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What is Bokwa?

Bokwa® is a new group exercise program that is spreading rapidly to health clubs, studios and even schools around the world. In a matter of months it has taken the UK by storm with thousands of instructors offering Bokwa classes all over the country. Bokwa has recently been launched in Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Poland, France and many more following very quickly.

Bokwa® participants draw letters and numbers with their feet while performing an energizing and addictive cardio workout routine as participants of all ages draw the Bokwa® L, the Bokwa® 3 and the Bokwa® J.

Bokwa® uses what we refer to as Universal Sign Language, a combination of American Sign Language and Bokwa Sign Language, so that instructors and participants can signal the next move to the each other. Bokwa is a fun group experience that makes children, adults and senior citizens become healthier and more energetic, while burning up to 1200 calories per workout. Participants focus on performing the steps and often time forget that they are working out intensely.

Bokwa steps can be performed at different levels of intensity and difficulty by various participants in the same class, while tracing the same letter or number with their feet. As a result, children and adults of all different fitness levels can participate in the same class. This is arguably the first fitness program that mothers can do with their children while both are getting a terrific workout and most importantly, having fun!

Bokwa Group

Who created Bokwa?

BOKWA, the revolutionary new Group Fitness Workout where you “Sweat the Alphabet and Dance the Digits” TM was created by international fitness personality, Paul Mavi, a leading fitness instructor based in Los Angeles, California. Paul’s success and interest in dance fitness goes back to his childhood, where as a young boy, he joined forces with ten individuals to form a Kwaito dance group in South Africa named “ABAFANA”, which means “the boys”. Competing against other groups from township to township, Paul realized at an early age that he loved dancing and wanted it to be a big part of this life.

To Paul’s great fortune his father was offered a position as a Pastor in America and Paul was able to move to the country where he believed his dreams could become his reality. Searching for a way to express his love for dance, Paul attempted to attend a pseudo hip-hop class but was saddened at the fact that he was not able to follow. Frustrated and ashamed, he asked the manager if there were any African dance classes offered anywhere else. The Manager’s cheerful response was “No, but if you start one Paul, I guess we’ll have one.” That is where Paul’s career as a Group Fitness Instructor started.

Over the next few years, Paul’s group fitness classes grew in size and became more popular, with class sizes reaching over 150 participants per class. Turning down an opportunity to attend medical school, Paul decided to make Group Fitness his career. He discovered numerous challenges with choreographed based dance workouts, where participants follow the instructor’s dance style and steps without owning the moves, or feel intimidated when they are not great dancers. He developed steps that are structured and based on participants drawing letters and numbers with their feet to popular music. Paul discovered that this form of dance could be taught to kids and adults of every skill level and that participants become so engaged in learning the steps that they become addicted. Paul’s classes were so large that often times, people could not see him or even hear him over the music. As a master in group fitness classes, Paul devised a system of using universal hand signals to show participants the next move. This became a trademark feature of BOKWA.

Based on the tremendous popularity of BOKWA, Paul decided to launch it as a group exercise class on a global scale and started offering Bokwa Instructor Certifications in the UK, after the BOKWA program received accreditation from several major organizations such as ACE, AFAA, and REPs UK. Within less than a year from offering the first certification event, BOKWA FITNESS certified over 1,000 instructors in the US, UK, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and by the end of 2012, classes will be offered in over 20 countries.

In early 2012, Paul partnered with direct response entrepreneur, Johann Verheem to expand BOKWA FITNESS on a global scale. Together they created the BOKWA BOUNCE FOUNDATION, a non-for-profit initiative that offers BOKWA classes for free to schools, initially in the UK with plans to expand globally. “If you can move and you can spell, you can do BOKWA” says Mavi. “We have children at age four doing BOKWA and we have certified instructors in their early seventies. And if you think you cannot dance, then BOKWA is tailor made for you”.

Who May Benefit From Bokwa

BOKWA was created so that it is easy enough for adults and children of all ages. We have seen through our experiences with Bokwa in the schools that children are calling out words that they want to spell on the ground! Bokwa can even reinforce basic math for children while writing numbers o the ground and asking them to write the answer! Children participating in Bokwa classes are having so much fun they do not realize that they are learning or exercising! Because the steps can be repeated several times, children are able to retain the sequence of steps and repeat them on their own!

BOKWA is definitely an interactive workout for both adults and children. In addition it is also beneficial for those who instruct BOKWA because the routines are never the same unless the instructor chooses to do so. The instructors will realize they form a voracious appetite for new steps and challenges and will crave the continuing education. To satisfy this hunger and ambition for themselves through learning additional steps, the excitement is then passed down to their participants. The instructors grow with their participants every time they take it to the next level!


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