The Earth Kingdom (土国), the direct translation of which is Earth Country, is a large continent which takes up most of the planet's eastern hemisphere. Earth Kingdom is by far the largest nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender in terms of geographic size; the kingdom's size is to the extent that it is a neighbor of every other nation It is home to an order of men and women who practice Earthbending, which is similar to geokinesis. Earthbenders are characterized by their pride and strength, and often seem immovable. The national emblem of the Earth Kingdom is a circle inscribed within a square, at the center of which is a much smaller square (Like a Chinese coin). The insignia symbolizes both the literal and figurative depth of the Earth Kingdom. It represents the immeasurable layers of deep rock and minerals which Earthbenders manipulate to maintain their great cities, as well as the depth of the inhabitants' commitment and strive towards the effort of a peaceful and productive way of life. This emblem can be seen on the helmets of Earth Kingdom troops. Humans first learned Earthbending by observing and imitating the Badgermoles, large subterranean creatures that use Earthbending to see and interact with the world. The first people to learn Earthbending were two lovers (Oma and Shu) from warring villages who used the art to meet in secret beneath the mountain that separated their people. Earthbending is generally based on the Hung Gar style of Kung Fu, which features heavily rooted stances and strong kicks and punches. The martial art is based on the movements of animals, among them the Tiger and the Crane. The Tiger represents Hard Power, while the crane embodies Soft Power. One notable exception comes from the blind Earthbender, Toph, who uses a style based on Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Unlike other bending disciplines, Earthbending stresses the aspect of neutral "jing", which involves listening and waiting for the right moment to attack. Toph uses this discipline having learned it directly from Badgermoles, and teaches this form to Aang. This discipline also allows Toph and Aang to feel minute vibrations in the earth when in direct contact and use these vibrations as radar. Earthbenders are known to stand their ground. More skilled Earthbenders absorb and intercept attacks before overwhelming the opponent with superior force. Some can tunnel through the earth to out-maneuver their foes. Earthbenders have been shown to use objects to augment their bending. An Earthbender gains a notable advantage or disadvantage over other bending arts depending on the amount of earth in their vicinity. Earthbending is not limited to rock or soil, but can also use mud, slurry, sand, meteors, crystals, coal, and even metal. Earthbenders are able to encase themselves in rock or crystals, giving them a resistance to extreme temperatures and physical blows. When encased they are totally covered with rock or crystal, creating a sort of suit of armor.Retake Quiz
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