Sport Sunday, January 17th Words by: Adam Knight, pictures by: Mark Bowen

Why I love exercise #3: Bokwa

Sport Sunday, January 17th

Why I love exercise #3: Bokwa

There are now more ways than ever to enjoy exercise, and so for Fit Week each day we are talking to a local fitness expert – from Strongmen to yogis – to find out a bit more about why they love what they do, and why they do what they love.

Today, giving us an insight into the world of dance fitness is international martial artist-turned-Bokwa instructor, Emma Bingham. That's not a typo.

Two years ago Bingham placed fourth in the Shito-ryu Karate World Championships in Tokyo. But having since stepped away from the sport she has become Herefordshire's leading advocate for the high-intensity dance/cardio class.

Those who dismissed dance fitness as a passing fad were proved wrong by Zumba, and more recently by Bokwa - a hybrid aerobics/dance class - that now has more than 4,000 intsructors in the UK alone.

The former karateka explains why people of all ages are now shimmying themselves into shape up and down the country.

Big Ten Questions: Bokwa


Describe cycling in three words. 

Fun. Energetic. Sweaty.

Best/worst training moment? 

My best training moment came when I was teaching more than 200 people on a stage in a nightclub in Essex along side a master Bokwa trainer.


What will the haters say about it? 

My worst moment was tearing an ankle ligament, and teaching using only voice and hand signals. Keeping still is a challenge for me!

"It’s another dance craze." But actually its all about high or low intensity movement to letters and numbers, all done to great up-to-date dance music!

Scale of one to 10 – how much do you ache the next day?

7-8 the first few times, as it's quite a lot of jumping so the calves feel the ache! After a few sessions it can be 4-5.

What can a newbie expect from their first week's training? 

They will feel really motivated and excited for next week!!

Why do you keep coming back? 

The buzz you get from it really is addictive.

Any famous faces that train this way? 

None that I'm aware of.

How long have you been doing it?

Bokwa for two years - but fitness for around 18.

Where can you get involved in Herefordshire? 

Hereford Leisure Pool.

How does in compare to training for karate?

Bokwa training And karate training actually both helped each other. Bokwa is interval training and quite high intensity (if you want it to be) with lots of jumping, so it helped with strengthening the legs and improving fitness.


Fancy giving Bokwa a go? Hereford Leisure Pool has classees on Monday morning and Wednesday evenings. Visit Halo's website for more info.


Why I love exercise #1: why Jenny-May While loves yoga.

Why I love exercise # 2: why Matt Morris love cycling.

Do you want to write for Herefordshire Live? Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or say