Airbending masters employ distinct training exercises that considerably aid their pupils in mastering the art. Airbending training focuses on avoiding resistance. According to Tenzin, one must also have a quiet environment free of any distractions.
As airbending is a highly defensive discipline, it is essential to build up the instinct to avoid and evade conflict as well as to follow the path with the least amount of resistance. To do this, airbending gates are used. The goal of the exercise is to weave your way through the gates without touching them. Airbending is used to set the gates in motion, either by an airbending master or by a fellow pupil who has completed the exercise, requiring the pupil to learn to switch directions at a moment's notice in order to get to the other side. Forcing one's way through the panels will result in them hitting the pupil while they attempt to traverse it.
Air is the element of freedom, and as such, it is necessary to learn how to get into this mindset. Meditation is meant to help the pupil allow his or her spirit to wander, like the air. It is supposed to be simple, with no chance of doing anything wrong.
It is traditional that once an airbender passes thirty-six different tiers or passes sufficient tiers and creates their own airbending "move", they are considered a master, allowing them to be tattooed with five light blue arrows: one extending from the base of the spine to the forehead, one for each arm pointing to the hands, and similarly for the legs. This design emulates the markings of the sky bison, the original airbenders. Contrary to many other airbenders who gain their status later in life, Avatar Aang received his tattoos at the early age of twelve after having invented the air scooter technique. The tattoos are sacred to the Air Nomads, and as such, only they bear them. Even though an Avatar native to one of the other nations will also have mastered airbending, they do not receive the markings.
- The airbending gates first appeared in the movie The Last Airbender as the Air Nomads' "training area".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "A Leaf in the Wind". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (April 6, 2012). Retrieved on April 6, 2012.
- ↑ Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (June 2, 2006). "Bitter Work". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 9. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ The Lost Scrolls: Air.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.