NORFOLK, Neb. -- Punching Parkinson's Disease in the face; that is what this group said they are taking on at the Norfolk YMCA. They aren’t preparing to fight McGregor or Mayweather, but something much tougher than that. 

“The point of the class is to help people, support people with Parkinson’s,” said Sam Moore, boxing instructor. “I do have a few that have very similar diseases to Parkinson’s.” 

Rock Steady Boxing started in spring 2018 in Norfolk. They have offered classes to those with Parkinson's every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Moore said he has a passion for helping others. 

“Oddly enough, when I first decided I wanted to pursue a career as a personal trainer, the last thing I thought I would be doing is teaching a boxing class for people with Parkinson’s Disease,” Moore said. “It has turned out to be a very big blessing for me.” 

Even though Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, Moore claims that he actually has seen some of his students gain strength. 

“Results I look for typically, obviously Parkinson's is a progressive disease, there is no cure,” Moore said. “It slows down the effects, I notice some of them getting stronger, their mobility gets better, their mood changes.”

The class goes in a rotation as each individual gets the opportunity against a punching bag, lifting weights, a speed bag and much more. Because these patients can be fragile, Moore said it is always important to be safe and act fast. A lot of the time, their support person or “corner man” is there to help. 

“Everyone is at a different level and some of them are more severely affected than others,” Moore said. “When something like that happens, for me it is really important to stay calm and just assess the situation with just a calm mindset and doing the steps it takes. Whether it is a fall, you know, whatever it is, be there quickly to help them as quickly as possible."

At the end of the day, regardless of physical ability, it is all about the mindset.

“I look forward to just getting to see them, cracking jokes with them, and having those fun conversations just about random stuff,” Moore said. “Everyday conversations and instilling that mindset in them that there is a way that they can fight back and live a higher quality of life even though they have been affected by Parkinson’s Disease.”

The classes continue to be open for registration.