South Tahoe martial arts instructors celebrate nearly four decades of education |

South Tahoe martial arts instructors celebrate nearly four decades of education

Jack Barnwell
Rick and Christina Manglinong have taught martial arts in South Lake Tahoe for 39 years. Christina began teaching in 1976 at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex.
Photo courtesy of Rick Manglinong |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — For 39 years, Christina and Rick Manglinong maintained balance and discipline by instructing martial arts lessons. The Mangligongs teach a blended form, with themes in Tae Kwon Do and Modern Arnis, a Filipino style.

Christina began instructing locals in 1976, a year after the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex opened. Her husband, Rick, joined her as an instructor a year later.

“We see it as a community service or a ministry,” Rick said.

The wife-husband team currently teaches at South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex and Kahle Community Center in Stateline, Nev. They serve both children and adults.

Christina learned martial arts for exercise and kept going. She currently holds a ninth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a fifth-degree black belt in Kombatan, and a black belt in modern Arnis. Rick earned the title of grandmaster and his ninth-degree belt in Kombatan in 2007, and he holds a sixth-degree modern black belt and fifth-degree in Tae Kwon Do.

When it comes to teaching martial arts, lessons go beyond learning self-defense. Christina said it helps students focus and gain coordination, especially with issues outside the studio.

“You touch children’s lives in new ways and help guide them,” Christina said.

According to Rick, students shouldn’t expect to become masters overnight, or mimic what television and movies portray.

“People who are looking to be a fighter will weed themselves out,” Rick said. “It’s going to take work, but it pays off in the end.”


Christina works as an instructional aide at South Tahoe Middle School, a position she started in 2000. She said it’s a natural extension of her role as a martial arts instructor.

And martial arts instruction is a family business. Christina and Rick’s daughter, Mindy Manglinong, teaches lessons as well.

Rick added that teaching together also has its benefits for the family.

“It’s been a great relationship builder for us as a married couple, because it’s something we can do together,” he explained.

Neither have plans to retire from teaching anytime soon.

“We’ve been here a long time, and we’ve known hundreds of people who have come through,” Rick said.

For more information on martial arts lessons, visit

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