Fighting fit: BodyCombat and martial arts

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Source: BodyCombat Facebook page

Feeling the motivation to start a sport or activity after a long period of inactivity can be quite hard, but since I started BodyCombat I can honestly say what the poster above said is entirely true. I spent too much time eating (at home and at work), sitting around (at work and at home) and basically not doing much exercise. Nine months and 7 days ago, I decided to take that leap and started doing BodyCombat after doing some research into it.

For me, BodyCombat was a way of using my previous martial arts training and expressing that motivation in a more relaxed environment. In any of the Les Mills classes, the instructor teaches you the moves and you work to your own strengths at your own pace and push yourself to do better. In BodyCombat, you follow the choreography and push yourself by stepping up the power with each change in the beat.

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Source: BodyCombat Facebook page

Les Mills classes are relaxed and while you might not be into the type of music they play (usually mix versions of current popular tunes), I find myself converted to actually listening to the same tunes outside of class. It’s awe-inspiring how such a simple tune can bring forth emotions you feel when you’re working out to those songs and remembering your favourite moves. It also reminds me of how far I’ve come since I first started. Like everyone else who starts off, at first you feel like dying, but then you feel re-born. I certainly do.

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Source: BodyCombat Facebook page

When I first started, I was exhausted before the second track even started and tried to push myself to finish the 55 minute session. Now I push myself even further my doing the harder options for each track where I can. You first need to re-train your body to get into the active mode, but after that it’s all in your head. Whenever I feel tired now, I push myself into that zone where I’m determined to get to the end, knowing that I’ve worked myself harder than I have before.

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Source: BodyCombat Facebook page

I find what Dan and Rach, the Les Mills instructors who can be seen in all the instructional films, very inspirational and to know that they’ve gotten so far with their former training in mixed martial arts (MMA) and muay thai. Even the photos BodyCombat warriors post of their achievements make you want to get to where they are.

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Dan and Rach at filming rehearsal for BodyCombat 57. Source: BodyCombat Facebook page

For a relaxed class environment to get fit, check out the range of
Les Mills classes offered at a gym or leisure centre near you. Some don’t like the ‘fitness’ level of classes, believing this to be…too ‘feminine’. Biased as it might be, I have seen men come into classes a couple of times and leave again because they couldn’t keep up. The class is mostly made up of females, but there are also men instructors and participants who enjoy the atmosphere and energy of Combat.

If you prefer more serious training, kung fu is also a good option. Recently, Gisele Bündchen posted a photo of herself in a martial arts session on her Twitter. Apparently, doing martial arts 3 times a week and doing yoga a few weeks before giving birth helped her get back to her trim model-figure.

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Gisele Bündchen at a martial arts session. Source: Handbag.com

Even in martial arts, there are different forms you can learn. For example, kung fu incorporates anything from tai chi (core conditioning) to wing chun (similar to tai chi, but for self defence) to more aggressive siu lam kung fu. Lots of clubs also offer MMA, muay thai, kickboxing, jujitsu, karate and other South East Asian forms of martial arts.

What inspirational activities appeal to you that push you to your physical limits?

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