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.


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