Animal: Meet instructor and bull, Ryan Carldon

Animal: Meet instructor and bull, Ryan Carldon

In the last of our animal series, meet Buokodon instructor Ryan Carldon, whose inner animal is the bull. "As a youngster I would charge at people like a bull when agitated!" he says. We meet him.

Hi Ryan, your inner animal is a bull – please explain?!

I chose the bull as this represents my star sign the Taurus! In my younger days I definitely possessed traits of the Taurean, stubbornness, bad temper, moody at times, but also very driven and focused! As a youngster I would charge people like a bull when agitated, and was always knocking down china or hurting people's feelings! Through martial arts and yoga I've definitely become more understanding of others, and a lot less reactive!

Glad to hear it! You are the director of Bukodon UK, tell us about that

Budokon is system which combines martial arts, yoga, animal movement, meditation and living arts. It was created by LA celebrity trainer Cameron Shayne in 1999. The art form is a six pillar system that comprises of thoughts, emotions, relationships, environment, nutrition, and fitness. All areas are looked at equally. Gymbox classes focus on the yoga flow of the art form with small elements of martial arts, animals and philosophy. We also run courses in the practice which cover more detailed training for both recreation and for those wishing to teach.

What would you say to beginners who are concerned about starting yoga?

Don't worry for a moment about being a beginner in a yoga class or Budokon class. The teacher will be able to make modifications that work best for beginners, through to advanced participants, so everyone is welcome! Also, everyone there started as a beginner. These classes differ in that a participant may be unfamiliar with the movement pattern. This should not be a frustration, this is where the body and mind gets a chance to re-learn how to move naturally and optimally, creating freedom in the body!

You teach other classes at Gymbox, such as Kettlebells and UFC Fit – which is the most popular with members?

In the past they have all been equally attended, but recently I'd say Budokon and Vinyasa Yoga classes have become favourites. People who are getting into – or who are already into – fitness, eventually see that there's a whole lot more to explore. Once they have reached a certain level of fitness, they look for the next level up, so many more are looking into understanding their bodies more without props, just using their own bodies. This leads them to things like yoga, pilates and gymnastics.

What makes you special as an instructor?

I'm not one to blow my own trumpet, but one lady mentioned she loved the way I went from Zen Master to Liam Neeson: 'I will kill you!', when going from a yoga class to UFC FIT! Perhaps it's the diversity that is a special trait. I've trained in differing yet complementary exercise/movement from a young age, and believe and teach this concept of seemingly odd (to some) but ultimately balancing forms!

You started studying martial arts at a very young age, what grasped your interest so early?

I always liked to move. Skateboarding, football, sprinting... I was up for any type of sport or game. As a child I was drawn to movement and artistic activities like art and drama. My parents put me and my brother in to martial arts at a young age. Perhaps it was the fact that we lived in a pretty rough area, or that I needed to work on my temper! Although it could've been all the Bruce Lee films my dad watched.

What does fitness mean to you?

Fitness is life! It is not a hobby or a something you do on the weekend to me. For me fitness through whichever form you choose can really help a person to understand themselves, and be of service rather then burden to the world. Practicing martial arts make you become more confident in your skin, and feel less of a need to act like a fool. Fitness is everything, and can transform you into your absolute best self. For those thinking maybe it doesn't sound fun – believe me when I say fitness enthusiasts know how to party harder than anyone!

When you're not training, do you have any unusual hobbies/interests?

I love a good film and popcorn. At the moment I'm doing rock climbing, swimming, gymnastics, diving and few other things! Both for fun and as part of a stunt team training!

And If no one's looking, what is your guilty pleasure snack?

I love Kettle crisps, cake and custard!

More about Ryan right here