Cameron Shane

Founder Budokon MMA

DOB: December 11, 1971

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, USA

Occupation: Budokon Yoga

Meet Cameron. Considered the father of mixed movement arts culture, he is a social philosopher, educator, fighter, yogi, satirist, artist, writer, and founder of Budokon University in Miami Beach, USA. As a teacher of teachers and creator of Budokon Yoga and the Budokon Mixed Movement Arts, he is one of the leading pioneers in his field. His radically honest and transparent style of teaching has established him as a guiding voice for modern yoga and movement culture. He is a master of the warrior-like dance that Budokon Yoga is and loves teaching it. Cameron is inspired by courage in people, and he sets himself free by using his body and mind in a creative way within the structure that Budokon provides.

"It’s like being a warrior, dancing on a yoga mat"

Melayne Shane

Mixed Movement Artist / Global director Budokon University

DOB: -

Place of Birth: Nuremberg, Germany

Occupation: Budokon Yoga

Meet Melayne. Teacher and global director of Budokon Mixed Movement Arts (BDK MMA) in Miami Beach, USA, she fell in love with the founder of BDK-MMA (Cameron Shayne) many years ago and has travelled the world teaching people the art of BDK ever since. She frees herself when she brings elegance, femininity, pure power and strength together in her graceful warrior-like practice. She helps her students to feel, explore and discover themselves in new ways and loves to be inspired by the people around her.

"When I move I can feel the fierceness and power in myself, at the same time the softness and femininity"

What made you start Budokon and how did it come about?

Cameron: I started Budokon because I loved the idea of integrating Martial arts, Yoga and calisthenics into a singular practice because that’s how I practice. There was no movement system you could find that integrated those. My original thought process was that something is missing in the movement world that really captures these ideas. In a nutshell, I recognised that something was not there that people find interesting. I wasn’t trying to come up with a new gimmick, I was just practicing this way and other people wanted to learn. I was really a movement coach and a bodyguard as a profession and I was a fighting co-ordinator. The way I was moving, people were interested and because people were interested, something in me was triggered that made me realise I am doing something that really does not exist yet out there that offers this, so I am going to develop it.

You started learning martial arts when you were 12, so when did you start practicing the other things you teach, like Yoga?

Cameron: I have always been a career martial artist. Since age 12 it never stopped being part of my career path as I was teaching it from a young age. I was always practicing Martial arts. In my early twenties I started Yoga and Calisthenics. When I was a kid we did not have things like free running. I am 44 years old and we just got out playing, jumping and this was just what you did as a kid. Movement was always a big part of my personal self-expression. It was the one thing I could do that stood out for me. I am not the best academic – pre-ADHS and movement is where I feel most free and liberated and most successful.

You have been doing Zen meditation. Can you tell us about that part of your life?

Cameron: That was more in my search for peace within myself. I have a lot of anger and developed rage as a kid with so much frustration with the world. It brought a sense of peace to me. Zen taught me to control my emotions. Some people would be happy not to kill somebody but my focus was more to not get angry, I didn’t want anger to overtake me in a moment. I wanted to have control of the anger and not let the anger have control of me. Meditation began my process of self-control, self-evaluation. Who am I, what am I, why am I? Meditation really served me to work out my mind. My body had the martial arts, the movement. My mind needed something as well. Running, moving and playing are great things but often times you don’t have to do anything than concentrate.

Concentration is not difficult when movement comes natural to you or inspires you. You can lock into the moment. But controlling the mental state in conditions when you are not in control. When you are at work or standing in line at the bank, dealing with your wife, children or parents, these are different situations where you maybe do not feel as in control as when you are out there running and moving.

You put yourself in a predictable and safe environment, then you come over here and this environment is completely out of your control. It’s not you, or the woods you are running through or the streets you are running down, it’s you and the other person and their preferences, their personality, their emotional responses and now you have got to interact with that. Meditation is about exercising the muscle of the mind. The muscle that says, right now I need to show restraint. Everything inside my body says ‘do this’ but my mind is tamed and conditioned to do that. That’s what a martial artist does. When you are moving and your natural reaction might be ‘this’, you’ve got to overwrite that natural reaction. You’ve got to do something counter intuitive. You are teaching the body to do the opposite of what it prefers to do. The mind is the same. It would prefer to walk out the door, but instead you stay. And when it wants to stay, you need to walk out the door.

What does Budokon yoga do for your heart, body, mind and soul?

Cameron: Our practice is a warrior like dance on a yoga mat. It’s more aggressive, more physically demanding and takes more stamina and a lot more awareness from moment to moment. There is no place you can rest within the practice as you are transitioning from one place into another. It teaches you to be in the moment. The mind can’t wonder during our practice because it’s so continuous and circular. At the end of the day that’s what it does, it creates a very strong concentration skill set for body and mind. It doesn’t allow you to wonder off mentally or physically.

How does that relate to setting yourself free? How do you set yourself free?

Cameron: True freedom is the result of feeling completely capable, to feel competent, to feel that you can do. If you can do something, or the more you can do something, the greater sense of liberation and freedom you feel within a space. The more the physical body can do, the more liberating the mind feels. The less the body can do, restriction, tension is the complete opposite of liberation. It’s enslavement, occupation. Liberation and occupation are such different concepts. I am either liberated completely, meaning I can go where I choose to go, or I am occupied by limiting beliefs, negative thoughts and feel limited in my choices. Whatever the mind believes, the body takes it on. Restricted belief systems result in a restricted physical body.

How do you feel after a good session and how long does this feeling last? Do you feel a need to get back in?

