My main memory of Body Combat release 52 from the Quarterly Workshop was that it was fast and it hurt my shoulders. Now I have been teaching it for a few weeks it is still fast and hurts my shoulders. It makes me breathless and it makes me sweat. But is it too repetitive? Some participants seem to think so but they still keep coming back so perhaps they like sore shoulders more than they dislike repetition.
Upper body warm up (Rain Over Me): It’s a sing-a-long catchy tune, we hit the ground running with a warm up track that makes you feel like you’ve done the majority of the class in the first five minutes. There’s no gradual build you are into it straight away.
But what are the “Shoot Lunges” doing here? They do not appear in a later track so it seems a little daft to invest the time to cue, coach and preview for them to vanish without trace after the warm up. Maybe a double hook and jacks round after the double upper cuts and jacks round would have been less jarring. Great apart from this anomaly.
Lower Body Warm Up (Sexy and I know it): Nice to see a variation in the order of kicks in this one and a number of performance opportunities make this a fun kick track. Sneaky putting those back kicks in after the roundhouse. Don’t wiggle? Why not?
Combat 1 (Crazy Train): I know rock isn’t to everybody’s taste but this one works perfectly for me. I love the karate double block and punch beginning set to the build up of drums, then heavy guitar, then the full ensemble. No pulses between the repetitions makes it quite intense. I got confused by the travelling block forward and back at the quarterly workshop but mastered it pretty afterwards. Needs careful cueing though. One of my favourite T2s for a while. Going off the rails (in a controlled way) to me is what Body Combat is all about.
Power 1 (When I Close my Eyes): Nice simple and fast with another upbeat sing-a-long track. Love the second combo. Head tummy head (or would that be “head knackers head”?)
Combat 2 (Bring Me to Life): Lovely kata to begin this cover of one of my favourite ever Body Balance standing strength tracks . You can get really down deep into this and the arm lines are powerful. Dan screams that there are 234 kicks in this track so I’m assuming that he also included the knee strikes. Even though I’m a Virgo I haven’t tried counting them up. This one gets the heart racing and is a good showcase for the jump front kick. Watch out for the few tricky pauses between moves though. Timing is difficult.
Power 2 (Passenger): Easy combos to learn. Cheesy music and the slow build up to the jab cross hook combo that repeats many times until your hook shoulder starts to burn. Pity the track is not slightly longer to give us 8 of the advancing quadruple jabs instead of 4. That might have broken it up a little.
Combat 3 (Ring the Alarm): Rachael calls this the mother of all track 6s. I think there have been harder ones, but it is a good flow from start to finish and the body never stops moving. The ginga step pattern can confuse the newcomer until it suddenly clicks. This does for the glutes what Passenger does for the shoulders – aren’t those lunging knees intense?
Muay Thai (Seek and Destroy): Okay so when people say that this release is very repetitive what they really mean is that this track is very repetitive. Maybe after the capoeira sequence we need something that doesn’t tax the brain. If you go hard with the descending elbows, fast with those running man knees, then this should have you gasping for air.
The first time I tried to coach the freestyle section though, I got blank looks and people just stopped (this happened on the Quarterly Workshop as well). Since then I’ve been doing speedballs or getting the class to face an opponent to make it more real.
Yes it is repetitious and therefore needs coaching well. It works from a fitness point of view but this will be the first track to get mixed out.
Power 3 (Falling): Another long track but this time with plenty of variety. I like the way we revisit the travelling jab sequence from the warm up. By now the shoulders really are suffering. The hook in T5, the descending elbow in T7 and finally another hook in this one culminate in real shoulder fatigue. A great climax.
Conditioning (First of the Year): Like many recent conditioning tracks the exercises betray Dan’s involvement in CXWorx. It might feel like you are doing press ups but this is all core work. The walking hovers are savage. The pikes at the end are agony evidenced by the groans as people collapse at the end.
The music is definitely different. I describe it as the inner workings of a scary electronic machine. The genre is “dubstep” so I believe. Strangely it works. Best conditioning track for a while.
Cool down (The fighter): Nice song (there go 25 (or however many there are in your class) fighters. Good use of T4s kata at the end. Obviously this song was included as a tribute to the sad loss of Hernan Lopez, a New Zealand master trainer. Although this is a fact lost on most participants I think it has been an emotional song for many instructors around the world. Even without that it is a great end to a great release.
Over to you: I hope you enjoyed this review of Body Combat release 52. Are you a Body Combat instructor? Please let me know what you think of this class.Participants what do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.