Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s: Rock Steady Boxing

Local woman, Susan McClain, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 60. She was saddled with pain and couldn’t even stand up on her own. She learned how other people with the illness were taking control of their bodies with boxing. Susan began the Rock Steady Boxing program at UFC Cordova. After a few weeks she began to see her mobility and strength return. Susan shares, “Cheryl and Curtis at UFC have been great. I look forward to every workout and feel better after training. When I started Rock Steady Boxing I could not jump rope at all. Now I am up to five jumps and have learned how to get myself off the floor into an upright position on my own.” She no longer feels alone and has gained confidence knowing that others with the disease are continuing to fight. That support has made all the difference for Susan.

Rock Steady Boxing is the first and only boxing program of its kind in the country. It’s a non-contact, boxing inspired fitness class that helps people with Parkinson’s gain power, strength, and flexibility to improve their everyday lives. It was founded in 2006 by former Marion County Prosecutor, Scott C. Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s. Newman began intense one-on-one boxing training just a few years after he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at the age of 40. Newman witnessed the dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility, and daily functioning through the intense high energy workouts. Newman’s quality of life improved dramatically in a short time and Rock Steady Boxing was born.

Rock Steady Boxing’s mission is to empower people with Parkinson’s disease to fight back. The methods and exercises used by Rock Steady Boxing have been scientifically proven to help with the specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The curriculum of the Rock Steady Method is designed to specifically address the symptoms that occur with Parkinson’s disease. All Rock Steady participants go through a significant assessment and screening procedure before being allowed to participate. The program has been very successful, spreading across the country to empower the lives of Parkinson’s patients.

Rock Steady Boxing is offered locally through the UFC Gym in Cordova and the UFC Gym Germantown. Contact Cheryl or Curtis at UFC Cordova and Nick Davis at Germantown UFC to learn more about the program.

UFC Cordova (901) 590-3194 1791 N Germantown Parkway Cordova, TN 38016

UFC Germantown (901) 756-8328 9091 Poplar Ave., #110 Germantown, TN 38138

Photo by Lisa Buser

1 Comment on Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s: Rock Steady Boxing

  1. That’s a great story. I love how sport or activity can offer rehabilitation. Good luck in your endeavour. It’s truly a great thing you’re trying to do there. Don’t give up and don’t let your people give up. 🙂


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