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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.

Warrior Film Review for BodyCombat instructors and participants

BodyCombat instructors and participants all know that this Les Mills fitness class is based upon mixed martial arts (MMA). It’s a an authentic blend of boxing, karate, tae kwondo, muay tai, capoeira, kick boxing, Brazilian jujitsu choreographed to music. It’s a great way to work out and it burns calories and tones muscles.

Although the moves in a Body Combat class are authentic, it is non-contact. You don’t punch and kick people for real.

Warrior Film Review for BodyCombat instructors and participants

And that’s fine because most participants are not martial artists and are probably not that bothered about the difference between the styles. They are more interested in the exercise results.

If you are interested in learning more you could go to a full contact martial arts class. Or you can watch MMA tournaments on Sky TV. Look for UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Or once in a while a Hollywood block buster comes along with an MMA theme.

There was one a few years ago called Never Back Down – which was more of a teenage rom-com with the usual impossibly beautiful American teenagers hanging out in expensive cars, partying, copping off with each other and, on this occasion, fighting in MMA matches. It was good eye candy and the fight sequences were well done. But there was little depth.

Warrior film review

Now along comes Warrior, a film with a great emotional story, superb acting and kick ass choreographed MMA fights.

Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) and Brenden Conlon (Joel Edgerton) are estranged brothers haunted by a betrayal by their alcoholic father (a superb Nick Nolte). Tommy is trying come to terms with losing friends in combat in Iraq and Brenden is trying to keep his family finances afloat as the bank tries to repossess his house.

They both fall back on their MMA background and enter a UFC competition. Whilst you can spot the inevitable outcome within moments, that they’ll meet in the final, their journey to that clash is emotional as each of the brothers and their father try to reconcile their past differences. The amazing fight sequences punctuate the drama. Unlike the teen film mentioned earlier, these guys are much older, battle hardened and world weary. The final fight tugs at the heart strings, and despite the savagery of the bout, I defy anyone not to wipe away a tear.

Warrior Film Review for BodyCombat instructors and participants

Pretty much every martial arts we have seen in Body Combat makes an appearance, and that allied to the strong story line makes it compulsive viewing even for those who are only interested in the exercise benefits of the class.

I often joke when I teach Body Combat that, “This class is only make believe.” Well this film is only make believe too, but it is so well made that you will get swept away with the gritty reality and the raw emotion of a family struggling for reconciliation.

Over to you: Have you seen Warrior? What did you think? What other MMA films have you seen and would recommend? Are you a Body Combat participant or instructor? How do you react to seeing “the real thing”? Please leave a comment by clicking on “leave a reply” below.