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Author Topic: Shedding light on bending  (Read 751 times)
otaku_ben
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« on: Dec 16, 2013 10:22 pm »

There have been many threads talking about which bender's are stronger and which moves people like the best. Even one's about which element seems the most versatile. I'm here to discuss some definitions by which we may gauge bending as a whole.

Bending Skill Level

The first thing I want to address is the skill level to which we determine benders within the Avatar world. As we know there are many that vary in skill too a great degree. It's easy to say "Well Katara is a master and Ikki isn't". However when you get to the point where you are trying to determine the difference between say Hama and Katara you may run into difficulties as they are both masters but to a varying degree. So I'm attempting to shove these into categories but I will say I may not be perfect in these label's.

Beginner - This is a rather easy description. This is a person who has just realized their bending powers. They have some small control over them but intense emotions can cause them to act weirdly and backfire. The most evident incident of this is Katara at the outset of the Last Airbender series. She could control her powers which concentrating intensely but any attempt to use it against opponents proved disastrous. Not to say she was horrible but it was evident that she barely had control of her bending and was not allowed to use it much, if at all.

Amateur - This is when a person first starts serious training. Not to say they are far into it but rather they have learned basic defensive and offensive techniques that allow them to be mildly useful in combat. Haru is a good example of this. He is a decently talented young Earthbender who at first posses enough skill to be a nuisance to people he doesn't like. He's definitely not strong enough to fight trained soldiers by himself but with help from others he can perform bending to an extent where he could be a soldier if necessary.

Adept - This is the point in which a bender may reach a skill level where he would be considered militarily trained. Most bender's of this caliber have undergone training that provide them with the skill set's necessary to fight and hold their own ground. They are not to be taken lightly but at the same time fall short of being able to adapt quickly and well to an ever changing battlefield. A good example of this is in the episode Zuko alone with the Earthbender soldier who uses maces. While he is a relatively skilled bender once Zuko attacks him using Firebending it is easy to see he is quickly overwhelmed and doesn't posses enough skill to even maintain a defense against Zuko.

Expert - Now we move on to incredibly talented bender's. These types of bender's are so skilled in their art they can almost compete with masters of the bending arts. What they lack ends up being experience. They may have all the necessary skill sets to put them on par with Masters but lack of experience both formal and practical makes it hard for them to perfect their technique. I think Mako fits in this category necessary. A very talented bender with tons of ability, the lack of formal experience and learning most of his skills from a uniformed sport has prevented him from expanding his fighting repertoire. With more real world application and possibly some minor teaching from a master Mako could easily become a master in his own right.

Elemental Master - This is the basic level of master. This type of master has perfected the in's and out's of his/her bending style. Able to compete with any other bender of the same form and win he is the example of how lethal a bender can be in their own form. The only weakness here is that master lack's experience against other forms. They may learn of other form's moves or style's but without actual experience against them they will find themselves ill prepared to fight them. Usually though after a first encounter the Master can quickly adapt and be well prepared to fight the opponent later on. Azula at the outset of Book 2 is a great example of this. While she is incredibly talented and lethal it is obvious that she almost exclusively skilled in fighting other Firebenders. Having never faced any of the other types of benders each first encounter against them shows how hard it is for her to stand her ground against them. It is most evident in her fight against Katara in the caverns of Old Ba Sing Sei in which Azula is quickly overwhelmed by Katara and has to be saved by Zuko.

Master - This is the highest. A master is someone who has taken their bending to highest possible peak (for them) and proven it. They've fought all kinds of opponents and prevailed using their bending style. These master's are forces to be reckoned with and some have reached points in which they've been able to achieve feats people never thought possible. Good example's of full Master's are Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, Lin, and most White Lotus Members.


So based on these loose definitions how do we gauge bending? Well I would say it's easier from this point since we know how talented they are by the end of the series. Of course anyone is welcome to dispute it but in my mind this gives a better guide as to how we gauge bender abilities. Now if you want we can talk more about which characters fall where.

