Budokon for Beginners

Cameron Shayne
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

Ok, I did the video last night, and here is my report.

Overview: This video is titled Budokon: Beginning Practice, and is intended to introduce the principles of budokon: the combination of yoga, martial arts and meditation. It is ideal for people with little space, and requires no equipment (except for an optional yoga mat)

About Myself: I am a former advanced exerciser who took a whole year to slide all the way back to low intermediate, especially in cardio.

The Workout: First off, I had a beef with the fact that it's a Gaiam video...which of course means no ff or skipping past the commercial at the beginning. But, once you finally get to it, the menu has three options, the pose guide, the long workout (35 min) and the short workout (28 min). I did not look at the pose guide because I have some yoga and some martial arts experience (I'm sadly out of practice in both, however). The long and the short workout are THE SAME WORKOUT. It's just that the long workout has more instruction and a 4 minute introduction. Admittedly, it's nice to be able to condense your workout to under 30 min, but don't think that you are getting two separate workouts.

There are three people on set, with Cameron Shayne leading, and one person (the girl on the left) modifying. The set is a brick studio that is saved from being dingy by the nice light-colored wood floors. The music is not intrusive, but fairly blah.

Shayne does not mirror cue, which isn¡¦t too bad in the yoga, but can be confusing in the martial arts part. I ended up just mirroring him anyway, because it¡¦s really confusing to me when he turns right and I turn left.

The Yoga Part: The yoga was mostly sun salutationesque, with some warriors thrown in. Shayne tells you to watch the modifier if you are truly a beginner, but the camera does not show her too often.

The Kick/Punch Part: You do all of the exercises on one side, and then all of the exercises on the other. He started with the punches, and then moved to the kicks. I wore a heart rate monitor, but my heart rate never got very high, I think the highest was in the 130¡¦s. He worked up a huge sweat, and was even panting a little. I have a feeling he put WAY more into it than I did ƒº Oh, and Shayne¡¦s form was beautiful to watch. If you want to know how to execute a great punch or a kick, watch this guy.

The Meditation Part: I¡¦m not much of a meditation person, and this was a very short, standing practice, kind of like a cool down while standing in place.

So overall, this was a fun little workout, one that I would reach for when I need a half hour workout on my recovery days, but I am disappointed about the fact that I thought I was getting two half hour workouts, when I really was only getting one.

Instructor Comments:
The Instructor: Cameron Shayne is very calm, doesn¡¦t chatter, and has great form. I really enjoy his instructing style.

Ellie E


This is NOT a fusion of Yoga and Martial Arts in the same workout--the Yoga is used primarily as a long (20-minute) warm-up for the Martial Arts section (15-minutes).

There is a stand-alone Pose section, where there is good instruction for all the poses used in the workout.

The Yoga section is "sort of" a sun salutation, and I say that because it never goes into a full flowing set--it just seems to insert downward dog every other position, which is not everyone's cup of tea. I was hoping for a sun salutation full sequence repeated over the 20 minutes as a warm-up, but this isn't it.

The Martial Arts section is interesting, and performed slowly and deliberately. If you truly pay attention to your form, instead of mindlessly doing the kicks and punches, you will get a workout. In fact, he proceeds slowly enough that if you want to use another breathing pattern--oh, say BodyFlex, for example--you easily could do so.

I would have preferred a slow stretching-type cooldown, and then have the meditation. He just goes into a standing meditation, without any other type of cooldown.

There are two workouts, but they only differ in length by about 10 minutes. What annoyed me most about this DVD is that it is not chaptered very well. If you wanted to do the Yoga or Martial Arts section twice, for instance, you have to fast forward/backward or skip scenes. In fact, for the full workout, you have to manually bypass the spoken intro by Cameron. There's no excuse these days not to have a properly chaptered DVD.

Bottom line: Good workout, but since the lack of chaptering makes it something of an annoyance to use, look for it used, unless GAIAM decides to fix it. If you're on Netflix, rent it first to see if you like it.

Instructor Comments:
Calm, deliberate in his instructions, pays attention to using proper form.



I heard about Budokon in an article about Courteney Cox, who of course has lots of bucks to get personal attention from Cameron. I was perusing DVD Planet and saw it and decided to give it a try.

