On a cold winter day, what’s the best way to warm yourself up? I think that nothing beats a nice workout to stretch those cramped muscles and heat up the body. So the invitation to try out Budokon in Zürich came right in time…
The story of Flow Village started in 2015. At the time, Abi wanted to get back into a type of martial arts he remembered as “budokan”. (He used to practice it in his childhood.) But when he Googled “Budokan Zürich”, nothing came up. Instead, the search engine suggested the term “Budokon” with a letter “o”.
What Budokon Yoga is all about.
Abi tells me that he felt drawn to it and found out that this is a movement art introduced by Cameron Shayne. In Japanese, “budokon” stands for “the way of the warrior spirit”. Kancho, as Cameron is commonly known among his students, had practiced multiple disciplines of martial art for decades and excelled at them.
Later, he discovered yoga and its powerful impact on the human body and mind. He figured that yoga is rather static and angular, holding a pose for few seconds. So he incorporated fluid and circular motions to create a dynamic flow, which came to be known as Budokon Yoga.
Abi pulled inspirations from yoga, martial arts, animal movements and calisthenics – it was a beautiful flow. It is impressively graceful and combines the spirit of a warrior with the humbleness of a yogi. Unfortunately, even though Abi wanted to check it out himself at that time, there was nobody to teach it in Zürich.
After all, Budokon Yoga arrives in Zürich.
As an alternative, Abi tried out yoga, went through all the movements and starting to enjoy it as he saw his condition improve. And then one day, BOOM!, the thought crossed his mind that he could become a Budokon teacher. Right after Abi registered for the 500 hour teacher’s training course at Budokon University in Miami, he dropped everything and went for it. “It was an intense, life-changing experience and I am ready to spread the learnings.” says Abi.
Budokon combines three parts: Yoga plus martial arts and calisthenics. Yoga is a rather peaceful, loving element while martial arts has the warrior side and develops a balanced body and mind. Personally, I only have experience with yoga so I was definitely able to feel the martial arts side of it when we got into the moves deeper.
Budokon consists of seven sections, and during the 90 minute class, we covered two of them. As soon as the first section started, I could feel the difference from yoga. With a continuous flow, involving animal like movements – down dog, three legged dog, cobra hood, and so much more, I could enjoy my body heating up and loosening. The second section had more martial arts involved with the double block and sword – movements that were very interesting. Each movement built onto the previous one, so you can feel the connectivity in between.
After the two sections of Budokon yoga, we did activities with mobility. Mimicking how the animals move, you get to play like a kid on the floor. Your body will open up to flexible movements and strength at the same time. We acted as gorillas, chimpanzees and komodo dragons – and more! After sweating for a good 90 minutes, we ended the session with a nice savasana.
Here is my group performing the komodo position:
Abi currently teaches twice a week, with regular classes on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 PM at the Impact Hub on Sihlquai. On Sundays, he teaches from 4 to 5:30 PM at a studio in Wipkingen. For details, please check the Flow Village website. From time to time, Abi teaches at lululemon, and at the moment he is focused on looking for his own studio and spreading his learnings.
My advice: Come and find your inner warrior and balance your mind and body. Budokon would be great for those who find yoga too static and peaceful. It is a good challenge and workout for those who want to try out something new.
(Text and photographs by Haewon. The author was provided one free Budokon lesson by Flow Village for the purpose of this review.)