Firebending moves are based mainly on the Northern Shaolin style of kung fu. Aspects of the firebending combat style can be seen through the similar emphasis on highly technical kicking strikes, fundamentally strong movements, and the usage of swift, direct maneuvers. Northern Shaolin is an external style that uses long, aggressive techniques that explode and drive through the opponent. This style emphasizes “kicking over hand fighting”, or prioritizing one’s legwork as opposed to the arms. A few techniques from Northern Seven Star Praying Mantis are also prominent. These feature quick, successive attacks that utilize momentary bursts of extreme power, much like an explosion, called ging lik. It optimizes a strong continuous offense, sacrificing defense for greater power, the principle behind a pre-emptive strike, and as such, firebending is categorized as the most aggressive of the four bending arts.
(Source: benevolxnts, via bobbityhobbity)