By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Giving back
Aikido instructor uses passion to help community
Manteca Yoshinkan Aikido instructor Miguel Arredondo goes through the motions with Janna Palomares, 8, of Manteca. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
  • WHAT: Manteca Yoshinkan Aikido
  • DAYS: Mondays, Thursday
  • TIME: 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Youth), 6:40-8:30 p.m. (Adult)
  • WHERE: Lindbergh Adult School
  • FEES: $30 for adults, $20 for kids. Discounts offered for additional family members, and an additional $10 is tacked on for non-residents of Manteca.

Manteca resident Miguel Arredondo, 58, has dedicated much of his time and money in developing his skills as an Aikido practitioner.

Now he is offering his time for free to help others develop the same passion he has for martial arts.

The chief instructor of the Manteca Yoshinkan Aikido, which he says is the first Aikido-specific dojo in town, runs his classes through the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department at Lindbergh Adult School’s auditorium two nights a week.

Arredondo said Manteca Parks and Recreation collects 100 percent of the profits.

“I just want to give back to the community,” he said. “It keeps me off the sofa, helps the city and hopefully the kids and adults that I teach.”

With help from Steven Miranda, head instructor of Yoshinkan Sacramento in Orangevale, Arredondo established Manteca Yoshinkan Aikido in 2005 and was then based at the Orchard Supply Hardware center on West Louise Ave. The school has been at its current site for a year and a half.

Arredondo is a Manteca High graduate (1969) and Vietnam War veteran. After serving with the 1st Calvary Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade, he began what has become a career and passion in martial arts in 1972.

He first studied Rembukai Karate in Stockton, then Goju-ryu Karate and Taekwondo before settling on Aikido starting in 1986.

Arredendo is a second-degree black belt and Level 5 instructor.

His classes run on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the first hour dedicated to kids ages 7-13.

What appeals to his students are the small class sizes and bargain monthly fees. Adults pay $30 by the first of each month, and a $5 discount is offered to each additional family member. Fees for children are $25, and an additional $10 is added for adults and youth who reside outside Manteca city limits.

“The prices are pretty cheap compared to other schools that teach other disciplines,” he said.

Arredondo tries to remain true to the traditions of Aikido, as he teaches his classes in Japanese. He has also had instructors come from all over the world — including Japan, the art’s birthplace — to keep things fresh.

For more information about Manteca Yoshinkan Aikido and Arredondo, visit the dojo’s website at, or call Manteca Parks and Recreation at (209) 239-8470.