Budokon Weight Loss System

Cameron Shayne
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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Budokon, a system developed by yoga instructor and martial artist Cameron Shayne, purports to combine the best of these disciplines with meditation and diet. As other reviewers have noted, however, the three Budokon workouts offered on this DVD don't integrate yoga and martial arts; rather, each style is presented as a fully separate practice. The materials included with this system suggest that you begin with the "50-Minute Full-Instruction Workout," as this provides the most detailed level of instruction and is a recommended starting point for those following the Budokon Weight Loss System (described in detail in the included booklet). Since I already have a background in both yoga and kickboxing, however, I decided to begin with the "40 Minute Accelerated Workout" on Disc 2 (mislabeled as being 50 minutes on the DVD case but appropriately referred to as 40 minutes everywhere else). This is the exact same workout as the 50-minute version, but Cameron spends less time reviewing form and alignment here. Finally, there is a ?30 Minute Maintenance Workout,? a condensed version of the above; each of the three workouts is described below.

Cameron teaches a live class of six students in a simple brick studio. The 40-Minute Accelerated Workout begins with a 21-minute yoga practice. Cameron introduces a slow vinyasa flow for a basic beginner's yoga practice. Although he does not take you through full sun salutations, he covers most of the poses traditionally found in a sun salutation sequence, teaching in an add-on style. Beginning in mountain pose, Cameron asks you to ?find your breath,? and he leads you through several sun breaths before moving on to standing forward bend. He then has you continue with chair into down dog and plank, moving between down dog and plank several times; he also has you do 3-legged down dog, taking your knee to your nose. From here, Cameron has you return to down dog, and he teaches a modified version of the classic down dog to plank to cobra/upward dog vinyasa sequence; this vinyasa is used frequently throughout the practice. From down dog, Cameron slowly builds to the traditional standing postures, including lunge, twisting lunge, crescent, warrior 1, warrior 2, side angle, and triangle, with one member of the class always showing modifications, sometimes using blocks. The down dog to plank to cobra/upward dog vinyasa is performed between EVERY standing posture, both in-between the different poses and when simply moving from one side of the body to the other. The yoga segment ends in mountain pose, and the martial arts section starts with the next chapter. Cameron has you get set in your stance and then leads you through various sets of punches and kicks. Each set consists of 10 repetitions, and most of the sets are repeated once. For punches, you will do a single front punch, a double front-side punch, and then a triple front-side-front punch. For kicks, you will begin by bringing your back knee up for a chamber, then do a knee-front kick sequence with that same leg. Next comes a front kick with your front leg starting from ?cat stance? (basically, your front foot is drawn close to your back foot to form an ?L? shape, keeping your back foot pointing to the side and balancing on your front toes). You then repeat the front kick with what Cameron calls a ?skip??sort of a hop forward before kicking. The martial arts segment finishes with lunge punch, roundhouse kick, skip roundhouse kick, and squat kick for a total of about 15 minutes. Although this segment definitely did raise my heart rate and got me sweating, the aerobic effect was quite variable due to the pauses between sets. Overall, I found the martial arts portion to be more similar to kickboxing drills rather than a continuous cardio workout. As with all three workouts, the 40 Minute Workout ends with a 4-minute standing meditation inspired by qigong, and the total time for this workout is just over 40 minutes.

I then went back to Disc 1 to review the 50 Minute Full-Instruction Workout. As previously mentioned, this workout is the same as the 40 Minute version, but it is more detailed. For example, during the yoga portion, there are more frequent pauses in the postures to allow Cameron to provide instruction on alignment and form; there is also a greater focus on the pose modifications. This brings the yoga practice time up to 30 minutes. The martial arts portion is even more similar to the 40 Minute version, with just a few more pauses, making the segment slightly longer at about 17 minutes; with the final meditation, this workout comes in right at 51 minutes. The 30 Minute Maintenance Workout (on Disc 2) is described on the DVD case as being ?more intensive,? and it's designed to be used in the latter weeks of the Budokon Weight Loss System. Here, the yoga is about 18 minutes long, with the main difference being that you do not do the down dog to plank to cobra/upward vinyasa sequence between each pose; I actually preferred this. Cameron cuts the martial arts portion down to 11 minutes by only doing a single set of each exercise. Although this version of the workout moves a bit more quickly than the other versions because there are fewer pauses, I preferred the martial arts portion of the 40 Minute Workout given that the additional sets/longer length provided a better cardio workout.

