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Stick-N-Move Boxing: New location, same vision of success

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

York City's Stick-N-Move Boxing may have moved to a new location, but national titles and training hard are still a part of the game plan.

The gym, previously at 284 W. Market St., opened in 2009 under owner Antwoine Dorm Sr. as a nonprofit organization providing a low-cost after-school program.

Dorm said he "wanted to have an outlet" for homeless and troubled children, as he had previously worked at a homeless shelter.

However, as the sign-up sheet expanded, so did the type of people the gym welcomed in.

"When I first started, it was more for the kids in trouble, but then I realized they already have programs specifically for them," he said. "What about the kids that are bullied, have self-esteem issues or have special needs?"

Nine years later, more than 600 individuals have registered for the year-round program, which only closes on Christmas, Dorm said.

Since opening, Stick-N-Move Boxing has jumped from location to location, beginning at the York Princess Center on Princess Street and most recently moving to 120 E. Market St. in late June.

Dorm said he has seen a noticeable difference in the community, regardless of location.

"I've seen a huge difference in a lot of kids," he said. "It's a beautiful thing, and I'm happy we can do what we do and provide an outlet for them to learn and train."

Dominic Quintin, 9, of York City, works on the bag while his coach, Antwoine Dorm, at back, looks on at Stick N Move Boxing in York City, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Stick N Move recently moved into their new location at 120 East Market St. after the building they were formerly located in was sold. Dawn J. Sagert

Dorm recalled having authorities called on his gym several times because of the number of kids in the gym at one time and said the participation has been "amazing."

However, the growing participation isn't all that the gym can boast about.

"Mr. Man's" success: Dorm's son, Antwoine Dorm Jr., or "Mr. Man," has been boxing with his father since he was 2 years old.

More:York's Antwoine Dorm Jr. returns from Missouri with boxing championship

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While he is going into eighth grade at McKinley K-8 in York, academics clearly aren't all that are on his mind.

He's won titles at a plethora of boxing events, from national to local competitions. Most recently, he placed second at the 2018 National Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.

Antwoine Jr. is now ranked second in the country and boasts of record of 51-11.

"Stick-N-Move helped me a lot because if it weren't for my dad, I wouldn't be doing this," Antwoine Jr. said. "But I shouldn't be the only one doing this. Anyone can if they have the right mindset; they can do anything they want."

Antwoine Dorm, Jr., A.K.A. Mr. Man, 13, works on the bag at Stick N Move Boxing in York City, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Stick N Move recently moved into their new location at 120 East Market St. after the building they were formerly located in was sold. Dawn J. Sagert

Although fearless in the ring, the father-son duo still have their family clashes.

"He can be more consistent on me because he's my dad," Antwoine Jr. said. "I get angry at him sometimes because he gets a little annoying. He asks me to do one thing, then another, but that's what makes champions."

Dorm Sr. said that as a father, it was initially nerve-racking watching his son fight in the ring. But now he's more confident than ever.

"Now, I think he finally wants success," he said. "After a loss, although he doesn't have many, it's good to see him hurt and cry. He's taking it more seriously."

Antwoine Jr. attributed his "eyes on the prize" mentality to his father and nephew.

"My dad and my nephew make me want to keep going," he said. "I want to have a great future and help people, and I want my nephew to have the same. He deserves to have the things he wants in life."

Antwoine Dorm Jr., 13, A.K.A Mr. Man, left, spars with his father, Antwoine Dorm Sr., in the ring at their new location in York City, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The nonprofit was previously located at 284 West Market St., before the building was sold.  Dawn J. Sagert

Still, he remains a 13-year-old boy with 13-year-old boy interests.

"It's hard; I have to separate him from being my son when he's in the ring," Dorm Sr. said. "You want to drill it into him, but he's still a kid. Some days he wants to sit inside and do nothing, play with toys or play video games. So I just tell him that all he needs to do is give me two hours a day."

He added that he "couldn't be prouder" of his son.

Boxing doesn't take up all of Antwoine Jr.'s energy, though.

Fifty-one kids have lost to him and his fists in the ring, but his future plans show his softer side.

The young boxer is an ambassador for the York City School District anti-bullying initiative and plans to be a pastor after hopefully competing at the Olympic level.

He recalled a recent incident in school when one classmate was picking on another. Instead of solving the problems like he does while he's boxing, he brought the classmate to the principal's office, and the boy was suspended.

He attributed his peaceful side and desire to be a pastor to his relationship with God.

"I really fell in love with God four years ago," he said. "We had been going through a lot in our family. I like helping; it's better than violence."

With the relationship with God, he said, he is calm in the ring.

"When they call my name, the nerves go away," he said. "In my Silver Gloves title I won, I cried tears of joy, and the first thing I did when I got out of the ring was pray."

Beefing initiative: The gym, while training champions, is also looking to address the city's violence.

There have been 23 shootings in the city since January, five of them fatal. That compares to 11 shootings, including four deaths, during the same time last year.

Dorm Sr. took to Facebook on May 23 to announce that his gym might be able to slow the recent spike.

If there is a personal dispute between two parties, Dorm Sr. said he would allow them to message him and duke it out in his boxing ring — free of charge. Afterward, the two fighters can "shake hands and go grab a bite to eat," he wrote.

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"I've had quite a few people come to me, and I kept my word by keeping it private," Dorm Sr. said. "It's been beautiful. A lot of times after talking, they don't even want to get in the ring. There have been quite a few times where they came here just to speak; but it's good to know that the opportunity is there."

New gym: The nonprofit's training regimen, as well as Antwoine Jr.s legacy, will continue after moving into the new 120 E. Market St. location 

Dominic Quintin, 9, left, and Antwoine Dorm, Jr., A.K.A. Mr. Man, 13, work on bags at Stick N Move Boxing in York City, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Stick N Move recently moved into their new location at 120 East Market St. after the building they were formerly located in was sold. Dawn J. Sagert

The 284 W. Market St. location was auctioned off after three or four years of the organization holding the program there. Dorm Sr. said that it was a difficult move but that fellow boxers were there for him.

"We kind of panicked because I thought we had more time," he said. "But what helped me out was that Julio Alvarez (from Lincolnway SportCenter in West York) let us box there for two-three months while we got things figured out."

Now settled in, Dorm Sr. said the new location is "beautiful" and he's looking forward to continuing things as planned.

Still, the word "gym" doesn't ever come from Dorm Sr.'s mouth.

He simply calls the facility "home."

Membership at the new ring costs $50 a month for lessons for those 8 and older. The gym also offers personal training and fitness, which may vary in price.

At the new location, children ages 5 to 7 can participate 2-3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at $5 per session during the summer. While they're not allowed to fight, they do learn the basics and get a workout, Dorm Sr. said.

Antwoine Dorm, Jr., A.K.A. Mr. Man, 13, left, and Tali Banks, 16, center, of York City, spar in the ring while Dorm's father Antwoine Dorm Sr., looks on at Stick N Move Boxing in York City, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Stick N Move recently moved into their new location at 120 East Market St. after the building they were formerly located in was sold. Dawn J. Sagert