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What is Body Combat – it’s the fitness class that thinks it’s a fight movie?

Body Combat is the only fitness class that lifts you out of the real world and sets you down inside a blockbuster fight movie. Who do you want to be? It might be the martial arts king Bruce Lee, or modern tough guy Jason Bourne. It could be Captain Jack Sparrow, James Bond or the fighters from the recent Warrior film.

That’s why I like teaching Body Combat so much. It really does offer you an escape from the day to day routine and gets you fit in a fun and challenging way. If you are an instructor you will already know this. If you are thinking of giving the class a try I hope I can convince you with this review.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

Choreographed to music, Body Combat is from New Zealand fitness class experts Les Mills. They describe the class as follows.

“The fiercely energetic martial arts workout where you are totally unleashed and empowered.”

It uses authentic moves from many different martial arts. Boxing provides jabs, hooks and upper cuts and intensely aerobic training moves. Karate and Taekwondo bring precise kicks. Kick boxing and Muay Thai unleash an arsenals of knee and elbow strikes. Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art introduces a flowing dancing style that’s tough on the legs and conditions the muscles.

All the while in the background the music drives your motivation. You’ll hear current top 40 hits, older chart toppers and of course those block buster movie themes. As with all Les Mills classes, they bring out new music and new moves every three months.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

So here’s what to expect in an hour of Body Combat.

Lower Body Warm Up: You’ll try out basic boxing moves and become comfortable with simple punches and perhaps mix in some shuffles to increase the heart rate. The music is always uplifting maybe even sing along.

Lower Body Warm Up: Here we set up and try single kicks such as the roundhouse kick and side kicks along with knee strikes and other leg toning moves. Now we are ready for the work out to increase in intensity.

Combat 1: In Combat tracks you will mix punches with kicks. To provide you with an elements continuity so that you can get used to the moves from class to class, certain moves occur in certain tracks. So you can always expect the roundhouse kick in this section. The music here is often modern rock.

Power 1: Just punching and usually inspired purely by boxing training this section is usually choreographed to fast beat dance anthems. The beat drives the moves and pushes up the heart rates as the sweat starts to pour.

Combat 2: Side kicks make an appearance now but the signature move in this track is the jump front kick. Once mastered it provides great aerobic intensity. Musically expect chart hits, rock or more pounding dance grooves.

Power 2: More upper body focus, this section usually provides a physical peak. Like most power tracks the music tends to be driving beats from dance favourites, though we have heard modern takes on old school hits like Johnny Be Good, and Proud Mary.

Combat 3: The focus move in this segment is the back kick. Combat track number three often includes more intense leg conditioning moves especially from Caporeira. These tracks can be quite cinematic. Who could ever forget the awesome moves choreographed to an up beat version of The Pirates of the Caribbean theme?

Muay Thai: Here comes the cardio-peak of the class. Fast and often endless knee and elbow work set to either driving rock or hard core house and dance sounds. You’ll be breathless and sweaty and approaching fatigue by now.

Power 3: This might be a long one. Possibly up to 8 minutes of punching to condition and shape the shoulders. Always uplifting dance music which carries you towards the finishing line.

Conditioning: Despite having finished off the shoulders, expect press ups, sit ups, crunches, C-curls, hovers and planks. Expect your core muscles to be tested to burning point? See hints of Les Mills core strength class, CXWorx, reflected in these exercises.

Cool down: Finally the pace slows down and a slower chart hit or rock ballad accompany stretches and kata moves often taken from Tai Chi. You’ll be tired, dripping with sweat, but you will feel fulfilled, energetic and proud.

What is Body Combat fitness class fight movie

So if you want some fun whilst getting fit. Or if you’ve had a bad day at work and you want to let off some steam. If you want to get out of the real world and unleash your inner Jason Statham, give Body Combat a try. It’s addictive and always has you coming back for more.

It’s the only fitness class that takes you out of the real world and puts you into a block buster movie.

Over to you: Are you thinking of trying a Body Combat class? Have I convinced you to give it a try? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Rebooting ghosts, werewolves, vampires and gladiators

The concept of the film or TV reboot is now well accepted. In the next few months cinema goers will be treated to reboots of the Spiderman and Batman (Dark Knight) franchises. This year already TV fantasy fans have enjoyed a reboot of BBC3’s Being Human and Spartacus.

Producers play the film and TV reboots card usually to extend the life of a successful franchise when its existing actors either become too old for their roles or express their desire to move on to avoid being typecast.

The earliest example of a TV reboot is probably Doctor Who. When original actor William Hartnell left, the producers came up with the idea of allowing the character to “regenerate” into a completely different body. It was still the same person, an eccentric time traveller fighting evil across the universe, but each regeneration brought a different personality and interpretation. In this instance the reboot became integral to the story. Eventually by 1989 even this innovative method of keeping the programme fresh couldn’t save a tired format from plummeting audiences. The series was then rested for 16 years before being fully reinvented, re-suited and rebooted for a whole new generation. Doctor Who is now one of the most successful TV shows in the world.

In cinemas James Bond has been similarly refreshed by replacing the lead actor. Despite a few hiccups this has kept the franchise alive and we are now approaching the 50th anniversary of the first film, Doctor No.

film and tv reboots

Being Human is one of my favourite black comedy dramas and one of BBC3’s best products. The idea of a ghost, vampire and werewolf living together as house mates makes for extremely funny situations, some deep heart searching drama, and of course some frightening darkness interspersed with quite violent scenes.

Faced with the departure of two of the main male leads, the producers could have rested the series. But instead, over the course of the six episodes of season 4 they reinvented the show until we were left with three completely different actors playing a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf (but not the same ones!). Was this successful? I certainly didn’t enjoy this series as much as the first three, but I would agree that the producers have “pulled it off”.

film and tv reboots

Spartacus, a blood soaked, almost soft porn laden Roman sandal opera had to be rebooted because sadly the lead actor died of cancer?  And the chief villain played by the wonderfully vile John Hannah was killed at the end of the first series. Again I’m not convinced that the new actor was anywhere near as good as Andy Whitfield but the supporting characters remained interesting enough to carry the show into ever bloodier battles, and examples of Roman sexual excesses.

As useful as the reboot is to the franchise producer I do wonder whether it stifles creativity and prevents new ideas from finding screen time. Would it be better to find completely new concepts and stories rather than continually reinvent the old ones?

Over to you: Do you agree with film and TV reboots or would you rather a film or TV franchise came to a natural end to be replaced with something completely new? Please post you thoughts in the comments box below.