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  • A different reason for speed bag training

    Almost six years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD). I was on the young end of the spectrum when diagnosed (46), but certainly not the youngest ever diagnosed. A couple years later, I was introduced to the Rock Steady Boxing program which is specifically designed to utilize the training a boxer does to prepare for a fight in order to tame the symptoms of PD.

    Long story short, I became a certified coach in 2015 and either take class or coach 4-5 days per week. We have approx. 50 boxers (we don't call them patients) in our program.

    We have a couple platforms in our gym and I almost immediately fell in love with the speed bag. It was after a year or so of working on it, that I discovered bible style bagging through youtube videos of Alan Kahn. A while later, I bought his book and DVD and started to learn.

    For me, my symptoms are exclusively on my right side ... and I am right handed. It presents some difficulties, but not debilitating by any means. I have a tremor on my right arm, hand, leg and foot. That really doesn't impair speed bag at all as the tremor is a resting tremor, it does not happen when I am engaging the hand.

    What does cause challenges is that I have Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement as well. Basically, the communication from my brain to the muscles is disrupted by a dopamine deficiency (the cause of PD). My right side moves slower than my left and is less coordinated as a result.

    I learn new skills on the bag with my left hand first because it is less frustrating and I am able to progress much faster. After gaining proficiency on the left, I am then able to translate that to my right hand (still hard for me to adjust to the fact that I am less capable on my right hand).

    I was fortunate to meet Alan last fall at a Rock Steady coaches conference where he did a demo. He has been extremely helpful with my progress on the bag. I have been able to teach some of our boxers some bible style skills ... they love being able to do things that one would not think someone with a movement disorder should be able to do!

    Sorry for the ramble, but I wanted to share my path to finding the speed bag and to let the community know that it is a big motivator to me and is very therapeutic for me and many others. I look forward to learning from this group and hopefully being able to share perspectives on using the speed bag as tool for those with PD.

  • #2
    The original Rock Steady video that was posted at this forum years ago brought tears to many of us. It is such a pleasure to see how the Rock Steady Boxing program has expanded from Indianapolis to reach out to so many people today. Soldier on, soldier. You're an inspiration to all of us.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by paranday View Post
      The original Rock Steady video that was posted at this forum years ago brought tears to many of us. It is such a pleasure to see how the Rock Steady Boxing program has expanded from Indianapolis to reach out to so many people today. Soldier on, soldier. You're an inspiration to all of us.
      Thanks for the kind words! Sure, I am biased, but I think the program is the most inspirational thing I have ever been involved in. It is an absolute joy to be in class.

      I am confident any of the affiliates around the globe would welcome the expertise folks on this forum could lend their participants. I am also confident anyone who got involved would love the experience!

      I am more than willing to help folks get in contact with programs in their area.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a close friend who was diagnosed with PD about 4 ot 5 years ago (when he was 61). I had talked to him about the RSB approach at that time. Unfortunately there were not any facilities close by. I tried to become a certified trainer, and start classes at our local YMCA, but certification programs were full and the wait time was over a year to become certified.

        About 2 years ago a RSB facility opened up about 12 miles away, and at my urging he started classes. He’s gone faithfully 3 days every week. He always tells me it was the greatest thing he’s done to help slow the progression of PD. He and the approximately 20 other participants swear by the program.

        Continued success, and congrats for becoming a certified coach and helping others battle this disease.

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice post, RSB, very interesting. Is there a favorite size or weight speed bag preferred by PD baggers? ("PDBs" has a nice ring to it.)
          @ArcSwivel
          #ArcSwivel sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RockSteadyBoxer View Post
            Almost six years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD). I was on the young end of the spectrum when diagnosed (46), but certainly not the youngest ever diagnosed. A couple years later, I was introduced to the Rock Steady Boxing program which is specifically designed to utilize the training a boxer does to prepare for a fight in order to tame the symptoms of PD.

