Monday, July 7, 2008

Review: Budokon

My experience with martial arts is limited, consisting of a year's worth of karate lessons when I was five years-old, wherein, during sparring exercises, the instructors would claim that they'd stolen my Cabbage Patch doll to get a rise out of me. It worked to a degree- hey, I only had one of those bizarre-looking cretin things, so I needed to be protective- but I wasn't in it for the long haul. I was the only girl in class; it would have been a very, loooong, isolated haul.

My experience with yoga, on the other hand, pre-dates my time as a licensed driver. For nearly half my lifetime, I've accessed places of power and peace within myself through the practice of yoga. My time as a yogi pre-dates actual yoga studios too (we practiced in church basements and recreation halls), chic yoga clothes (yes, Virginia, there was yoga before Lululemon), and, most certainly, Budokon. In relative terms, Budokon's place in the yoga pantheon is that of a zygote. Yet, the novelty of this hybrid discipline of yoga and martial arts should not be grounds for dismissal- particularly since it's pretty damn fun.

Why you'll love it: Especially for hard core yogis, Budokon is a welcome breathe of fresh air. It's fun, creative, challenging, and innovative. Confession? I don't do a whole lot of meditating while I'm in Budokon class [with Marc McDonald in Boston]; however, I am wholly convinced that I'm a mere fling with John Mayer and casting call away from being a stunt woman in the next Charlie's Angels movie. After a workshop with founder Cameron Shayne and a handful of classes with McDonald, I'm still unsure of Budokon's validity as a practice of self-defense . . . Would you ever fight someone from downward dog pose when the situation did not warrant it? And, what situation warrants it? But, I digress. I want to be positive, here- which is the point of my reviews, you'll come to notice. (Friends, if I'm not digging a yoga class, I'm not staying up until 1 AM blogging about it; trust me). Overall, Budokon is a blast. I wouldn't wholly substitute it for a more well-rounded, traditional yoga class, but, in my opinion, it' a great supplement and/or change of pace.

Why you might not: Yoga purists might not be able to extract enough yoga out of the practice, and I imagine legitimate martial artists could feel miffed by having all kinds of yogis around botching their mojo with goofy breathing techniques and an affinity for asanas over opening a can of whoop a**. Fortunately, the emphasis seems to be on the similarities within the two disciplines, and there are many. For starters, yoga and martial arts are both ancient practices created to sharpen mental and physical agility. Plus, admit it; it's your only hope of reenacting your fantasy of dominating in a street fight in a back alley of Bangkok.

The verdict: It's time to get your sensei on.

1 comment:

Joseph Ensign said...

way to go for giving it a shot... Budokon for life baby!!