Erik Olson | Ridgefield, WA United States | 10/11/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is not the review I wanted to write. I was a big fan of Cameron Shayne's first workout DVD, "Budokon for Beginners." It turned me on to yoga, and the martial arts portion was the best I'd seen on an exercise DVD (see my review of it for more info). So when I heard "Budokon for Weight Loss" was being released, I couldn't wait to get a copy. I was expecting an intense and varied yoga and martial arts-based fitness system. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed.
"Budokon for Weight Loss" is basically a re-release of "Budokon for Beginners," except with some additional bells and whistles. There are two DVDs containing three workouts (not really - see below), an interview, and a pose guide. Also included are a "self-empowerment" CD with Mr. Shayne's philosophical musings, a weight-loss & nutrition booklet, and a 12-week workout & audio CD rotation guide. The workout is good, and I'm sure that some will find the information helpful. But the product suffers from a fatal flaw: repetitive boredom.
As a black belt karate instructor, I have to mix things up when teaching classes. I cannot keep teaching a couple of techniques over and over, in the same manner, week after week. My students would quit in frustration, and rightly so. Mixing things up prevents the body from becoming complacent and the mind from glazing over. However, despite his martial arts credentials, Mr. Shayne disregards those fundamental fitness notions. Because all he offers on this set is one workout. It may be shortened from 50 minutes to 40 and 30 minutes by editing, but it's the same routine. And adding insult to injury, it's almost identical to the one from "Budokon for Beginners!" That's a shame, because it didn't have to be that way. There are so many ways to mix up yoga and martial arts techniques to create exciting and challenging workouts. For example, in the martial arts portion he could have added side kicks, movement through stances, different strikes, combinations, blocks, and so on. I can't imagine it would have been that hard to create, say, five workouts with varying yoga and karate movements. It would have been worth a higher price. But he didn't, so it's a fallacy to call this product a "system," and it's not worth the cover charge.
Yes, if you follow his schedule faithfully, you'll lose weight and get in better shape. Any activity is better than none. But I doubt that many will stick with this so-called system. After the first week or so, they will become bored of it. I own more than 50 different workout DVDs, plus I take pilates, yoga, and martial arts classes. Doing the same workout gets old fast. For the reasons I listed above, fitness is best achieved by mixing up your workouts.
"Budokon for Weight Loss" could have been so much more. Instead, it's merely a dolled-up version of a previous DVD. Bottom line, you'd be better off avoiding this one and getting "Budokon for Beginners" instead. If you want additional encouragement and nutrition tips, there are superior resources available."
For what it is, not a bad set of basic yoga and martial arts
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 10/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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 ½ 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 ½ 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."
Please read before purchasing!!!!
wolverine librarian | Michigan | 08/12/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I want people to avoid the same mistake I made. I already own Budokon for beginners and paid 15.00. When I saw this system I was expecting a more advanced program since it said 50 minute workout.
The product comes in a slip case and on the back it says: "Cameron...guides you with more detaile instruction and more repetitions early on, and more speed and intensity as you progress through 30, 40 and 50 minute variations."
Sounds great right? Well it's not until you unwrap the slip case then unwrap the weight loss guide, nutrition guide and workout rotation guide box that you find this statement:
"The 40 and 50 minute workouts are longer than the 30 minute workout because they include more detailed verbal instruction and live demonstration of Budokon workout techniques. (You'll love this part)THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE MORE INTENSIVE OR CHALLENING THAN THE 30 MINUTE WORKOUT."
Sooooo, why did I just spend nearly 20.00 for the exact same set of moves that I have on the Budokon for beginners that is almost 10.00 dollars cheaper AND it has the full 50 minute detailed instruction workout included?!
That being said, if you don't have the first video and are totally new to Budokon. This set may have merit. However because the Budokon for beginners does have the 50 minute and 30 minute workout sessions you might want to ask yourself whether or not the motivational CD and nutrition guide is worth another ten dollars or more. As for the nutrition guide it advocates a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables with supplementary meat and dairy. Pretty much any standard eastern diet.
As for me, I kept the Budokon for Beginners and donated this set to my public library.
I gave this set 3 stars instead of one like I wanted because the material contained in the set is good material and the workouts do work and are a good alternative to Tae Bo only less intensive much more emphasis on kicking than on punching. I just think its deceptive packaging. So four stars for content and 1 star for packing."
To call this a "system" or a "set" is deliberately misleadin
N. Mentor | Boston, MA | 02/15/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Not having seen the first Budokon for Beginners DVD, I bought this thinking I'd get more bang for my buck by buying a two disk set, expecting (by the exterior package) that the multiple workouts could be tailored to my fitness abilities as I became stronger. The first disk has one workout sequence about 50 min. long. It is challenging, and I work out 90 min., 5 days a week. But out of curiosity, I popped in the second disk the following week. Mind you it is recommended on the box that disk #2 be used in weeks 3-9 of your weight loss regime. However, the workout is the SAME as disk #1. The yoga and martial arts moves are identical and in the same exact sequence to the first disk. Shayne says the same things and the people are wearing the same clothes. Gaiam used the same workout twice.
The only thing is that you have an option of a shorter 30 min. workout on disk #2 as well. Wow! I wrote to Gaiam and expressed my outrage that they would do something so corporate as to sell a set with the same material, sequence and intensity and call it a weight loss system. Buy Shayne's single DVD and look for a good Qigong, or Tai Chi DVD if you want martial arts and meditation. It isn't worth spending $32 on this set. I'll give away the second DVD as it is taking up valuable shelf space. This was an impulse buy from the Whole Foods fitness aisle. I wish I had seen the reviews first..."