user more power to use against you, which is why you see practitioners taking such large flips when a technique is used on them. If you don't go with it, you WILL be injured.
Video is demo footage of Gozo Shioda, a 10th dan ranked Aikido practitioner, who has an interesting story, and apparently his knowledge of Aikido once saved the life of himself and his friend:

Fencing: Earth and Air Mix
This is the one I have personal experience in. It took a while to figure out what element(s) applied to this, but I think this pair fits remarkably well. Stance, form, and footwork are hugely important, and an ideal stance is both stable (earth) and highly mobile (air). Bladework is also very structured, with attack zones and defenses for each zone (earth), while still emphasizing quick, fluid, and precise point strikes (air). At the same time, there is a good balance of attacking (thrust/lunge) and defending (parry/retreat), with a good deal of waiting to strike until the right moment (earth). This is on top of being quick and deceptive with mind games and feints to get around your opponent's defenses (air). Though this is fading fast in modern days, fencing also used to be very formal and honorable, with respect expressed for judges, opponents, and the art itself (earth).

Some kids messing around with wrong equipment, bad quality video, but interesting none the less. The fencers have very moderate skill level, but have decent (very improvable still) form, and show the back and forth that goes with spacing the attacks and parries. The girl definitely shows better form, and is also left handed! o: Regardless of your own handedness, very difficult to fight if you're used to right handed opponents.

Men's Foil Fencing Championship 2008 Paris: Mix of good and bad stuff. You can see how fast and precise it needs to be (the white lights indicate a foul hit, rather than a point hit), but my old instructor would cringe at their lax stances (especially the off-hand arm laying on the side), and their occasional flailing. VERY hard to find good fencing on youtube. DX

Very interesting documentary on the origins and history of fencing. Becomes relevant in this part, part 7; continues being relevant in part 8 afterward:

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Aikido, Hapkido and Judo, would they really be water? Wouldn't they be earth instead? You know, neutral chi, using you opponent's force at your advantage, etc.

Chen style Tai Chi: Defies categorization, because it combines smooth water-like movements with fire-like bursts of power.

Jujutsu/Judo: Can these be anything but water?

Shotokan Karate: Definitely Earth, due to its solid stance work.

Wing Chun: Likewise, Earth, but has some Water elements due to trapping.

Choy Lay Fut: A southern fist style, this would find home in the Fire Nation due to its looser stances.

Xingyiquan: Fire. Just think of the Xingyi practitioner shooting fireballs with each burst of power.

Bajiquan: Looks like Xingyi, so therefore Fire, but less direct.

Liu He Ba Fa: Water. It's very Tai Chi-esque.

Drunken fist = ?!?!??!?!?

Still yet to find a good fit for Air! I heard some South Indian martial arts styles use a LOT of leaping, so...

>Drunken fist

This could fall under the element of Earth(raw power), Air(loose stances and dodges), or Boomerang(cactus juice) depending on how you look at it.

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"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash! Be water, my friend!"

How could you not post the video. How.

Anyone save the post where we said this was how Iroh discovered lightningbending?

Alright this thing won't let me fucking embed for some reason so I'll just link this:

Mako Vs Bruce Lee fight from The Green Hornet

And Bruce Lee screen test for same

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So, what about /k/'s favorite: KRAV MAGA?!?!

Krav Maga would probable be a fire type. From what I understand (and please bear in mind my knowledge of Krav Maga outside of the internet is one practitioner), it emphasizes an active offensive posture in order to eliminate the threat of armed enemies before they can draw a bead on you.

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