Rock Steady Boxing Background and Highlights

  • Founded in 2006 in Indianapolis Indiana
  • Rock Steady’s founder, former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor, Scott Newman, was diagnosed at 39. He discovered that training like a boxer (non- contact) lessened his Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • Initially intended as a program to help people battle young-onset Parkinson’s disease, over the course of many years the program evolved to accommodate and help people at ALL stages of the disease.
  • Rock Steady now has Affiliates all over the world helping people with Parkinson’s using “The Rock Steady Method.”


  • Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease that has no cure. For some unknown reason, the brain begins a decline in production of a neurotransmitter called “dopamine” which is responsible for brain-to-muscle communication. The result is a loss of motor and non-motor function.
  • When a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s they have usually already lost 70- 80% of the normal levels of dopamine.
  • Current treatments include: medication, surgical treatment such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), and lifestyle changes including exercise, diet and emotional support.
  • There are several medications that can temporally relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but exercise is the only treatment that has actually been medically proven to slow the progression of PD.


  • Several medical studies on exercise and Parkinson’s have concluded that forced intense exercise can slow the progression of Parkinson’s. In other words, when exercise is done at a volunteer rate, there is less benefit than when exercise is done that pushes or forces someone out of their comfort zone.
  • ESPN ranks Boxing as the most intense form of training, in terms of degree of difficulty compared to 60 other sports. If “forced, intense” exercise is the proven form of exercise for people with Parkinson’s, then boxing is a good fit.
  • Boxers undergo a diverse training regimen to achieve the optimal body control it takes to be a good fighter.


  • Rock Steady understands that there are many different levels of Parkinson’s and many levels of fitness. Rock Steady Coaches are trained to modify exercises so that anyone can benefit. There is a FIGHT in all of us. Rock Steady Boxing can be done at any level of Parkinson’s disease through the tough love of the Coaches and their understanding of the disease.
  • Rock Steady Boxing is hybrid of many different training regimens that are good for Parkinson’s. With boxing at the foundation, each Rock Steady Coach brings different elements to mix into the workouts, which keep the curriculum fresh and challenging.
  • An assessment is done on each participant before they join the program so the Coaches can learn about the client and work appropriately with each person based on individual needs.


  • Millions of dollars are allocated each year by Parkinson’s foundation’s to “find a cure”. While that is a very noble and necessary endeavor, there are few organizations who are focusing on quality of life TODAY. Rock Steady Boxing aims to improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s, until a cure is found.


  • There are 1.5 millions people in the U.S. with Parkinson’s
  • 5-7% of people with Parkinson’s are under 50yrs old – consider “Young-onset”
  • Men are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s than women
  • 15% of people with Parkinson’s have a “Parkinson’s Plus” - Lewey Body Dementia, Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Cortiobasal Degeneration (CBD)

“Punching Parkinson’s” – By: Big Ten Network & Purdue University “In Your Corner” – By: Rock Steady Boxing