I’m very late with this review of Body Combat release 47 – so late in fact that I have started to mix in preparation for the next release in a few weeks time. But I stayed with the full 47 line up for quite a few weeks due to popularity of this workout. Whilst it might not be as focused on leg conditioning as its immediate predecessors, it more than makes up for it in the upper body department, delivering a blistering cardio burnout and an absolute guarantee of sore shoulders.
Upper Warm Up (Dynamite): An uplifting song with catchy lyrics that participants can sing along to, this is a brief but enjoyable warm up for the upper body keeping the moves nice and simple as you would expect. The mid-track kata is necessitated by the structure of the song rather than by the need to offer a rest so early on, but it does give the opportunity to learn a move which will crop up in various guises in four tracks in this release.
Lower Warm Up (Love the Way You Lie): A good track to coach the basic kicks and knee strikes with the welcome return of the hip roll (or outer leg block as it doesn’t seem to be called anymore). The music is pretty dull however with the rap verses really hogging more than their fair share of airtime. And the final travelling sequence with roundhouse kicks lasts for ages inviting looks from the participants along the lines of “will this ever end?” This track might have been mixed out earlier had the upper body warm up it is fixed too not been as uplifting.
Combat 1 (Let me Hear You Scream): This is a great combat track with almost every line of lyric useable to create atmosphere. “Let me hear you scream like you want it” – Do they really want it? How much do they want it? And for all those people who come to Body Combat to excise a bad day in the office here you have the opportunity to “Push them right back in their place” and “Wipe the smile right from their face”. Nice simple combos allow the people to master the kicks without pressure so that they are well prepared for the final section where the exertions increase with the travelling sequence added in. Best Track 2 for me for quite a while.
Power 1 (Make You Mine): A very solid power track which begins the annihilation of the shoulders early on and is relentless with almost no break for nearly 7 minutes. It is a massive combination of punches which benefits from the build up in each layer until everyone is absolutely bursting to power up the full sequence. One slight niggle – the music in the track contains some missing drum beats – and this took a while to get used to and sometimes knocked me off pace.
Combat 2 (Fire): The return of Scooter – Body Combat’s most prolific artist, and a return for a piece of music first used in release 7. Now sadly I can remember the original – it was a power track – and it’s easy to do the maths – 40 releases ago means it was 10 years ago. Great combo with the jumping knee in the guitar chorus, the double knee and side kick butt blaster, and of course the step over kick. Now this step over kick was extremely challenging to teach. For some reason this track comes with the built in ability to mess with people’s heads. Despite demoing it first, despite cueing it to death this took weeks for people to get it. Perhaps it is because they are so used to doing front kicks with their lead legs. Ask them to step on the lead leg and kick with the back leg turns the brain into liquid and seems to introduce endless confusion. And once the main crowd gets it you then have the new people next time who go through the same long learning process. Despite this rather hilarious issue, this is a fantastic combat track and the standout of the release for me.
Power 2 (The Warrior’s Code): Internet gossip had already pretty much written this off as the worst track 5 ever before I even went on the quarterly workshop. Okay it is very simple, but I just turned the music up very very loud and went for it and actually it isn’t bad at all. Not the worst track 5 but in fairness not the best. The speedball running sequence is exhausting if you really push the participants. This was the first track to be mixed out though, not because the participants complained – simply because I replaced it with “Crashed the Wedding” from BC22 to celebrate the Royal Wedding in the UK – and it proved to be so popular that it stayed.
Combat 3 (Feels Like a Prayer): A track that people cannot avoid singing along to. And another with lyrics that can be used to maximum effect. “When YOU call THEIR name – THEY say a little prayer!” But seriously do we all want to sound like “Angels sighing?” – certainly not we are fighters we want to roar not sigh. Great combos and the power of that back kick. If they stand behind you – “Heaven Help Them”.
Muay Thai (You’re Going Down): As Dan says in the video short and deadly. This one can have the participants exhausted if they push things really hard and the downward punches in just the right spot. In one class I noticed one lady hitting her imaginary opponent so hard, with such a look of hate on her face, that I was genuinely scared. She obviously knew who she was pummeling.
Power 3 (Release Me): I felt like changing the title of this track to Beast Me because that is what it does to the shoulders. The first few teaches brought out grimaces that revealed that it was working the shoulders into final oblivion. A relentless track with a surprising amount of variety for a track 8 and this certainly wins my support.
Conditioning (Beautiful Monster): A massively tough conditioning track that was a huge challenge for everyone. It was gratifying to see people go from doing only one rep up on their toes in week one to almost all of them as the weeks went by. Perhaps the most difficult moves we have had for a while – but a request fo Dan and Rach. Can we have a conditioning track like the one from BC22 (Let’s get it Started) – with lying down kicks. That was vicious as well and we haven’t had one like that since.
Cooldown (Just The Way You Are): An innocuous, if a little bland, cooldown which is probably just as well because by this strange those who have given it their all probably just wanted to collapse into the huge puddle of seat that had collected around their feet. Lovely tune and a breezy finish to an excellent release. Had the lower body warm up music been more uplifting and had track 5 not had to deal with death by internet gossip this might have been a 10 out of 10.
Over to You: Are you a Body Combat Instructor? What did you think of release 47? Are you a participant? Have you enjoyed number 47?