Here at Work For Your Beer, we're all about working out and rewarding ourselves with a beer (or 'booch). A lot of the time, you can find us at brewery workouts, but our love for healthy living doesn't stop there. We love checking out local gyms and studios to discover new and fun ways to workout.

That’s why we started Work For Your Beer Spotlights, a series in which we highlight local fitness classes to show you how you can work for your beer beyond the brewery (and support local businesses in the process).

The next spotlight in the series is Budokon Academy Charlotte (BDK).  What is Budokon, you may ask? I found myself asking the same question when my Work For Your Beer team member said she signed us and one of our brand ambassadors up for a class. Before we walked into the studio, I could hardly pronounce the word Budokon, let alone describe what it was.

Then, I learned that Budokon Academy Charlotte is a Mixed Movement Arts Academy that integrates Martial Arts, Yoga, Calisthenics, and Animal Locomotion. You can learn a little more about the academy from a Charlotte Five article that was written when the studio was getting ready to open.

This workout was going to be unlike anything any of us had experienced, but we were ready to take on the challenge.

Read on to learn what Budokon is all about.

The Essentials

Gym: Budokon Academy Charlotte

Location: South End

Address: 2935 Griffth St. Charlotte, NC 28203

Websitewww.try.budokoncharlotte.com

Company SocialFacebook | Instagram

Owner's Social: Andres Pico's Instagram Irene King's Instagram

The Gym

To start, the gym is located in a great South End location! It's located right off South Boulevard, and many people may not know, it's located only a few doors down from The Suffolk Punch.

All around the space is STUNNING. The lobby is bright and open. It includes items for purchase, such as BDK gear and jewelry made by local artisans from Ecuador. The jewelry is all free-trade and is made by hand using ivory palm tree nuts from the rainforest, melon seeds, and other natural elements.

From the lobby, you can get a sneak peek into the gym, where there was so much room to play that we were all itching to get started. The gym space is large and open. It's blanketed in mats to cushion movement work and contains punching bags and a multitude of bars to work on Mixed Martial Arts and Calisthenics.

Off of the gym is the yoga studio that offers high ceilings and beautiful exposed brick. The perfect space to find your inner zen.

The Classes

Budokon Academy Charlotte offers four different style classes. The class descriptions on their website do a great job of laying out the specifics of the classes, so I'll let them give you the details.

BDK Yoga | "This class covers the BDK yoga primary series and is suitable for everyone. We explore the art of seamless transition, coupled with the beauty of circular rotation, focusing on gaining functional strength, cardiovascular stamina and joint mobility."

BDK Mobility & Agility Flow | "This class explores hip, spine and shoulder mobility through a variety of yogic transitions, animal locomotion and martial arts techniques that will change the way you move. gaining power from the core through the pelvic floor is the foundation for agile movement. this class is appropriate for everyone."

BDK Calisthenics | "This class uses boxing and calisthenic exercises including bars, rings, and animal locomotion to help build a solid foundation of strength, agility and cardio. this one hour class will give you a full body workout and energize your for your day. It is appropriate for everyone."

BDK Mixed Martial Arts | "This class uses a combination of striking techniques from boxing, karate, and taekwondo to help build a solid foundation of skill, stamina, and practical self-defense. sparring equipment including boxing gloves, shin guards, and mouth guard are all required. the class is appropriate for everyone."

The Investment

At BDK, the first class is always free. BDK offers monthly memberships, as well as class packs that give you access to all classes or just yoga. If you purchase a class pack, you can take multiple classes on the same day and only use one pass.

Here are a few membership options:
Drop-in Class: $25
Two Weeks Unlimited: $44
Monthly Membership Unlimited: $220
BDK Yoga 10 Class Pack: $175
BDK Mover 10 Class Pack: $205

A full list of their packages and pricing can be found on their 'Mindbody' App under the 'Buy' option.

The Details

The owners, Andres and Irene, were sweet enough to walk us through a demonstration of what each class looks like and what people can expect when they sign-up for a class. So our experience at BDK was a combination of all four of the classes they offer: Mobility & Agility Flow, Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts, and Calisthenics. 

We started with BDK Mobility & Agility Flow. As you would expect, this class involves a lot of flowing movements. We started with some light stretching and then began to combine movements into a sequence. Before you knew it, everything became one fluid motion. While it felt a little awkward at first, you eventually get the hang of it.

The best part is it was a lot of fun! It felt like when you were a kid playing around on the mats at you school gym.

Next, we moved into BDK Yoga. The yoga class has a lot of similarities to a "typical" yoga class. We were in poses such as downward-facing dog and warrior, but the sequences were very fluid and elements of the flow were inspired by Mixed Martial Arts. It was like yoga with a twist!

After yoga, we moved in BDK Mixed Martial Arts. This class incorporated a lot of what you would expect a martial arts class to include, such as jabbing and kicking. It reminded me a lot of a kickboxing class, where some of the movements are with and without punching bags.

This class also include what I would consider self-defense moves. We learned how to get out of a sticky situation if someone were to be standing over you. You had to use your arms to grab the other person's ankle and launch yourself through their legs by engaging your core. It was a lot easier said than done.

The last class we got to try was BDK Calisthenics. This is largely where the animalistic movements came in. We played around with movements, such as monkey, lion and grasshopper, which pretty much looked exactly how they sound. We were hopping and crawling all over the floor!

While these moves were a lot of fun to monkey around with, they definitely worked muscles that we don't typically use and we definitely worked up a sweat!

The Aftermath

Surprisingly, I was not as sore the next day as I thought I'd be. The main place I could feel some soreness was in my neck. We did some serious neck stretching and movement during the Mobility and Agility Flow, so be sure to move at your own pace if you have neck issues.

The Bottom Line

We all had so much fun monkeying around at Budokon Academy Charlotte! It's such a unique experience to try movements and flows that are not part of a "standard" workout routine. We would definitely go back!

Are you ready to try Budokon?

Sign-up here using the code 'WORK' to try your first four classes for free at Budokon Academy. You'll be able to experience one of each type of class they offer, BDK Yoga, BDK Mobility and Agility Flow, BDK Mixed Martial Arts, BDK Calisthenics, so you can join in the fun!

Post a photo on social using the hashtag #workforyourbeer to let us know what you thought for a chance to be featured on @workforyourbeer.

Is there a class or fitness studio you think we should try for our Work For Your Beer Spotlight series? Would your gym or studio like to featured on the Work For Your Beer blog? In either case, you can reach out to Danielle at danielle@workforyourbeer.com.