            Long story short, I became a certified coach in 2015 and either take class or coach 4-5 days per week. We have approx. 50 boxers (we don't call them patients) in our program.

            We have a couple platforms in our gym and I almost immediately fell in love with the speed bag. It was after a year or so of working on it, that I discovered bible style bagging through youtube videos of Alan Kahn. A while later, I bought his book and DVD and started to learn.

            For me, my symptoms are exclusively on my right side ... and I am right handed. It presents some difficulties, but not debilitating by any means. I have a tremor on my right arm, hand, leg and foot. That really doesn't impair speed bag at all as the tremor is a resting tremor, it does not happen when I am engaging the hand.

            What does cause challenges is that I have Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement as well. Basically, the communication from my brain to the muscles is disrupted by a dopamine deficiency (the cause of PD). My right side moves slower than my left and is less coordinated as a result.

            I learn new skills on the bag with my left hand first because it is less frustrating and I am able to progress much faster. After gaining proficiency on the left, I am then able to translate that to my right hand (still hard for me to adjust to the fact that I am less capable on my right hand).

            I was fortunate to meet Alan last fall at a Rock Steady coaches conference where he did a demo. He has been extremely helpful with my progress on the bag. I have been able to teach some of our boxers some bible style skills ... they love being able to do things that one would not think someone with a movement disorder should be able to do!

            Sorry for the ramble, but I wanted to share my path to finding the speed bag and to let the community know that it is a big motivator to me and is very therapeutic for me and many others. I look forward to learning from this group and hopefully being able to share perspectives on using the speed bag as tool for those with PD.
            Thank You for sharing that

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Biff View Post
              I have a close friend who was diagnosed with PD about 4 ot 5 years ago (when he was 61). I had talked to him about the RSB approach at that time. Unfortunately there were not any facilities close by. I tried to become a certified trainer, and start classes at our local YMCA, but certification programs were full and the wait time was over a year to become certified.

              About 2 years ago a RSB facility opened up about 12 miles away, and at my urging he started classes. He’s gone faithfully 3 days every week. He always tells me it was the greatest thing he’s done to help slow the progression of PD. He and the approximately 20 other participants swear by the program.

              Continued success, and congrats for becoming a certified coach and helping others battle this disease.
              That is great your friend has been able to join a program ... thank you for trying to start one, I think wait times are much shorter now. I really love being a fighter and a coach, the classes are fantastic and so are the people involved!

              Originally posted by rdshackleford View Post
              Nice post, RSB, very interesting. Is there a favorite size or weight speed bag preferred by PD baggers? ("PDBs" has a nice ring to it.)
              I Like PDB! I am not sure there is a favorite, but 6x9 followed by 5x8 I think would be the top two I have seen. Nothing too heavy, but also not crazy fast. Most gyms don't use a ball-hook swivel...

              Comment


              • #8
                Love rocksteady! My brother owns an Anytime Fitness in Galena Indiana just north of Louisville. The class meets three times a week and it just keeps growing. I helped teach some of these folks how to hit the speed bag- Their progress was phenomenal! My brother took it upon himself to offer the class and months later he found out he needed to have a heart transplant. No real warning signs...just a serious turn of events. He’s doing awesome and the class is truly an inspiration. Rock on rocksteady!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Louisville Speed View Post
                  Love rocksteady! My brother owns an Anytime Fitness in Galena Indiana just north of Louisville. The class meets three times a week and it just keeps growing. I helped teach some of these folks how to hit the speed bag- Their progress was phenomenal! My brother took it upon himself to offer the class and months later he found out he needed to have a heart transplant. No real warning signs...just a serious turn of events. He’s doing awesome and the class is truly an inspiration. Rock on rocksteady!
                  That's great! Glad you got a chance to work with the fighters there. All the best to your brother!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That is awesome on every level! Thanks for sharing as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      #PDBoxer is still available.
                      @ArcSwivel
                      #ArcSwivel sigpic

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