Anonymous asked: You guys and alot of other people talk about blood bending as if its a hard thing to learn and only a few people know it. But its my theory that all water benders who were trained in the art of healing already know it but just don't realize. I believe blood bending is just a reverse engineered healing technique. But idk what do you guys think?
The thing to remember about specialized bending arts is that there is no single, “true” derivative. Waterbending has healing, bloodbending, and plantbending. To answer your question directly, the answer is yes I do agree. All three derivatives involve manipulating both water and chi inside of another creature. (If you’re wondering why I say chi, ask yourself why it should be harder to move water in an animal than a plant—or why healing can repair damage—water is the medium but chi is what’s really being controlled). None of these styles are immediately intuitive to someone simply pushing or pulling tides, but as a master begins to think critically they reach similar conclusions in the North (healing), South (bloodbending), and Swamp (plantbending).
Not all specialties survive, and some of them are just too dangerous. Both lightning and combustion involve manipulating your own chi while firebending. Lightning asks you to separate your positive and negative chi before releasing the resulting energy by firebending. Combustion is pushing a large amount of energy through a single chakra point. Both could be considered specialties, but combustion is just too dangerous and will probably be lost to time, whereas lightning has become the most common specialty of them all.
Like metalbending, combustion required a handicap to originally figure out. If she were not blind, Toph wouldn’t have focused so much on “seeing” through earth and therefore wouldn’t have had the sensitivity to metalbend. Similarly, Combustion Man had to be born with a wide open Third Eye chakra which basically limited him to funneling large amounts of firebending through a single, explosive point. I’m sure he could have taught others how to do this, just as Toph taught people who could see how to metalbend, but the results would have been disastrous for just about everyone involved.
TL;DR There are no limits to how many specialties a bending art can have. All of the existing specialties are somehow related (healing/blood/plant = external chi control, lightning/combustion = internal chi control, metal/tremorsense = sensing). Some specialties will be forgotten (combustion), some will be discovered (metal), and some are discovered at different times in different ways (healing/blood/plant).
—Lucky Lu the Earthbender
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