STAR AFFILIATE OF THE MONTH
Rock Steady Boxing Wichita
This month’s RSB star affiliate is Rock Steady Boxing Wichita in Wichita, KS. They became an affiliate in June 2016.
Boxers and Classes:
Rock Steady Boxing Wichita currently trains 16 boxers, offering five classes a week. They offer PD “3 & 4 class” and PD “1 & 2 class” on Mondays and Wednesdays. A combined class is offered on Saturdays.
RSB Wichita's three certified coaches all consider themselves equal in the coaching aspect because they all bring different backgrounds to the class. Erin Carpenter is a Registered Physical Therapist and brings her therapy background of balance and geriatric exercise to the team. Mannie Brown was a professional boxer and boxing coach and obviously brings his extensive boxing knowledge to the team. Marcio Navarro is a professional kick boxer and fitness instructor and brings his kickboxing and exercise knowledge to the team. Erin heads the program, handling all of the communication and assessments with new boxers and speaking at public events about the program.
What do you love about being RSB Coaches:
As a result of having a physical therapy background, Erin enjoys seeing boxers take their lives back. Almost every one of their boxers has admitted to having lots of fear and anxiety prior to starting their first Rock Steady class. Now they see regained confidence, laughter, and smiles.
Mannie loves the fighters and all the personalities they bring to the table. The relationships they have been able to grow cannot be put into words.
Favorite Training Tips:
There are two activities RSB Wichita boxers really seem to enjoy. One is the crazy games they sometimes play for warmup, when boxers say they forget they have Parkinson’s when they play them. They also enjoy hitting the bag with the baseball bat. A key is to find ways to make it fun. That way they don’t limit themselves. When they have fun, but it’s a tough workout, the fighters don’t realize they are doing something that they once were told they couldn't do or didn’t think they could do.
The team at RSB Wichita says they see improvements in all of their boxers. Sometimes they start to see improvements a few months in and sometimes they see improvements after just a few classes. According to Erin, the “most improved” award probably goes to Larry, age 71. When he first came to them (he was the third boxer to join) he was walking in a severely, forward flexed posture and it took him a long time to walk to the back of the gym where classes are held. He rarely missed a class and did almost everything he was asked. Now, his posture is greatly improved and he attends PD "1 & 2 class" and mostly keeps up with everyone else. Watching him the other day interacting with the other boxers before class, it struck them that he was smiling and laughing and looked 10 years younger. His nickname is the ninja because his rolling skills when the class works on falling are great!!
Advice to other RSB Affiliates:
Honestly, we felt like we got such great information at training camp that we didn’t have many questions getting started. The one thing we do want to convey is that it takes time to build a program, have patience. It may take a little longer to get physicians on board, however, once our fighters began having follow-up appointments, their physicians and PA’s really saw improvements and started to refer their patients to the gym.