By: Peggy Wood | @peggyseditorial
I saw someone one TikTok mention this but I couldn’t remember well enough if it was true and started re-watching ATAR to check. Sure enough, it was true! While Aang is learning the four elements of bending, Zuko is too and it starts a lot earlier than when Iroh tells him about learning how to redirect lightening.
As early. as episode 3, about 19 minutes in, Zuko is shown using an airbending move that he saw Aang do earlier. He quickly integrated it into his style, over taking a commander of the Fire Nation army in the process.
He does so again throughout the series as he adjusts moves from the four different element kingdoms into a unique form of firebending martial arts.
Aside from redirecting lighting, we can also see Zuko using a water move to summon rising flames and expel them outward like Katara does with waterbending:
In addition to using earthbending stances in some of his training after joining team Avatar and being around Toph, particularly shown with him taking deep, low stances and using strong hand techniques rather than just punching or kicking fire from his hands and feet.
While only the Avatar can become the master of all four elements, this inclusion early in the series seems to tell as that the four martial styles and other offshoots are able to be integrated into other forms of bending, even if only partially.
As we learn later in the series and its sequel, one cannot change their attribute of air, water, earth, or fire. However, they are not limited by that attribute in term of style or use.