In the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, firebending is the ability to mentally manipulate fire through the use of martial arts.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (known outside the United States as ‘The Legend of Aang’) is an American animated television series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The series ran from 2005 until 2008 on the channel Nickelodeon and was later adapted into a feature film by director M. Night Shyamalan. The aesthetics of the program were heavily influenced by the style of Japanese animation (anime), but Avatar was equally notable for its well-developed plotlines and for drawing inspiration from a wide array of sources: These included artistic, cultural and historical influences from around the world, diverse species from the animal kingdom, and storytelling themes from popular movies and books.
Firebending is one of the four primary “bending arts” found throughout the world of Avatar, and is practiced by the culture known as the Fire Nation. Through the use of a specific kind of martial art (inspired aesthetically by Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, according to the creators of the series), firebenders can move and manipulate fire into virtually any shape or form they wish. The basis of this discipline is the general manipulation of heat and energy around the individual. Typical combat techniques in firebending include using punches to create balls of fire to launch at your opponent and wide, sweeping kicks to produce arcs and rings of flame. More experienced benders can create “blades” of fire by concentrating short flames intensely, as well as sustain streams of fire for extended periods of time. In certain cases, firebenders also have the ability to generate bolts of lighting. Known as the “cold-blooded fire”, this technique is only possible when the bender is able to separate the energies of yin and yang from their surrounding environment, and then bring them back together to release that energy as lightning.
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