The key to keep in mind is that no one bending is better than the other. Each has their own strength and their own weakness. When you gauge bender skill you must gauge them against bender's of the same element.
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2013 12:02 am by otaku_ben » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: Dec 17, 2013 12:01 am »

otaku_ben, good thinking on that, but I would change your master's list from Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, and most White Lotus Members to Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, Lin, and most White Lotus Members
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2013 12:10 am by Rava » Logged

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otaku_ben
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 17, 2013 12:02 am »

otaku_ben, good thinking on that, but I would change your master's list from Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, and most White Lotus Members to Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, Lin, and most White Lotus Members



I will. I just put down a quick list of ones that first popped into my head.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 17, 2013 12:10 am »

I will. I just put down a quick list of ones that first popped into my head.

Lin definitely belongs in that List.

Thanks for including her.  Wink

But what with Korra?

A master is someone who has taken their bending to highest possible peak (for them) and proven it. They've fought all kinds of opponents and prevailed using their bending style. These master's are forces to be reckoned with and some have reached points in which they've been able to achieve feats people never thought possible.

What we saw in her fight with Vatuunalaq, it sure goes with the "reached points in which they've been able to achieve feats people never thought possible" part...

But she is the Avatar, and merged several bending styles, also the idea Tenzin gave her "not Raava is what makes you so strong, but your own spirit"

Any by the later, she is
1) A more badass Avatar than most, a stronger fighter we saw in a long time;  but still
2) Closer to regular benders why can only rely on their bending prowess and their own spirit... cause none of them is merges with a lifelong undying spirit powerful as Raava...
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otaku_ben
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 17, 2013 12:11 am »

Well that list isn't a "complete list" just a few people I named off the top of my head. There are plenty who fall under every category.
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AvatarReiko
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 17, 2013 02:52 am »

I've been wanting to discuss this for a very long time. I always wanted to distinguish between the different levels of bending skill. Ok, here we go.  Going by your definitions, I am going to classify Lok and ATLA charcters a place them into a category. *Not including Avatars*
Beginner

Katara (Book 1)

Amateur

Jinora
Meelo
Ikki
Haru

Adept

The Triads members - Shady Shin and etc
Bolin
Tahno

Expert

The boulder
Mako

Elemental Master

Desna and Eska
Azula
Tonraq
Dai Li agents
Long Feng
Metal bending police
Ozai
Council of Five - General Fong and etc

Master

Iroh
King Bumi
Katara
Master Paku
Toph Beifong
Jeong Jeong
Tenzin
Lin Beifong
Sozin
Unalaq
Lightning Bolt Zolt
Noatak/Amon
Taarlok
Iroh 2
Kya - trained by Aang and Katara. ENOUGH SAID.
Fire Lord Azulon

Notes

-Although Toph is the highest level of Master, due to her blindness, she would be very weak and ineffective dealing with air benders or any type of aerial opponent, such as Aang or possible the Dai Li agents. By going by your definitions, technically, Toph should be rightfully placed in the 'Elemental masters' category, but by going by her feats, I classify her as a Master. This is my own personal view.

-It was implied that Zolt was very skilled in bending. He was the leader of the biggest criminal Orginization in RC and held that postion for a long time. He is able to generate lightning and redirect it, as he passed the techniques down to Mako. He is also the only one of Amon's victims to get straight away after being Blood bender. This postion also would of require him to go up against a verity of skilled benders.

-Although it is hard to classiy them, Yakone, Amon and Taarlok weren't shown how effective they are against different benders, using water bending alone. That said, with an infinite water supply for example a water fountain, Taarlok was able to challenge Korra with 3 elements. This defiantly puts him in the master level. It is also implied that Yakone and Amon were better than him.

- Tonraq was shown to be a very capable bender and showing some good techniques, Unalaq, a master, was able to dispose of him very easily. On top of that Tonraq doesent often get into fights and doesn't travel hence lacks experience.

-Despite being feared by non benders, the triad members were disposed of by Korra, without her even breaking a sweat.

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AvatarReiko
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 17, 2013 02:55 am »

There have been many threads talking about which bender's are stronger and which moves people like the best. Even one's about which element seems the most versatile. I'm here to discuss some definitions by which we may gauge bending as a whole.

