Boxing for People with Parkinson’s Disease in Calgary

Grizzly Strides

Grizzly Strides was launched in 2016, it is a Parkinson’s-specific adaptive fitness program combined with elements of cognitive training.  It consists of group classes which are “non-contact” boxing based.  Our program is recognized by Parkinson’s Canada as well as Parkinson Association of Alberta.  We offer innovative training practices in a supportive, safe and motivating environment.  Advances in neurological research have shown that the human brain’s potential for neuroplasticity has been greatly underestimated leaving a whole new exciting path of discovery lying ahead!

Marcela Jaimes. MSc PT, BSc Kin

Marcela Jaimes, MSc PT, BSc Kin

While not a cure for Parkinson’s or other brain conditions, moderate to intense exercise has been shown to help significantly with tremors and many other symptoms. The elements of a boxer’s training are highly related to these areas giving individuals a chance to be active participants in their own treatment plan while increasing overall fitness in an exciting and positive social setting.  In 2021 we added a new member to the Grizzly Team, Marcela Jaimes (inset photo left).   Her educational focus within her masters degree was neurorehabilitation and she has a particular interest in the area of research.  We are currently assisting the University of Calgary Neurosciences Department by providing training and data outcomes related to the use of an external sensor device called Ambulosono.   Pilot results indicate that the Ambulosono program can help relieve patients from a deep state of gait freezing, facilitate walking and help to overcome fear of falling.

No prior experience necessary, beginners are welcome!

How to get started:

Step 1:  Contact Darcy by email at or phone 403.992.8032 to set up  a free pre-screening phone discussion to help determine if this is a suitable program for you.

Step 2:  Obtain your physician or neurologist’s consent using a form that we will email out to you.

Step 3:  Book an on site physical assessment with a Licensed Kinesiologist to help determine whether you will be in the Level I or Level II class based upon overall fitness, age, balance and mobility.  This assessment can also provide you with a clear baseline to compare to in future evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there age restrictions? No, but to give you an idea of the typical age range for people that train within our two Grizzly Strides class levels it would be from their late 40’s to early 80’s.

If I am actively experiencing falls due to balance difficulties can I join group classes?

Program safety is paramount and moderate to good balance is required.  Unfortunately these classes will not be an option for you.  Reach out to us anyway and we will try to assist you by providing alternative programming resources that are more suitable.

Can I join at anytime during the cycle of the program?


Are private 1:1 sessions available if I prefer?

Yes, please contact Darcy directly to learn more.

LEVEL 1 (Gentle or Low Impact):  Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

LEVEL 2 (Intermediate to Advanced Fitness):  Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

Classes run from September to July inclusively and you can enter the program at ANYTIME during the term.  We are able to assist you with the process of “on-boarding” and trying something different or brand new.  We understand how trying something new can lead to feeling nervous or hesitant and we will be with you each step of the way.  Our participants and team are very welcoming, accommodating and helpful.  Please contact us for more details.  Email: or call Darcy at 403.992.8032

Membership Pricing: 

Twice per Week Membership                               $145/month                 approx. $18/class

Three times per Week Membership                   $180/month                 approx. $15/class

Payment is made on an auto-withdrawal basis and may be cancelled following your first 3 months commitment to the program.  This can be completed via email to or in person with 5 business days notice to the next payment withdrawal.

Whether you have Parkinson or not, Grizzly Cage delivers a “knockout” program and facility. I have seen improvement in my balance and gait.
Deb Quesnelle

One of the training benefits for me is the ability to multitask within myself, like moving my feet and hands to an ever changing scenario while your mind is setting up for the next one. This was something I lost early on in my illness. I’m getting better with each class thank you.

John Nouwen

I’ve found exercise to be an absolute essential in living well with Parkinsons. Slogging away in the gym without professional instruction can be a lonely experience with a significant risk of injury, however. The Grizzly Cage’s boxing program addresses these concerns head-on. The exercises are geared to our individual levels so the risk of injury is very low, and getting together regularly with other Parkinson folks has proven to be a very therapeutic experience. I guess you could say I’m hooked!

Bob Charles