Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mixing Releases?

On some weeks when I have to miss a regularly scheduled class, I will go to the gym after work on Saturday and do an Attack DVD by myself. This is kinda fun for me. I take the class from Lisa (who always motivates me), and I do lots of mirror work for technique. Also, when I do the class as a participant, I force myself to do all high/as much high as possible. But lately I've been thinking about something, and that's mixing releases.

Obviously, when I do a DVD, I do one entire release start to finish. This is a large departure from how I normally teach, or how most of the instructors at my club teach for that matter. I would venture to say that most of us (myself included) are driven by the music, so we pick the ones we like most and that's what we most often teach. It makes sense, as Attack is the most challenging format... especially when teaching. It would be difficult to "get into it" with songs you don't love, or don't even like.

As I go through my back catalogue, it's really interesting to see which tracks people loved vs hated. For example... yesterday I did Attack 52. Obviously the majority of that release rated well with the instructors at my club. We do 3-9 all the time... in fact I didn't even have to learn Round And Round when I made the jump from participant to instructor because I already knew it. However, with that said, I have only done track 10 maybe once or twice, and I had never seen 1, 2, or 11. I'll discuss this further in my 52 review (whenever I write it), but that mixed impact track is arguably the hardest of any release I've ever done. You are galloping for 2/3rds of the track, the arms are almost always up high vs most tracks where they are extended out. It probably didn't help that my shoulders were still toast from the week (and subsequently, most of track 5 was done on my knees). But now I'm getting sidetracked... I'm wondering if sometimes certain tracks get lost in the mixing... tracks which some participants would love. And maybe we owe it to them to show them all their choices and let them choose.

Essentially, most of the Attack classes at my club are team-taught, and most of them have random track mixes of whatever the instructor likes (plus, obviously, any requests). You might do 12 different releases within the same class. I have noticed a small handful of instructors who will teach any tracks they do from the same release. But I don't think one time have I ever gone to another instructor's class that wasn't a launch and they did a release in its entirety (I have done it a few times in my own). And as I do an entire release as a participant, it's fun to see how Lisa puts different pieces in different tracks that tie the entire thing together. For example, in Attack 46 there's modified squat tap where you rotate your torso and punch to the side in both the warmup and the leg track. In 62, you do a one-leg tap in front, on side, then in back in both agility and the leg track. In other releases, she will vary the moves... 53 doesn't have Supermans in track 3, but it does in track 9. I just feel like there's a certain message or quality present in doing an entire release that sometimes gets lost in the mixing.

What are your guys' thoughts/opinions/feedback about this topic? Do you teach entire releases, or do you mix all the time? Do you think it matters? And, in addition... how often do you change your mix? I've heard the gambit of responses (and subsequent reasoning). Leave it the same for 3 weeks so they get the hang of it, then switch... switch every time so no one gets bored... blah blah. I will admit I tend to switch it depending on how many new people I have. But what do you guys think?

1 comment:

  1. You have to change releases on regular basis, at least after 4-6 weeks (good stuff like BA 58) or after 2-4 weeks (bad stuff like BA 73). IT DEFINITELY MATTERS! Mixes should be changed (at least half of the tracks) every 2-3 weeks to keep things fresh. At the end of the quarterly you may throw the current release into circulation for 2 weeks max. I think that's the optimum scenario.