In Egypt, we find people often complaining of not having time to go to the gym or not knowing how to integrate fitness as part of their daily routines. Like the famous saying goes “when there’s a will there’s a way”. Perhaps, some people are simply not very motivated about going to the gym because they are not passionate about what they’re doing. In other words, they do not get any psychological pleasure out of their excercises and hence come up with all kinds of excuses for not working out. Others have merely suffered from bad past experiences at their gyms and were turned off from excercising altogether.
Some men in Egyptian culture refrain or shy away from participating in classes. Our machismo culture has confined men to specific exercise formats, working out on gym machines or playing football, …etc! While, our intention is not to undermine anyone in this article, it is time to alter these false beliefs and to give other men a chance of becoming passionate about new forms of workout. We have come across many males who are very curious about participating in class settings, but are simply afraid to be labeled as ‘soft’. Perhaps, this goes back to the traditional perception of fitness classes as the classic form 80’s aerobics type excercises. It really takes men a visit to a Budokon class to realize that it is absolutely appropriate for them. Furthermore, men who make the effort to come to classes fall into two types of categories. They either realize that a lot of their muscles are very weak, get intimidated and leave or stick around and work on their external as well as their internal strength. At our studio, we’ve had some positive experiences with men who have participated in Budokon classes. “I come from a martial arts background and was at the national team and realized that the sports that I was doing was lacking Budokon. Budokon is not just about movement but it is really about understanding how your body functions. You actually work every single muscle in your body”, one of our male clients, 31, told us.
What is Budokon? Budokon is an organization founded by martial and yogic arts master Cameron Shayne in 2001. Simply put, Budokon is a mix of yoga and martial arts. The first thing you need to know is that NOT everyone is a certified budokon instructor. In Egypt, Budokon is still new and there are only six instructors who are Budokon-certified. Contrary to common belief, there are a lot of commonalities between yoga and martial arts, as revealed by Shayne. Perhaps, the figures below best demonstrate a few postures that we do in budokon classes and how they are related to either yoga or martial arts.
It is also important to know that Budokon is not just a class, it is a system that combines the following six pillars together: Thought, Emotion, Relationship, Environment, Nutrition and Fitness. Any Budokon-certified instructor understands clearly that there is no one pillar that is emphasized over the other and fitness is just one aspect of the Budokon system.
The benefits of budokon are numerous, some of which include: Increasing awareness and global consciousness, coordination, rhythm and agility; improving stamina, strength, flexibility and balance, as well as enhancing your stress management ability. From our own experience, we realize that some of the greatest value of Budokon is that it constantly offers something new! In other words, your experience in a budokon class varies greatly from one session to the other. Generally, Budokon class formats focus on flow and flexibility, strength and balance or power and agility. Unlike yoga, Budokon is a very dynamic class, despite the fact that you might find some static yogic postures integrated in between.
Who are the main target audience for Budokon sessions? Budokon classes are simply designed for everyone! It is true that people with yoga or martial arts background face less of a challenge at the beginning than others; however, practice makes perfect! We promise you that eventually everyone will be equal after some time of practice. Your body might require more time to learn, but will eventually adapt to the Budokon movements.
26A Kamal el Taweel Street Zamalek