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Karate lessons returning to Boys & Girls Club
Manteca Boys & Girls members stage a demonstration of skills they have learned.

Karate lessons are returning to the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.

And just like before the pandemic forced the twice weekly sessions to be cancelled, the lessons are included in the $60 a year membership.

The lessons are being provided free-of-charge by Robin Taberna as well as four black belts that he has taught over the years.

“They all want to give back to the community,” noted Taberna, whose free karate lessons have been an integral part of the Manteca Boys & Girls Club for nearly 40 years.

The lessons resume next week.

They take place on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. in the club’s gym at 545 W. Alameda St.

Over the years, a number of former students have credited Taberna’s karate lessons for helping them develop discipline, focus, and respect that they credit as contributing factors to their success.

Former students have gone on to become police officers, physicians, scientists, and teachers among other vocations.

Taberna noted that many parents understand and like the self-defense aspects of karate, it is more than that.

“It stresses and teaches respect,” Taberna said.

At the same time youth that are enamored by the competitive “fighting” aspect of karate, soon realize the mentorship value of Taberna and his assistants.

The value of physical exercise is not lost on participants or their parents.

Taberna noted “too many kids” are spending the bulk of their time using computers and in front of of screens.

While that may help with their mental growth, it lags in improving their physical well-being.

Karate, as Taberna points out, improves both mental and physical well-being

 Boys & Girls membership is open to youth from ages 6 (in the first grade) to 18 years (in the 12th grade).

The club is open on school days on Mondays and Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Summer hours — and on some holidays when they are open — are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional information about the club and its programs can be found at

For information regarding membership requirements, call 209-239-5437.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email