Cameron: I like to feel completely spent after my practice, completely done like I have nothing left. When I talk to my students I use the metaphor of the phoenix and the flame. You train till you are burned to ashes and then you rise up stronger. When I practice I want to burn to ash, I want to give everything and feel exhausted so I can come back the next day and rise up stronger and do it again. You can burn out in a day and come back next day. We train three hours per day and that’s physically demanding, so your body has to get used to it. We run classes from six till nine every night and we participate with the students.

Is there a difference in teaching and practicing yourself?

Cameron: There are different energies. When you are teaching your focus is on your students and on their success. When you are practicing it is specific to your personal growth and your personal effort. They are different and yet you can occupy both states. I don’t feel I can coach as inspirationally when I am practicing along myself. I can do both but one suffers when I do both. I can work it out at times, first show the exercise and then do it together. That can work as well. But there is nothing like somebody watching you, eyes on you, pushing you, coaching is a big difference in your practice. To have somebody standing beside you and holding you accountable. I am self-motivated since a kid, I always practice on my own. I am very good at demanding the best out of myself without anybody asking that from me. That is not a common thing, most perform better with a coach. I have an inner coach that has been with me since I was a kid. He says it is never enough and I am a perfectionist therefore. I believe I can’t get to perfection but I can be the best. Like an artist who feels the painting is never finished.

What drives you to keep going?

Cameron: The difference between legendary artists and people who are average in the world is that the legendary people are never satisfied. Everything that’s done is done and there is always that feeling of what’s next. The level of the world’s best movement artist was hard to see 15 years ago but now, through Instagram and YouTube and all that, the best are easy to follow and see. The minds of movers all over the planet are influenced by this, so people are innovating all over the world.

What inspires you?

Cameron: Seeing people achieve superhuman feats of strength, stamina or execution. To see people moving at the highest level. Giving everything they have got in spite of their anatomy. Humans being innovative and courageous inspire me, feats of courage. I don’t feel reckless is the same as courageous. I like to live too much to be reckless. Courage inspires me and I don’t believe in recklessness.

What would you like to say to the younger version of yourself?

Cameron: Be more disciplined, be more committed to your craft. Put the time in when you’re young. I would coach myself to be more consistent over all.

What is Cameron doing in the Future?

Cameron: Bringing mixed movement arts to the global stage. I am the father of this culture and I am growing that. We are the first to bring this art form into a constructive craft. At 70 years old I want to be the best mover of my age. There is nothing greater than to be the model of what you teach. I am all about that. At 44 I have no injuries because I am not reckless and I work on my mobility and joints. At this point nothing has slowed me down in terms of injuries. The secret is a great spine, flexible and mobile in combination with your joints.

What made you start training Budokon?

Melayne: I started 5 years ago and one of my friends had taken a Budokon class with Cameron. She then had organised a workshop that I went to and felt super-inspired. I heard Cameron would be coming to Germany and I was at a point in my life where I had challenges and needed something new. I went to that workshop and the universe aligned from there. It all happened and my life changed for good.

I was seeking inspiration and felt stuck in my life. Something intuitively brought me to Budokon and when Cameron and I met it was like a click on all levels. Physically, emotionally meeting the love of my life and merging that into a passion for movement and doing that with the man I want to spend my life with is amazing. Now we are working and creating something even bigger together.

Had you been looking for freedom?

Melayne: I felt stuck and not free. My job, relationship all made me feel closed down in a structure I did not like. It took my breath away and now I feel more free, liberated and creative. I feel lucky and that it was all supposed to happen this way.

What does Budokon yoga do for your heart, body, mind and soul?

Melayne: It has a structure of 7 sequences put together. I like structure as that is my German side, I like discipline and to know where I am going. I love seeing Cameron move and seeing his movement as the goal in my own way. This, combined with the fluidity and the flow of the movement, makes it a kind of meditation. I know what I have to do but at the same time I can be free in the structure and express that in my own way. I express the female version of what Cameron does in a masculine way.

I can really feel the power in myself and at the same time the softness and femininity. It becomes a dance and a meditation. It has a lot of strength and body control and through that you can get a lot of grace.

How do you feel after your training and how long does this feeling last?

Melayne: After training I feel at ease and peaceful. I can say my practice has changed since learning Budokon, my mind has changed, my body has changed and it feels way more balanced. I have days where I feel stressed and anxious but I still practice and it brings me back. For me everything comes from within, my mind will limit me or it will empower me. My body translates the way I feel and how I am in my mind. Some days I am moving and flowing, other days I want to train and get a certain move. It should always be playful. I am also letting go of the attachment to the outcome as it’s important to be seriously playing.

What inspires you?

Melayne: Movement. I love dancers, modern, South American, Latin. The fierceness of the dance is so inspiring to me. This is what inspired me in Budokon. I love to be in my body and seeing others move.

When you move you can be free and intuitive. Especially for women. We often step away from ourselves and step into masculinity. I want to get back to femininity, playfulness and softness and I want people to find that back. I don’t want to be told what to do, I just want to move and feel. That inspires me.

What would you like to say to the younger version of yourself?

Melayne: Follow your dreams, listen to your inner wisdom and your true self. I was living for others, such as my partner, my boss and not listening to my own nature. I would say just do what you feel you need to do and don’t wait too long.

What is your dream?

Melayne: I am living my dream. I live in a beautiful place close to the beach with the man I want to be with and I can express myself. At some point more consistency and a family together would be good but right now it’s about inspiring people to be themselves and grow Budokon. I hope people can benefit from that. I wish we could share this for free so it was available to more people.