Bending Skill Level

The first thing I want to address is the skill level to which we determine benders within the Avatar world. As we know there are many that vary in skill too a great degree. It's easy to say "Well Katara is a master and Ikki isn't". However when you get to the point where you are trying to determine the difference between say Hama and Katara you may run into difficulties as they are both masters but to a varying degree. So I'm attempting to shove these into categories but I will say I may not be perfect in these label's.

Beginner - This is a rather easy description. This is a person who has just realized their bending powers. They have some small control over them but intense emotions can cause them to act weirdly and backfire. The most evident incident of this is Katara at the outset of the Last Airbender series. She could control her powers which concentrating intensely but any attempt to use it against opponents proved disastrous. Not to say she was horrible but it was evident that she barely had control of her bending and was not allowed to use it much, if at all.

Amateur - This is when a person first starts serious training. Not to say they are far into it but rather they have learned basic defensive and offensive techniques that allow them to be mildly useful in combat. Haru is a good example of this. He is a decently talented young Earthbender who at first posses enough skill to be a nuisance to people he doesn't like. He's definitely not strong enough to fight trained soldiers by himself but with help from others he can perform bending to an extent where he could be a soldier if necessary.

Adept - This is the point in which a bender may reach a skill level where he would be considered militarily trained. Most bender's of this caliber have undergone training that provide them with the skill set's necessary to fight and hold their own ground. They are not to be taken lightly but at the same time fall short of being able to adapt quickly and well to an ever changing battlefield. A good example of this is in the episode Zuko alone with the Earthbender soldier who uses maces. While he is a relatively skilled bender once Zuko attacks him using Firebending it is easy to see he is quickly overwhelmed and doesn't posses enough skill to even maintain a defense against Zuko.

Expert - Now we move on to incredibly talented bender's. These types of bender's are so skilled in their art they can almost compete with masters of the bending arts. What they lack ends up being experience. They may have all the necessary skill sets to put them on par with Masters but lack of experience both formal and practical makes it hard for them to perfect their technique. I think Mako fits in this category necessary. A very talented bender with tons of ability, the lack of formal experience and learning most of his skills from a uniformed sport has prevented him from expanding his fighting repertoire. With more real world application and possibly some minor teaching from a master Mako could easily become a master in his own right.

Elemental Master - This is the basic level of master. This type of master has perfected the in's and out's of his/her bending style. Able to compete with any other bender of the same form and win he is the example of how lethal a bender can be in their own form. The only weakness here is that master lack's experience against other forms. They may learn of other form's moves or style's but without actual experience against them they will find themselves ill prepared to fight them. Usually though after a first encounter the Master can quickly adapt and be well prepared to fight the opponent later on. Azula at the outset of Book 2 is a great example of this. While she is incredibly talented and lethal it is obvious that she almost exclusively skilled in fighting other Firebenders. Having never faced any of the other types of benders each first encounter against them shows how hard it is for her to stand her ground against them. It is most evident in her fight against Katara in the caverns of Old Ba Sing Sei in which Azula is quickly overwhelmed by Katara and has to be saved by Zuko.

Master - This is the highest. A master is someone who has taken their bending to highest possible peak (for them) and proven it. They've fought all kinds of opponents and prevailed using their bending style. These master's are forces to be reckoned with and some have reached points in which they've been able to achieve feats people never thought possible. Good example's of full Master's are Iroh, Katara, Aang, Toph, Azula, Zuko, Lin, and most White Lotus Members.


So based on these loose definitions how do we gauge bending? Well I would say it's easier from this point since we know how talented they are by the end of the series. Of course anyone is welcome to dispute it but in my mind this gives a better guide as to how we gauge bender abilities. Now if you want we can talk more about which characters fall where.

The key to keep in mind is that no one bending is better than the other. Each has their own strength and their own weakness. When you gauge bender skill you must gauge them against bender's of the same element.

You should also include examples of advance bending techniques. For example, this person can perform the water sprout technique, which is an advance water bending technique, used by masters.
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