To “adapt to any style, to be formless, to adopt an individual’s own style and not following the system of styles”.
Someone talking about street dance, maybe?
Wrong. This is Bruce Lee, talking about Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts system he devised in the Sixties and Seventies, popularising the concept of mixed discipline fighting.
So when Ricky Martin, the wrestling biochemist from ‘The Apprentice’, decided to blend modern mixed martial arts with street dance in this week’s ill-fated fitness project, perhaps he wasn’t as deluded as it first seemed. ‘Beat Battle’ may have failed to impress the big fitness clubs (or Sir Alan Sugar for that matter, who described it as a ‘punch up in a disco’), but could something similar ever catch on?
After all, martial arts and dance are not so dissimilar. Both require flexibility, discipline, balance and rhythm. Take Brazillian Capoeira, for example. Practised in secret, disguised as a dance, this is a Brazilian martial art which was once instrumental in helping slaves escape their captors. Today it is a competitive game which blends elements of combat, dance and music.
Shared urban roots
Parallels can be drawn between some popular forms of martial arts and formal dance styles. Divorced from the real world, both have sometimes been accused of focusing on rigid, rehearsed routines to the detriment of spontaneity and creativity. Bruce Lee slated some martial arts forms as lacking combat realism by teaching ‘flowery techniques’ that wouldn’t work on the street.
Likewise, the early hip-hop styles were more than just a collection of learned steps; it had a job to do. After all, hip-hop was born in the notorious South Bronx area of New York. When street dance crews met up to do battle, the stakes were high. In fact, according to Jeff Chang’s book, ‘Total Chaos’, when B-boying/B-girling was first developing it was itself influenced by martial arts movies, particularly some of the more aggressive-looking ‘toprock’ styles.
In terms of recent development, both mixed martial arts (MMA) and street dance are becoming fully integrated into mainstream culture. Just as Street Fit are adapting the street attitude and style to a wider fitness-seeking market (street dance fitness) , those within the mixed martial arts scene (particularly the American Ultimate Fighting Championship®) are attempting to do the same for their sport – said to be the fastest growing sport in the world.
So why did Ricky fail?
Building a successful fitness brand is not something that can be done overnight, even if you are bidding to be Sir Alan’s next favoured one. One of the major issues with the ‘Beat Battle’ project, was poor video production – something which Street Fit have put a lot of effort into getting just right. Most of all, Rick’s team never convinced anyone that their idea could be fun, a central feature of any Street Fit® workout.
So if one of your customers suggests adding a few combat manoeuvres to your routine, why not give it a go. You might end up succeeding where the Apprentice-wannabees failed.
As for Ricky Martin; if he wants to go down the dance route, maybe he should follow in his namesake’s footsteps, and try ‘Livin La Vida Loca!’
“Is it time to kick-start my dance/fitness career?”
Starting a new venture is a big step for anyone, but the rewards for success include more freedom, more control over your life and (for some) greater earning potential. There may never be a ‘perfect’ time to start a dance fitness business, but there are several reasons why we think you should consider signing up for a place on our Street Fit Instructors’ course today.