BODYCOMBAT 41 review
Posted September 6, 2009on:
Been a bit slack getting this uploaded – especially since most of you have probably seen or done BC41 by now! So this is long overdue… But nevertheless, for blog completion’s sake I’ll post my thoughts below.
As always be really interested in your feedback on the release
1a: Dragostea Din Tei (DJ Ross Radio Mix) – O-Zone
The upper body warm up is quite possibly the most controversial track of the release! If you read any of the group fitness forums you may have seen some of the initial reactions to this song being in BODYCOMBAT (here’s a hint – some instructors haven’t been all that impressed…) however, personally I’ve found this track has gone down really well! You can have a lot of fun with it and the members are always smiling and quite often singing along which is always good! One of the first times I did this release after the filming was in Hernan’s class in Auckland. If you know Hernan and what a fun character he is you can imagine how hysterical he was presenting this track… the entire room was having a ball. And although I’m not one tenth the funny man Hernan is I try to do the same. “Numa numa” is a light, fun start to the release so even though I know some people aren’t too happy with its presence in combat you won’t hear any complaints from me.
1b: My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
Okay, here’s the strange thing about the lower body warmup. We’ve got no sidekicks at all, and a whole heap of back kicks (a whole heap!) This struck me as being really weird at the filming and to be honest I’m still not sure why Dan and Rach didn’t swap out one of the sets of back kicks for some sidekicks. But never mind for what ever reason they chose not to and they’re the boss(es)! That aside again this is another fun track and I’ve seen loads of members singing along to it. If you’re not a Kelly Clarkson fan, well, without saying too much my advice is that you should probably just accept the fact she’s in combat as I think we may be seeing a bit of her in the future
I’ve not formally checked but I’m almost certain that this is the single longest warmup in the history of combat, close to ten minutes long! Having taught this release well over a dozen times now probably my only other comment is it does possibly go on a bit too long.
02: Music Is Pumpin – Radical Rhythm
Officially my new favourite track 2! The last few releases have seen reasonably rocky type track 2s (Cum on feel the noise, Try it again, Born to be wild etc) and Music Is Pumping is a refreshing change. I love the music, and love the chorey. There’s enough time to introduce the “new” kick to BODYCOMBAT here in the first combination (the Push Kick – a modified front kick) which means you don’t have to do too much cueing before track 4 (where it features prominently). I absolutely love the hook roundhouse combination, and the treble elbow knee sequence at the end just goes off! 10 out of 10 from me. Love love love it.
03: Slow & Steady Rush – Random Attack
A dance remix of Faith Hill’s Breathe, Slow & Steady Rush really has no surprises in terms of chorey – the track builds really well into the final combo (double jab, upper) x 2 – 4 hooks where you can really blow the roof off the gym in terms of intensity. Probably not my favourite track 3 but a solid one that will stand the test of time.
4a: Enter Sandman – Spock
Okay, track 4. Here’s where the release gets kinda interesting. We begin with a rather dark track, a cover of Metallica’s hit Enter Sandman. Really powerful Hook/knee combo to start which changes into a jab/cross/upper/roundhouse sequence before going back into the hook/knee combo. We then have the new move to combat – the plyo push. Pretty straight forward, we push our opponent away with a sharp snapping movement, then push kick them to finish the job. Instructors really have to change the delivery of this track, it’s a dark rock/metal track that requires it to be presented in a similar fashion. Certainly a massive change from the light cheerful tone of track 3 that’s for sure!
4b: Boom – P.O.D.
