BODYCOMBAT Advanced Instructor Module
Posted March 8, 2010on:
Well just when you thought you were a good instructor… turns out you’ve got a lot of work to do! That was the message I took away from the AIM. The thing is, as a group fitness instructor once you’re certified (which is usually right after you’ve done your first module) you really don’t get that much feedback on your instructing… especially if your numbers are good.
And that’s basically the situation I was in. My primary gym is really happy with my classes and numbers, my combats are the busiest classes on the timetable and as such I guess I kinda starting thinking of myself as a big fish in a small pond… after all the city I live in is reasonably small. HOWEVER, when you’re thown in a room and on stage with the likes of Will Pritchard and Ang Hunter (who also did the AIM) and being assessed by Matt Thraxton and Tauvaga “T” Siolo – you soon realise how much more work you’ve got to do! And that is a GREAT thing.
That is reason enough alone in my mind to do the AIM. As I said it’s not often you get an objective assessment of your instructing once you’re actually certified and it’s easy for bad habits to slip in.
One thing I was a little disappointed about was the turnout. There were nine of us in total, which is a pretty low turnout considering this was the first BODYCOMBAT AIM in NZ. I was expecting 40-50 instructors myself, after all why wouldn’t you do it? The small group did mean more one on one time with Matt and T and also meant we were able to fly through the schedule pretty quickly. It also meant the quality of the instructors who actually did the module itself was very high.
So, what can you expect if you’re thinking of doing it? Well, the day started with our first assessment, we were randomly assigned a track (literally by pulling numbers from a ‘hat’) – I got BC43 track 2 (Love Drunk). The “funny” thing about this is I teach 4 BC classes per week, and as a result I’m rarely nervous (only time I ever feel butterflies is usually on release night when you wonder if you’re going to remember all the chorey!). However, as soon as you’re put in a room with someone like Matt or T holding a pad a paper taking notes on you the nerves kick in and your normal teaching style just flies out the window as you try to actively think of initial and follow up cues etc etc. So it was little surprise to me when the first thing I was told is that I need to relax more on stage (easier said than done in those situations!)
After the assessment came discussion about the essence of BC, where it sits in terms of the needs of our participants and what we can do to meet those needs (all great stuff). Maybe a couple of hours of theory which was all new information not covered in the initial module (in case you were wondering). From there a short break and then real fun began… the physical part of the day!
We spent maybe 40-60 minutes (on each) covering in depth four martial arts. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Capoiera and Muay Thai. Karate involved tonnes of traditional karate drills in traditional stance (think wide and low in the legs – ouch!). Capoiera we looked in depth at the ginga and esquiva as well forming a circle and in the middle pairing up and ‘dancing’ as capoeiristas do (that was fun). Next came TKD which was really enjoyable for me as I’ve done about 8 years of it (in my youth) we did tonnes of kicking drills including kicks not in BC (like the hook kick, axe kick and spinning back kick – actually the hook kick is in Guitar Damage and the spinning back kick is in Shut Up and Drive but only as a finishing move so you know what I mean). We built into a killer combo which was two front kicks, axe kick, jump kick, low side kick, high side kick, round house, hook kick (all same leg) then spinning back kick. Try doing that over and over again on each side! Loved it!
Next came the tough part. The muay thai drills. We were taken down to the kick bags and paired up with kick and punching pads and basically smashed each other with punches and kicks using kick boxing drills (1 – jab, 2 – cross, 3 hook etc) – as well as ‘courage’ drills where you “wall” up and the person with the pads basically smashes you back while you protect your body. I was paired up with Will. Now if you know Will you know he’s a big powerful guy and man can he punch! We were pushed and pushed with drill after drill (including 100 roundhouses into the pads as fast as we could – per leg!) – everyone was left absolutely gasping for air at the end. BUT, it did demonstrate how much further you can push yourself when you have someone breathing down your neck not letting you quit… an awesome lesson to take away to your classes (though I’d never advocate pushing your class THAT hard!)
Finally came the second assessment where hopefully you put all the feedback you’ve received and the lessons learnt for the day to work (I say hopefully as we were all pretty tired by then!)
In summary – it’s an awesome awesome day and I highly recommend it. It’s hard work (no doubt) but you’ll learn a lot about your teaching style, and a lot about yourself. There’s still two more days to come (the generic components) which are still a few weeks away yet so I’ll be sure to keep you posted about that. In the interim, if you do get the chance to do it I couldn’t recommend it enough 🙂
If anyone else has done the BC AIM overseas or any other AIM for another programme I’d love your feedback!