Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach About Town

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In 2016, one year after a debilitating stroke Joe Charles was back participating in his annual G.I. Joe Pier to Pier run. Photo by Kevin Cody

G.I. Joe Charles

‘Waitin’ on you’

A page has been set up for local legend, G.I. Joe Charles, who has taught fitness classes at the Manhattan Beach pier since 2000. In January 2015, Charles suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side, unable to walk or talk. Since then, former UFC martial arts fighter has applied the workout discipline he inspired in his students to progress from a bed, to a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane to walking unassisted. But he still needs financial assistance for speech therapy and other needs. As Charles tells his fitness students, he’s “Waitin’ on you.” If he’s helped you, help him by making a donation at

Checks made out to Joe Charles II Special Needs Trust may be sent to Box 3842, Manhattan Beach, Ca. 90266.

For more information about how to help, email


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