Bokwa: the new cardio madness

Bokwa: the new cardio madness

Bokwa: the new cardio madness

Welcome to Bokwa

Bokwa? What’s a Bokwa you may ask? But before we go into that, let me ask you like to dance? We’ve all enjoyed a boogie down at our local night club after a few glasses of Dutch courage and if we were lucky enough, we may have danced long enough to burn a few calories! Some of these dances have made their way into gym halls and health studios over the years.

Many of you may have noticed a number of ‘fitness’ classes popping up, based on the latest dance craze with the likes of Zumba, Batuka and Piloxing to name a few. But it appears there is a new craze on the horizon and it goes by the name of Bokwa. And it could be the newest aerobic dance activity to hit our shores.


Bokwa is an innovative exercise class inspired by a South African dance. It’s meant to be an easy to follow, effective total body workout, and it uses letters to help people identify the particular dance moves. It was developed by international fitness personality Paul Mavi, a leading Los Angeles based Group Fitness Instructor.

OK, so why is it called Bokwa? BOKWA is derived from a combination of two words. “BO” represents the light boxing and “KWA” representing the cultural and traditional dance Kwaito, hence, BOKWA was born.

Bokwa fitness benefits

Apparently, it is an intense cardiovascular workout, combined with South African war dance, Capoeira, Kickboxing, and Steps which does sound quite vigorous. It has been proven to burn a great amount of calories, making it easier for weight loss goals (although many trainers are sceptical of such bold claims). Through the use of fast paced extreme movement, a fun, challenging, and energising total body workout was created.

Bokwa is already starting to overtake Zumba as the must dance craze in studios across the globe and is fast becoming popular here in the UK.

Bokwa: the new cardio madness

How does Bokwa compare to Zumba? Let’s find out…

I personally haven’t done either of the dances, but from what I’ve heard the two are very different. Of course certain people will take different experiences from each. Also to bare in mind, different instructors will have their unique spin on either Bokwa or Zumba, so that can vary too.

The main difference between the two is that Bokwa is more intense and upbeat, and therefore more energetic. Bokwa class members draw letters and numbers with their feet, while performing the workout routine to upbeat popular music.

Because Bokwa moves are structured and based on the forms of letters and numbers, it does not require you to count steps like a traditional 8 count as you would in a Zumba class. With Zumba, it’s often the case that people are just expected to follow a routine, which can be difficult for some.

With Bokwa, you simply feel the music and move freely to the beat. It’s been calculated that you can burn around 200 calories in a high energy intense dance class, but it has to be just that, high energy and intense. Bokwa has something for everybody for those who want a low intensity, moderate or a high intensity workout class.

The young, the old, the slow and even the lazy. It’s meant to be an experience for everyone of all ages and all abilities. It’s been touted as an emotional experience, where you share the energy and excitement with the people around you. Beginners do have to be careful, though, especially if you have any ankle, knee or hip injuries which can be said of any participation in a dance class.

So there you have it. If the name Bokwa springs up at your local gym or class, at least now you’ll know what it’s all about. The next step would be to give it a go and to see if it’s as much fun as they say it is.