Rock Steady Boxing comes to Atascadero

Program helps those with Parkinson's disease

ATASCADERO — Rock Steady Boxing, a unique exercise program, based on training used by boxing pros, and adapted to people with Parkinson's disease, will now be available in the Atascadero area. The program involves regular exercises such as stretching, bicycling, running, jump-roping, push-ups, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing, led by experienced trainers/coaches. Rock Steady serves both men and women of all ages and levels of ability.

“We are fortunate to be able to bring this program to Atascadero,” Debbie Brewer said, who successfully completed the Rock Steady Boxing Training Camp and is certified to offer Rock Steady Boxing training classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Classes started Oct. 3 at S6 Martial Arts, 5890 Entrada Ave., Atascadero.

Next month come out to S6 Martial Arts Studio on Jan. 19, from noon until 2 p.m. for the Rock Steady Boxing ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. You will have the opportunity to meet the amazing boxers that attend, watch live demos and grab some refreshments.

The Rock Steady Boxing Method was developed in Indianapolis over the course of seven years. In 2012, the training camp launched to share the Rock Steady Boxing Method with other people who are fighting back against Parkinson’s. Today there are 448 Rock Steady Boxing affiliates in the 50 states and international affiliates in Italy and Canada that have been initiated by the trained coaches. All coaches complete the requirements of Rock Steady Boxing and have been officially certified in the Rock Steady Boxing headquarters and training center in Indianapolis.

“We have always believed in the Rock Steady Boxing Method,” said Joyce Johnson, the Executive Director of Rock Steady Boxing Inc. “When evidence began to emerge that our program had a very positive impact on the ‘boxers’, our mission became clear — to share our knowledge and experience with all people with Parkinson’s.That is why we decided to make our training available worldwide — to train as many as we can so together we can improve the care of people with Parkinson’s everywhere.”

Rock Steady Boxing Inc. is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2006 with six participants. Participation has steadily increased to more than 155 members today, including men and women ranging in age from 35-90. Classes are geared to people at all stages of Parkinson’s disease and multiple volunteers contribute their time and talents to assist with the classes.

Debbie Brewer has rented space in the S6 gym from Sensei Brock Statton and runs, managers and coaches for Rock Steady Boxing. Brewer began teaching fitness back in 2009 when she started coaching jazzercise classes and quickly began teaching kickboxing at S6 Martial Arts.

“My father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about six years ago,” Brewer said.  “And his neurologist suggested that we try out this program called Rock Steady Boxing.”

Until Brewer brought the program to Atascadero the closest available gym that provided Rock Steady Boxing techniques was in Santa Maria. Brewer has only been teaching the classes for a couple months but has been inspired for a lifetime.

“To come in here and have these people fight for their lives, fight to get their lives back, to feel good again is amazing,” Brewer said. “I spent three days in Indianapolis at the training facility and just saw the most amazing people.”


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