Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
For those interested in both yoga and Martial Arts, budokon might be a good route for you to take. Just be aware that these videos are not for the shy and undertrained.
I first found out about budokon from one of the readers here who posted on the forums. They had mentioned there was this interesting mix between yoga and martial arts video which they were curious what it was like.
Being interested in both myself, my interest was piqued. Like any good curious person, I went out and ordered a copy right away. On the budokon site, there were three options of videos: Flow & Flexibility, Power & Agility, Strength & Balance. From my experience, exercising involving strength or developing power tend to focus on a lot of external work, something I have definitely leaned away from.
The video arrived and on the CD there were only a few sections, the most important being a 30-minute workout and the tutorial for select moves. From an organizational standpoint, I would have expected the tutorial to have come first. So I flipped down to that section and started to play the video.
The first movement in this section was called “Dancing Dog Prep”. It’s a movement that starts with downward dog and then proceeds to bring one leg in and threaded through to turn your body over. The movement was intimidating but not impossible. In fact, most of the tutorial examples were challenging but nothing I would call impossible to perform provided you were in a reasonable level of fitness.
Encouraged by this section, I scrolled up to the actual 30-minute workout. The music was beautifully picked to suit the energy level of what was being performed. And the studio is very professional, a far cry from the quality of some Martial Arts videos out there.
The 30-minute workout started with a 5-minute meditation, which I was quite happy to have after a hectic day. The first few movements flowed nicely and were given at a reasonable pace for someone who knew basic yoga postures and terminology.
Unfortunately, the video started to lose me as the movements increased in complexity and pace. By the time the video reached the “Dancing Dog” movement, a movement I had previously practiced in the tutorial, I found it difficult to both keep up with the pace and maintain proper alignment. My body, now only about 10-minutes into the workout, was already quite exhausted and I had to stop for the day.
Overall, I was disappointed in the amount of actual Martial Arts in this video. It was by far more yoga oriented in terms of movement and postures. I personally will definitely continue to practice as I feel if you’re able to get through this video confidently, you will achieve a level of flow and flexibility as advertised.
For more information about budokon, visit their website at http://www.budokon.com