My first impressions during preview were OH MY GOSH, I'm never going to be able to do that kick, holy cow, are they kidding? You soon find out that the advanced moves they show in intro are not part of the workout itself.

20 Minues of Beginning Yoga, followed by 20 minutes of Martial Arts (not mixed as you are slightly lead to believe)...followed by a few minutes of meditation. Today was my 2nd time to do the entire workout, and I felt challenged. I am a beginner-to-intermediate exerciser and still working on my upper body strength. The Yoga has a few challenging poses (mostly the planks for me) and the poses are held just long enough, a minute longer and I'd have fallen down. The martial arts are "doable". I come away feeling strong! You can also choose to do the "pose guide" and the "short workout" which I believe doesn't have the commentary. It just goes straight through each pose.

I believe you would have to be a person who enjoys yoga and/or kickboxing type workouts to like this. If you don't enjoy either, you probably won't like this at all.

Instructor Comments:
Cameron is a hotty. Oh, wait, you wanted to know about the instructor. Yes, ok, he cues well and explains the moves. I found him pleasurable, even during meditation.

Le Cheez aka Elvis


There are two workouts on this DVD. The full workout is 40 mins - seems to be a bit slower with more explanation, although not too much. The short workout is 27 mins and has less instruction. He says "catch your breath" after each sequence, and counts often. I enjoy it. Its different.

For those that don't like sun sals, there aren't any in here. He does a couple of planks to upward dog, but not straight sun sals.

I found this to be a good 25 min workout. I didn't do the 5 minute standing meditation.

I did add a couple of camels, staff pose (as a counter stretch), roll back to shoulder stand, then plough, vinyasa to pigeon. After rolling the spine and a seated twist to each side, then savasana for a couple of minutes. I thought there needing to be more healing/finishing poses to close out.

Its a good short workout if you want to do yoga and kickboxing without changing DVDs.

Instructor Comments:
Give good instruction with attention to form. No extras which works great in this format.

J Smith


This dvd is chaptered. The main menu gives you the option of selecting the following: pose guide, long workout, or short workout. I chose the long workout which was 40 minutes. I have no idea how long the short workout is. Budokon is supposed to be a mix of yoga, martial arts and meditation. I saw no mixing at all. The "mixing" component is so misleading. Cameron does a 20 yoga workout, followed by a 15 minute martial art workout, and then you stand with your eyes closed for 5 minutes while a voiceover is playing.

This workout was a disappointment to me. I feel so bad. I just did a search and another VFer states that she really enjoyed this workout. I looked at the calendar and maybe I'm PMSing. Regardless, I'm positive I don't like this workout. It didn't inspire me at all. I can't see myself ever doing it again. Thank goodness for Netflix which lets you try before you buy.

The video is shot in a brick room. Brick walls make me feel claustrophobic. The cast is actually angled into the corner of the room which makes the workout space look even smaller. There are 2 windows but only light shines through. One the other wall, there are 3 pseudo windows without glass panes.

This workout has a serious tone. Cameron never smiles, nor do his 2 backup exercisers (1 male and 1 female). There is no fun factor.

The 20 minute yoga portion looks like every other power yoga workout on the market. There's nothing new here. In the dramatic promo shot, Cameron performs all sorts of wild, super advanced poses. None of them are in the actual workout. Patty is supposed to be the beginner modifier. She's the worst modifier I've ever seen. She shows almost no modifications. There were two instances where I caught her going deeper into yoga poses than the other guys.

The martials arts section of the video was annoying. Everyone did a hissing sound when they performed a move. It sounds like someone is letting the air out of your tires every other second for 15 minutes. The workout starts off with some punches in horse stance, and then you do more punches while twisting your torso. Most of it is a lot of front kicks. Patty shows no modification at all this time. It may look like she's kicking lower but she's almost one foot shorter than the guys. She was kicking at face and shoulder level.

I didn't do the meditation part because I was too annoyed with the workout to calm down.

On paper, Cameron's instruction is informative and thorough. In practice, it comes off dry.

Instructor Comments:
Cameron instructs this video like he is leading a real martial arts class (almost sensei-like).