There are several other features included with this 3-DVD set. Disc 1 offers a pose guide which covers both the yoga and the martial arts moves. Each exercise is separately chaptered and is demonstrated by Cameron alone using voiceover. Disc 1 also contains a 7-minute interview with Cameron. Disc 2 provides only the 40 and 50 Minute workouts, but a third disc is included, a ?Self-Empowerment Audio Disc.? On this CD, Cameron focuses on how thoughts, words, and actions affect your life and your goals. For each of these three topics, he spends a few minutes providing an overview, and then there are long periods of soft, meditative music for a total of 56 minutes (most of that time is the instrumental music only). Finally, there are two booklets included with this set. The first is a description of the Budokon Weight Loss System, which details how to sequence the workouts for maximum weight loss over a 12-week period. This guide has you performing the 50 Minute workout exclusively for the first several weeks, which I believe would quickly become boring. Also, I don?t feel very confident about the ability of this program to produce weight loss given the limited amount of cardio included. The other booklet is a weight loss and nutrition guide. Although this is mostly common sense information, it is quite detailed, and it helpfully breaks down dietary changes over the 12 weeks of the program (for example, gradually increasing your vegetable intake and decreasing your meat intake over the course of the 12-week period).

My final thoughts on this set? I think a lot depends on what you are looking for. If you are hoping to boost your weight loss, I don't think this would be your best choice due to the limited amount of cardio provided. If you are looking to blend yoga and martial arts techniques, you will be disappointed, as the two disciplines remain entirely separate here. If you are an intermediate/advanced exerciser, you will probably find these workouts to be beneath your level. However, if you are relatively new to exercising or are new yoga/kicking and want to get a taste of whether these styles are for you, these DVDs provide a nice basic introduction to both areas. Furthermore, if you an intermediate exerciser like myself, you might find that the two shorter workouts could provide a nice alternative for a light or busy day. I can see myself using the yoga portion of the 30 Minute workout and the martial arts portion of the 40 Minute workout, but I doubt that I will use either the 50 Minute Workout or the Self-Empowerment Audio Disc ever again.

Instructor Comments:
I liked Cameron. He is compact, almost petite, but also quite buff. He is soft-spoken with a slight midwestern (I think!) accent. As he teaches, he walks around the class providing very good instruction on alignment as well as form pointers; he sometimes pauses to practice the moves along with the class.

Beth C (aka toaster)


All right, so I bought this DVD with hopes of something new to add to my yoga collection. I though it would be a hybrid of yoga and martial arts. What it is EXACTLY is two entirely unrelated segments. One segment is slow vinyasa flow. I mean slow. The second segment is tae kwon do kicks and punches. There was no cross pollenation. I thought maybe he'd do a kick sequence then a yoga vinyasa or something like that. It was TOTALLY separate. It was the most boring thing I have ever seen and I am not inspired to even do this video. The package comes with 3 workouts, 50, 40 and 30 minutes. They are exactly the same. The only difference is that he has less pauses for the 40 minute martial arts section and no pauses for the 30 minute martial arts section. What else can I say. Maybe the LIve Budokon classes are fun and interesting, but not this DVD. I wasted $27.00 on this one. Wish I could take it back.

Yoga Poses
slow vinyasa ( not a & B sun salutations)
crescent lunge
side angle
Very very basic, no inversions, backbends or balancings

Martial arts
twisting punches
different kicks. Keep in mind that he uses a sticky mat on a hard wood floor. You'll have to move off of your mat to do kicks or you'll slip.

The students
They look bored to death, no smiles no energy.
All in all, I hated this DVD. Don't waste your money. If you want power yoga go buy a power yoga DVD. If you want martial arts, go buy a martial arts DVD. Or better yet take a live Budokon class. It's got to be livier than this DVD.

Instructor Comments: