NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

BODYCOMBAT Advanced Instructor Module

Posted on: March 8, 2010

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!

17 Responses to "BODYCOMBAT Advanced Instructor Module"

Wow, that all sounds amazing, if exhausting! Glad you enjoyed it! Now I have no idea if my combat instructor has done this course or not, but motivation wise she is brilliant, in that she doesn’t just stay at the front of the class.
Every now and again she will move around the class doing the moves next to you, and demanding more from you, if you have members that hide out at the back as I did, it makes you feel more involved, makes it feel a bit more personal and as I said before is totally motivating!
Do many BC instructors move around the class? Out of the 5 instructors I’ve done classes with she is the only one that moves around and as such is the one I work hardest in!

Great revieGreat review of what the AIM is like.
I’ve got T as one of my regular instuctors for Combat…

Good on you mate! Sounds wicked. Did you meet the lovely Frida? She was my ‘mentor’ for Body Attack :0)

I expected more instructors to turn up but yeah like you said – more one-on-one time! Maybe people stayed away as it was the first one, once they had more information (where you come in!) they could look at the next round – was there any mention of when the next lot would be?

The reason I havent signed up for Attack AIM is because I’ve only had my cert for two months – I am still working on things from my assessment so would feel a bit out of my league doing an AIM. However it is on the ‘to-do’ list!

Happy recovery!

@Fiona – I’ve seen many instructors do it and I agree it’s a great idea. Personally I don’t as my gym has only had group fitness for a few months and if I was to step off stage many people would lose their place in the chorey!

@Scott – yep I’d never met T until yesterday – he’s awesome

@Rach – yep Frida did really well. Unfortunately much like the rest of us she was looking pretty battered and bruised by the end of the day… poor thing was limping quite badly.

I agree with your reasons for not doing the Attack AIM – and to be honest it’s exactly the same reason why I didn’t do the pump. I only certified in pump in November so still a newbie (and attack I’m a REAL newbie!). Maybe we can do the attack AIM together next year?

You don’t get nervous? I’ve been teaching since BP57 and i still get nervous before every class i teach.

I’ve been interested in the AIM for a couple years now, but really hard to find time to slip it in and the one down this end of the country is right while we’re learning stuff for our launch. So i guess it’ll have to wait for another time.

YES to Attack AIM next year – you’re locked in!

Yeah as much as I love Frida shes also mental – she did Pump AIM the day before apparently :0/ :0/ :0/ :0/

I just recently completed Australia’s (and the world’s actually) first Body Combat AIM in Adelaide, South Australia. I absolutely loved it! I thought the whole day was executed successfully and I got a lot out of it. We only had 4 people in our AIM but I thought that was good because we got a lot of one on one feedback which just wouldn’t have been possible with a larger group. I got the Muay Thai track from 43, which at the time of the AIM most clubs around Australia, including mine hadn’t even launched 43 yet! Overall though I was very happy with the whole day.

Glen-this is great to hear. When I first heard about the AIM, I was very excited (and a little bit anxious too). I have been a pump instructor for 6 yrs, but I never assume that makes me an expert. I think that we are all “journeymen”, constantly learning, and can benefit from some freshening up and constructive criticism. I am nervous to hear what the trainers may say (not from my ego’s standpoint, but because I would feel horrible if I have been passing along anything to my members that isn’t correct!)

I would hope that all of my peers would take part in this “re-assessment” so that as a team, we are all stronger and better. I have definitely seen some things in some instructors that upsets me and sends mixed messages to our members, so it would be nice if we were all bringing the same key elements to our classes. I believe the only true difference from one class to another is the individual instructors personality and teaching style….not the chory, not the form, not the timing, etc.

As soon as they begin offering the AIM here, I am THERE!! Thanks for the first hand account. I look forward to hearing about the follow up dates.

One thing I didn’t actually consider was the cost – apparently the AIMs in other regions are a lot more expensive than in NZ, which could explain the lower turnout in yours Patrick. (I normally look at these things in terms of the amount of classes it would take to ‘pay off’ – for the AIM here it was only 3 classes pay so pretty easy for me to justify)

Enjoy the AIM Niki – and couple of people of the combat had done the pump one the day before and loved it! You’ll learn a tonne!

Sounds great Glen! Continuing ed is always a good thing!

Right, that’s it – I’m doing the next London Body Combat AIM now. There’s rumours that the next one isn’t until June though – boo!

I did do a pump workshop with Glen O last year – it was pretty nervewracking having to teach a track in front of the pump program director. Had some good feedback and also three useful suggestions on what to focus on to improve my teaching. It was kinda interesting watching the other instructors teach – I don’t think I’ll ever forget the guy who got up there and screamed his way through the pump track (he had a head like a tomato by the end of the track).

There was one guy on there who had just passed his pump module and not even submitted the video yet – poor bloke was terrified up there (and had a few timing and chorry issues but hey, who hasn’t had days like that) and Glen did a great job with him.

I wish you all the best for the success with this. Those who do advanced fitness training such as thai boxing drills have my full admiration!

Well, the London date has been announced and bookings taken so I’m all booked and paid for – just need to inform that manager that I won’t be in that day now!

Apparently some fella called Dan Cohen ( 😉 ) is taking the AIM along with Tanya Walker. I’m going to hurt lots afterwards aren’t I?!?

Especially as the superquarterly is only two days later. Uh oh.

I’m doing the BC AIM in August with Dan…… very nervous yet excited to take it to the next level. As for cost in the US, this AIM is $129. I just did the BodyStep AIM with Lisa a few months ago and was $99. Each region in the US can set their own prices and Midwest loves to charge us. Still it’s worth it to get my ass kicked by Dan 🙂

Thanks for the info and hello from Brownsville, Texas. 🙂

Our LM distributor is having two AIMs here in Texas this coming Saturday. Another instructor from the gym and I are going….we are a little scared, excited and nervous!! 🙂

Hopefully someone that is going is reading this…I could always use a lunch buddy. 🙂

Is it true that they are trying to look for potential master trainers through AIM as well?

Hi Lin

Perhaps long term. We’re just starting to see the first wave of instructors who have achieved Advanced (or Elite) via AIM coming through as workshop presenters here now. No doubt they will become trainers down the line and perhaps even DVD presenters. Not a short process though as you probably know.

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