Kupuna Life: Fighting Parkinson’s with punches

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Stephen Sato and Miles Ino are doing some work with the mitts.

Not just to break a sweat, but to train their mind and body in a different way.

“It adds a new dimension that I never had before,” said Stephen Sato, Rock Steady boxer.

“It’s the highlight of my day when I come to the gym,” said Miles ino, Rock Steady boxer.

Ino has been going to this gym in Kapolei a couple of times per week for the past five months, hoping to see an improvement in everyday tasks.

‘Things that people take for granted, like putting on shoes, socks, tying shoelaces or being able to turn, those are all things that I would trip,” Ino said.

The 60-year-old was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease late in 2020.

“It was like a wall came crashing down on me, from there I went into a period of depression where I didn’t really care where I thought this is the end of the world,” Ino said.

But his wife convinced him to try Rock Steady Boxing Kapolei, where Eiichi Jumawan coaches him.

“First of all, it’s the boxing stance, the boxing stance, the wide stance and it’s squared up like this, so that helps balance, the punching,” Jumawan said.

Rock Steady Boxing is a nationwide program that helps people battling Parkinson’s gain strength and balance.

“Parkinson’s patients have a problem with reaching out and lengthening their arms. So punching helps them extend their hands out to the target, they’re pronating their shoulders and arms and bodies, they’re working on balance and at the same time it’s cognitive because I’m telling them throw, one, two, three, four, five,” Jumawan said.

77-year-old Stephen Sato started boxing in April 2021.

“What I think I’ve been missing is training in the field and that’s what this thing provides, it provides a lot of motion, a lot of thinking, and you’re boxing against a person with unpredictable moves, so that forces you to think,” Sato said.

“Ever since I started Rock Steady, I seen an improvement in my balance, in my movement,” Sato said.

Ino is not taking medication for Parkinson’s. He believes boxing has eased the physical, mental and emotional toll this disorder can have.

“Rock Steady has taught me to appreciate the good days, the mild days, and when you get into the difficult days, you can work through them,” Ino said.

Call (808)-348-9202 or click here for more information on Rock Steady Boxing Kapolei.

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