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Former middleweight champ to teach martial arts at Riverside

Rodney Batiste, an 8th degree black belt and former United States and World Middleweight Champion of both the Professional Karate Association and National Karate Association, has joined Gloucester’s Riverside Wellness and Fitness Center to teach martial arts classes.

Batiste has been practicing karate for about 50 years since, first learning the martial arts in the 1960s while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised by a single mother who would move his family around to find ways to spend time out of the city. He said they spent summers in Gloucester as a kid and it was here he felt most comfortable.

In Brooklyn, Batiste took interest in karate after hearing about how it turned people into “one-man armies.” He was unable to afford karate lessons so to make up for a lack of payment, he worked in the studio in exchange for lessons.

Batiste credits his determination never to settle for average as one of the reasons for his success. Wanting to be the best, he began compet...

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