Okay, well unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that yes the evasive side kick is back. It hasn’t been in combat for some time and it without question it is the most controversial move in combat. In my post after the BC41 filming I wrote the following:
“While on the subject of the evasive sidekick I got talking to Dan in the changing room after a BC41 trial run and I mentioned to him it was great to see the e-kick back. He said they were introducing it slowly, and toned it down as in the past some instructors were jumping so high it was unobtainable for an average participant to achieve. As much as I hate to admit it he is right – the jumping evasive side kick as demo’d by Dan himself in Rock Me Amadeus (although it looked AMAZINGLY impressive) was kinda crazy in that he leaped a good 5 feet in the air! In BC41 the e-kick is done with a “hop” as opposed to a jump (if that makes sense) so although I’m sure some instructors will go back into old habits and fly into the air I think the idea is to try to keep the level a little lower. Will be interesting to see how it pans out…”
Well I can tell you how it’s panned out in the gyms I teach at; perfectly fine! I think the key is that if you’re going to introduce the jumping option, introduce it as an option only when appropriate. What do I mean by this? Well for me personally I teach at 3 different gyms; all three have a different membership base. One of the gyms literally had Les Mills group fitness classes brought in a week ago. So, there’s no way in hell I’m going to expect them to even dream of doing a full e-kick for a long time! It’s just not going to happen. However, another gym has a loyal membership base of diehard combaters who love the jump knees and advanced options (and have seen and done the e-kick in previous releases) – so when we launch there on Wednesday quite possibly it would be appropriate to demo it in the later part of the track. I guess my point is some people dislike the e-kick as they feel it was unachievable for members; and if that’s the case stick with the low option. My 2 cents anyway
My final comment about track 4 is that it’s quite long… 7 minutes! When you combine that with the 10 minute warm up when instructors start mixing we’ll have to be really mindful of track lengths. In BC41 this is offset by a very short track 5 (3 minutes) – however you’d only have to switch out a couple tracks with longer ones before you’d start running into class length issues. Worth bearing in mind anyway.
05: Ballroom Blitz – Dave & The Extras
Well of course the likely hood of anyway loving every track in a given release is incredibly slim (you can’t please all of the people all of the time) and yes, this is one of the ‘don’t likes’ for me personally. I’ll admit it is growing on me but definitely looking forward to mixing it out. As noted above it is only 3 minutes long so it’s over pretty quickly anyway! As I mentioned in my filming post Ballroom Blitz was also in BODYCOMBAT 6 – which means this is the second release in a row in which a track from BC6 has been reused (the last one was Tubthumping in BC40)
06: Let Me Entertain You – Bodytronixx
Not too much to say about this track – very similar in structure to Shut Up and Drive from BC34 but instead of side kick, knee, back kick this time there’s another knee. A Tae Kwon Do based track without a single punch/hook/or upper in the entire thing (I did 7 years of TKD and yes we didn’t use our hands much so it is true to the discipline!) Hasn’t gone down as well as Burn It To The Ground from BC40 but it’s not a bad track and the kick kata is slow enough that it is a recovery.
07: Desolation Row – Krakaw Kreativ Kollektiv
Muay Thai is traditionally my favourite track in the class but unfortunately I did find this track a little lacking. Unlike most muay thais of late this isn’t a techno track but rather a Les Mills cover of the My Chemical Romance track. Loads of jab/crosses and loads of knees and really not much else. Not a bad track, but just lacks the intensity and climax of say Hardcore Angel from BC39 (quite possibly my favourite Muay Thai along with So What! from BC27).
08: What Do You Want From Me (squad-e remix) – Cascada
Awesome finish to the cardio portion of the release. Great song that builds into a powerful hook/jab/cross sequence at the end. Not too much else to say other than YES!
Conditioning/cool down. Won’t spend too much time on these – circular crunches and circular pressups feature in the conditioning, and the cooldown has nice chorey which finishes with the same kata sequence introduced in track 6. Halo whilst not really my cup of tea musically at least is a nice calming track to bring the heart rate down to and seems to be liked by the members.
So, overall a solid release! Any release that has a track that tops my favourite list must be a goody and yes, whilst BC41 has a couple of tracks that I’m not a massive fan of it has more than enough tracks that I really like and one that I absolutely love! At the end of the day the members seem to be loving it and that’s all that counts! Enjoy!