Johnny Determan Follows His Dream, Opens Boxing Gym

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Johnny Dieterman boxing
Johnny Determan during his boxing career Photo courtesy Blue Line Boxing & Fitness

Johnny Determan Opens Facility To Share His Passion For Boxing With Others

You could say Johnny Determan is a chip off the ol’ block.

And in his younger days he knocked a few blocks off, just like his dad.

Johnny followed his dad into the law enforcement business, but for both of them the desire to box and teach others to defend themselves was overwhelming.

So, now, also like his dad, he’s combining his two loves and is preparing to open Blue Line Boxing & Fitness in Waxahachie. The facility is located at 2498 FM 66 near Scarborough Fair.

“The idea for Blue Line Boxing & Fitness has been a long term goal of mine. I had my first amateur boxing fight at 8 years old, and I knew I wanted to open my own gym for others to grow up around it like I did,” Determan recalled. “My father opened his own boxing gym when I was 6 years old, so I was a gym rat. You have to be 8 years old to actually compete, so as soon as I turned 8 I was in the ring competing.”

Blue Line was scheduled to open at the beginning of December, 2020. However, as will happen in the days of COVID-19, there were some difficulties and delays.

But as of Feb. 27 the facility will be officially open, just in time to coincide with Determan’s 30th birthday late in the month.

More Than Fitness, Self Defense Is Also a Focus

Determan is a policeman in Red Oak. He understands that his facility will be more than just a gym to get in shape. It’s a place where people can learn to defend themselves.
It’s also a place where folks can learn that, in spite of the well-publicized problems in some places, the overwhelming majority of police officers are ordinary people just like everyone else.

“With everything going on right now in the world it is necessary for them (visitors) to feel welcome with open arms. Just because we put the uniform on and enforce the law does not mean they can’t come in and get a great workout in and be a part of our gym,” Determan said. “I see it as bringing the community into the facility and them seeing how police officers are normal humans also.”

Blue Line is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) facility. All donations and proceeds will go back into the gym for equipment and maintenance.

“I just can’t wait to get in there with the community and bring them in with us to build healthy habits and reach fitness goals, as well as building a relationship with them and giving the youth a place to come and burn some energy, learn self defense, build self esteem, and build confidence,” Determan said.

Blue Line will offer high intensity interval training boxing workouts. This type of workout is cardio boxing and a good way to lose weight as well as gain endurance and build a stronger heart, Determan said.

There will also be an open gym for members who want to come and workout at their own pace. It will also be for members who want to compete at the amatuer level. Personal training will be available.

A Family Business

Johnny Determan and his Dad
Johnny Determan with his dad, John Determan, Sr. Photos courtesy of Blue Line Boxing & Fitness

“Not everyone likes to workout in a group setting. Personal training is a good way to get your workout in while the gym is empty,” he said.

His father, John Determan, Sr. is also part of the project. He will teach women’s self-defense and situational awareness classes.

Like father, like son. The elder Determan also comes from a law enforcement background, and he boxed as well.

“He has decades of law enforcement experience and training, and he was also an amatuer and professional boxer,” the younger Determan said.

Of course, all precautions concerning COVID-19 will be taken, Determan stressed. This includes checking temperatures as members enter the facility, sanitizing all equipment after each use, social distancing inside the gym, and wearing a face covering if social distancing isn’t possible. They will also only be able to operate at 50% capacity per the governor’s orders.

And if there’s something you want special for your workout, Johnny said come talk to him.

“If there is something special that someone wants within the facility we will sit down as a board and see if it is feasible to accommodate. Nothing is out of the question,” he said.

Unlike a lot of new business owners who already have dreams of expanding even before the doors are open on their first facility, Johnny is happy to have the one gym and serve the community he loves.

“Never say never, but I want to be at this location to engage each member and bring the community in,” he said. “If I had another location I feel that I would lose that option.”

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters