For those that don’t know, here in The Netherlands there is another company called Club Joy that have created pre-choreographed programs just like Les Mills. I can remember about 4 years ago when it first started and there were some Dutch people who wrote about it. It’s been pretty low key since and I guess the program hasn’t been discussed at all on the forum since then so I was surprised when I heard it mentioned it still exists.
Janne and Rien (voidbrain) said they were going to the filmings of a release of Club Battle (a Bodycombat clone) and so Alex, Robert (sigma) and I decided we’d go along too. Actually, Alex and I decided to go and then Janne and I begged Robert to come too. I was wondering how I’d go following a strange class in a language I didn’t understand.
I have to be honest and say that I expected Club Battle to be pretty poor quality. I dunno, I guess cuz it’s been so low key and I’d heard bad stuff about it in the beginning. However I found that I actually quite liked it! The music was fantastic although the chorrey kinda lacked the “ooomph” that gives combat it’s special quality. Although maybe that has to do with the fact the filming wasn’t run as a regular class?
The way they filmed was VERY different to a Les Mills filming. There were 3 cameras which were a lot smaller, but I expected that. There was probably about 15 people there and the group fitness room was actually in an open floor plan area in front of the treadmills. This didn’t bother me, but I could imagine in Australia it could be very intimidating to do a group fitness class in front of people exercising on treadmills.
In between each track there was a 3-5 minute pause while they set up for the next track. As compared with a Les Mills filming, they pretty much go straight through with only a tiny pause as necessary. It doesn’t feel a whole lot different than a regular class. However with the Club Battle filming it was heart rate up, heart rate down, heart rate up……..etc. So it’s hard to judge the intensity of the class with all the breaks.
The really odd thing they did was they cued the class in reverse to mimic the mirror image for the instructor video. I thought this was bizarre and although I recognised immediately what they were trying to do (even though I didn’t understand the dutch explanation), however it seemed weird that they didn’t just digitally reverse it. I asked about it, and she said it was because of the logos etc. During the Les Mills filmings they actually prepared reversed logos on the wall behind and on the clothing especially for the filming and then reverse the video digitally. Anyway, I didn’t mind too much since it felt natural for me to start on my left leg anyway.
The class itself was remarkable like combat. The format was identical even down to the muay thai track. It was quite obvious that the ideas had been taken from combat and as it turned out I found out afterwards that the choreographer is actually also a combat instructor. They did have a new move though that took getting used to………the reverse roundhouse kick. You actually set up with your leg out straight, then pull your heel back to your butt (like the end part of a roundhouse). It went against instinct to start with the leg straight though.
I surprised myself by picking stuff up better than I thought I would. I was relying mainly on memory of the initial sequences and instinct of following the music. There were a few basic cues in English that I could follow, but sometimes there were points where I had no idea until I stopped and watched what was coming up.
Overall, I enjoyed the class and if I was told that this was the next combat release I probably wouldn’t know any different. As I said earlier the music was actually amazing, but I did feel overall that it lacked something special. In some ways it reminded me of the old days of combat……the Gabby and Nathaniel days. Anyway, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to have experienced the class. It’s not something I’d ever get to do in Australia.
After the filming Rien and Janne stayed on for the Club Step filming for which there were only 4 participants……..eeek! Alex, Robert and I just watched for a little bit and I had the horrible dilema about what to do about having a shower. I desperately wanted a shower, but open showers……big brother style. It’s just not something I’m used to. After I came out of the girls changeroom, Janne, Alex, Robert and Rien were all grinning and waiting for the answer as to whether or not I had a shower or not! 😆
I’m not going to go into to the details of the lengths I went to to get a shower, but let’s just say I managed to get a very rapid rinse without being seen by anyone. 😈
Alex, Robert and I then watched a couple of Club Step tracks and then went and got lunch and before heading back home. Robert stayed and had tea with us and I got another of those amazing massages (although incredibly painful…..arrrggggh). 😉