BOXING: T-5 Boxing offers positive environment to learn the sweet science | TheUnion.com

BOXING: T-5 Boxing offers positive environment to learn the sweet science

A boxing coach and his pugilist pupil circle the ring, working on a series of combos. Beyond the ropes, a fellow student of the sweet science puts in work on the heavy bag. Along the back wall, another aspiring boxer fills the gym with the familiar rattle of a speed bag.

T-5 Boxing is alive and well in Grass Valley.

With a new location and a revitalized energy, T-5 Boxing offers a place for boxers, young and old, to train, learn and grow in the sport.

"It's a positive way to get a sense of release," said T-5 Boxing coach Brian Scott. "With boxing you have to have a lot of self discipline and focus, and you have to put in the work. You don't just get in there and make it to the top. You got to earn it."

'WHAT MY DAD WOULD WANT'

Originally started by Rocci Twitchell Sr. decades ago, T-5 Boxing is undergoing a revival of sorts. After Twitchell Sr. died in 2014, his son Rocci Twitchell Jr. took over T-5 Boxing and ran it through gyms in the Sacramento area before hosting it in his home garage.

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Scott, a former student of Twitchell Sr., has now taken the reins at T-5 Boxing, with Rocci Jr. remains involved as a coach.

"At first I was like, it's kind of my thing, I'll just keep it and make sure it's preserved," Rocci Jr. said. "But then Brian said, 'Let's get a gym and revitalize it.' And, I thought to myself, 'You know what, that's what my dad would want.' Why keep it small and hidden? Let's get it back in the open again.

"There needs to be an avenue for the youth. A place they can go and work out and have a good time in a positive atmosphere."

For Scott, 34, he hopes to be the same positive influence for kids that Rocci Sr. was for him.

"His door was always open. He was always there to coach me through it, train me through it and that left a huge impression on me. He was like a father figure to me," Scott said. "I want to be in somebody's corner, the way he was for me. I want to not only help with discipline or boosting self confidence, I want to be there to help support them and be in their corner for them."

Scott and Rocci Jr. both bring plenty of boxing experience to their positions as coaches. Rocci Jr. has been boxing much of his life and still competes and trains others in various forms of martial arts. Scott grew up learning the sport from the likes of legendary Nevada County boxing coach Ursal Snapp as well as his father Brent Scott and Rocci Sr.

"He's awesome," T-5 Boxing student Kaleb Smith said of Scott. "He's very knowledgable, he knows what he's doing and he's pivotal. If I had anyone else, it wouldn't be the same."

STRONG MINDS & BODIES

Smith, 17, said boxing has been a good outlet for him to deal with the stress he encounters in his home life.

"There's just something about it," he said of boxing. "And, it's not like it's making me aggressive or anything. If anything it mellows me out, gives me an outlet to release my emotions."

While T-5 Boxing is open to anyone willing to put in the work and follow gym rules, Scott and Rocci Jr. put an emphasis on wanting to help at-risk youth. To provide a safe place for young people to develop into positive members of their community.

"In boxing you have to push yourself and set goals," Scott said. "That includes eating right, running, training. There's a lot to it so you build that self control, that self discipline. You have to be strong minded, so you build yourself to be strong minded. There's a lot of self confidence and self control. There's a lot of things you build mentally through this."

Rocci Jr. added, "It gives them something positive. We're not teaching kids to be violent. We're teaching them to be competitive and that's what this town needs. It needs competitive people, not people who just sit around and do nothing.

"The kids need an outlet, a place to express themselves, and that's what boxing offers: a controlled environment where they can learn to take care of themselves."

Their desire to help young people in the community grabbed the attention of Danny Luna, who jumped at the chance to help T-5 Boxing in its mission. Luna, who owns Luna's Landscaping, donated $1,000 to T-5 Boxing to help get the ring set up in its new facility.

"I heard Brian's story and decided I wanted to help him with T-5 Boxing," said Luna. "Let's teach kids discipline and teach kids what they're worth. Let's get out this frustration and channel it in another way. That's how boxing is good for our community. I believe it helps our youth channel their frustration in a different way. To learn discipline. To make healthy choices and to learn a healthy lifestyle all around."

The new T-5 Boxing facility, located on Olympia Park Road in Grass Valley, is furnished with everything an aspiring boxer would need to get started in the sport. Classes are offered Monday through Saturday. To learn more about T-5 Boxing or sign up for classes contact Rocci Jr. at 916-747-3694 or Scott at 530-615-6511.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.