Avatar Legends Finally Reveals The Origins Of Chi Blocking

For a long time it seemed that Ty Lee invented the deadly art of Chi-Blocking, but Avatar Legends reveals a better explanation for his earlier origins.

avatar the last airbender he didn’t save all of his special abilities for the elemental benders of his world. Figures like Ty Lee could learn Chi-Block even without special powers, and for the legend of korra the paralyzing martial art spread to dozens of others around the world. However, reviewing the history of AvatarIt seemed questionable that Ty Lee was the first to develop an art form that would change the world.

With the release of Avatar Legends: The RPG central book, fans really learn that she didn’t make it up. It turns out that Chi-Blocking dates back to way before Ty Lee, and her actual origins make a lot more sense.

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Ty Lee looks at his fists

Since its introduction in avatar the last airbenderChi-Blocking proved to be one of the most effective martial arts a Nonbender could learn. By targeting specific points on a target’s body, a Chi-Blocker could paralyze their limbs and render their ability to bend inert. Ty Lee was the only practitioner of the art in the original series, although he never really explored how he developed it. He seemed to have an affinity for seeing the “aura” of those around her, hinting at some ability to perceive flows of chi that could aid art, but as the series progressed this turned out not to be a necessary component.

After all, Ty Lee taught the art to Suki, who then passed it on to other Nonbender who learned how to defend themselves. By the legend of korra the technique progressed to Amon and his Equalists, who used Chi Block as a devastating weapon in their violent uprising. But the further the story went, the less sense its origins made. What was so special about Ty Lee, a young woman trained primarily as a circus acrobat, that allowed her to discover the art? The truth is, she may not have figured it out at all, especially since there were Air Nomads practicing it long before her.

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avatar legends introduced a new character to the lore named Rioshon, who existed in the Age of Roku during the time of the Avatar before Aang. Rioshon was considered an expert airbender of the Western Air Temple, renowned for her ability to train students in the art of Chi Blocking. She even passed the technique on to Princess Zeisan, the sister of Fire Lord Sozin, who abdicated her own royal titles to commit herself to the Air Nomad philosophy. Adopting the teachings of pacifism was a key component for any student Rioshon would accept, serving as a much more sensible explanation for the martial art’s point of origin.

Although Chi-Blocking is used so often in the series with deadly effectiveness, it’s actually quite a pacifist fighting style. Paralyzing an opponent can end a fight quickly without doing any lasting damage, and given the Air Nomads’ long spiritual history, it makes sense that they’d be even more attuned to the same auras and chi flows as Ty Lee. Rioshon’s introduction also addresses a question Avatar fans had a long time on whether or not Benders would be able to learn Chi-Blocking.

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The Equalist from Legend Of Korra

Although Rioshon is not said to have invented the art (chi blocking is potentially an ancient art dating back even before the Roku era), at least, it was not seen throughout history. Kyōshi novels set in the time before Roku. Fans are still lacking in specific answers when it comes to those origins, but they can be satisfied that the explanation for avatar legends feels more suitable than what could be previously postulated.

The confirmation that Benders could learn Chi-Blocking also opens the door to impressive possibilities and combinations for future characters. Whether it be an Avatar who masters the art to expand his fighting prowess beyond Control or even a Waterbender or Earthbender who combines Chi Block with his own abilities to paralyze enemies from a distance, revealing more about Avatar‘s history only opens more exciting paths for his future.

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