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FishHawk area kickboxing program continues to help residents get in shape and tone muscle.

What up, KickHawk!

I hope that you are having an amazing week!

Quick announcement for you.

After 5+ years with the iLoveKickboxing squad, we will be leaving their network and are rebranding ourselves as Sidekicks Fitness Kickboxing.

What does that mean for you?

It means you will continue to get awesome fat-melting, muscle toning classes and a world-class client support and experience to help you reach your fitness goals.

If you have any additional questions, PM me here on FB, email me at, or catch me when you come to class.

As we are frequent to say, thanks so much for being amazing and for making our days by coming and giving it your all in class.

Make it a powerful day,

Manny Cabrera
Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers

Sneaky Veggies: The Snack Edition


There are children out there who chow down on veggies and ask for salad… but it’s far more common to hear stories of children who refuse to eat their broccoli, no matter what you do with it. While vegetables are without a doubt a meal-time staple and large portion of the food pyramid, they don’t have to be saved for just meals – here are a few ways to sneak them into snack time – and have your child enjoy them!

No, we’re not suggesting calling potatoes a true vegetable and loading your child up on salty, fried deliciousness.

We are suggesting that you invoke some healthy substitutions and continue to call them “chips.” There are veggie chips that you can buy right at the grocery store; these typically involve things like sweet potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables.

Not a bad option, but they still involve processed foods and less than healthy oils. Why not take the swap further and make an at-home version? Carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and yellow squash make fabulous chips – and they’re really easy to do! If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can grab one for less than half the cost of the week’s groceries.

Thinly slice your vegetable of choice and pop the slices in the dehydrator overnight; in the morning, you have homemade veggie chips ready to go!

Amp them up a bit by shaking them with flavoring before dehydrating them: a few favorite combinations include sea salt by itself, garlic powder and dill, and crystallized lemon and grated parmesan. Have fun with it!


The Unwich
After school snacks don’t have to come out of a box! Consider doing deli meat rollups – basically, a sandwich sans bread. Try layering a slice of cheese with a deli meat or roast chicken and topping it with thinly sliced cucumbers, peppers, or lettuce. Roll it up and ta-da! It’s a 30 second snack that packs in protein and a vegetable.


Infamous Ants on a Log
This is a childhood classic that doesn’t always get enough credit. Ants on a log, as we call them, are celery sticks topped with filling. A little bit of peanut butter goes a long way, or try a dollop of Greek yogurt with a few raisins for a tangy and sweet version. It’s easy to do and gets kids eating celery of all things!

All three of these ideas pack in healthy vegetables to your day, without a ton of hassle. Better yet, your kids can help – if not complete them by themselves!

Dear Parent…

Dear parent,

I see you. I see you tired from nights with far too little sleep, days with too much to do, and not enough hours to fit everything in. I see you stressed, worrying about how to manage your own career and commitments, plus those of your children and family. I see you when, sometimes, things just clearly aren’t going how you want them to. I see you.

And I want you to know that you’ve got this and that you’re amazing. Even when you think you’re not – even on the days that you lose your temper or forget to pack that back-up leotard. Even then. Especially then.

You are your child’s ultimate cheerleader. And while, yes, sometimes that can cause stressful discussions between us if things aren’t going how you want them to, I appreciate that. You are their advocate – and you’re advocating well. Your child notices when you’re there and when you’re watching. I notice when you get excited over their performance and latest feat – and I love it.

Please know that I notice, too. I notice and celebrate every time your child succeeds. When I push them, it isn’t because I’m upset – it’s because I know that they can achieve that goal. When I’m firm with them, it’s because, while, like you, I wish it could be all sunshine and rainbows, I know that it can’t be because it’s my job to teach them. And because I care about them, I am teaching them. Not just stunts and athletics, but how to listen, follow directions, work as part of a team, persist and be resilient, and be respectful and determined.

Please know that, I too, am doing the best I can. If my job were simply to teach them athletics, it would be much easier. That I can do in my sleep. But I care about your child – not just their performance, but them. And I care about you, too. And I am grateful for you.

Thank you for trusting me to care for and look after that amazing little person you put on this earth. Thank you for letting me be one of their leaders and, hopefully, someone that they’ll deservingly look up to. Thank you for driving them to practice and meets, for staying up late to help them with their homework – and pushing through the exhaustion that almost inevitably ensues the next day. And then doing it all over again.

Because of you, your child has this amazing opportunity that so many children should – but don’t – get. So no matter how exhausted and stressed you are or how many things you feel are going wrong, please know that you are doing something – so many things – right.

I see you, and I appreciate you.

With love,

Your child’s martial arts instructors

How to Find the Best Summer Camp for Your Child…

Hey, Manny Cabrera here from Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers with some quick tips on how to choose the best summer camp for your child…

For starters, it’s much more than skits, snacks and sing-alongs. The best summer camps provide useful skills and lifelong memories for your child. Here’s how to pick a winner so that your kid has an unforgettable awesome summer…

Parents Have Some Homework to Do

It’s smart to talk with camp directors before making any decisions. Good camps EXPECT to hear from you during the selection process. It’s a two-way street for parents and directors and any trustworthy director will want parents to know them, just as much they’ll want to know the parents and their child.

The best camps always have someone you can talk to you before, during and after camp, and they promptly return your calls. They’ll also have references for you to talk to, and some may even offer tours of their facility or hold open houses.

When Looking for a Summer Camp, Pay Attention to These Key Things

A good history. Some experts and parents believe that operating a camp for many years, especially with the same staff (or little turnover), speaks volumes about its credibility. In today’s world, a camp simply couldn’t stay in business for long if it were unsafe or poorly run.

A philosophy. Does it focus on sports? Martial arts? Academic? Arts? Theme? How does this philosophy show up in its programs?

An emphasis on creating community. Good camps think about how they place kids together to create the most wide-ranging experience for everyone.

A well-trained staff, in adequate numbers for a low campers-to-staffers ratio (about 10 to 1 for kids ages 8 to 14). An in-depth background check, checked references and a thorough interview should be part of the hiring process.

An element of choice. Your child will feel more independent and happy if they can choose some activities that really interest them.

A communications plan for notifying you if your child gets sick or injured and letting parents know about upcoming events. They also have a “flexibly firm” and consistent policy on camper phone use.

A high standard of accreditation. Ask the camp director if they’re accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), which conducts on-site visits and reviews programs, facilities, and hiring and safety policies. Only the most professionally run camps qualify. If a camp lacks the ACA nod, it may still be a high-quality program, but you’ll need to ask more questions.

Another good rule of thumb: Make sure you understand the camp’s values and mission and see if the activities they provide are in line with both your child’s interests and their goals.

You want to look for something educational, entertaining & engaging, but not just an extension of school or daycare. “A day camp should be different, with a wide range of activities your child wouldn’t otherwise have access to, that get him up and moving and building new skills,” says Peg Smith, chief executive officer of the American Camp Association.

3 Easy Ways to Make Summer Camp Affordable

Register early to take full advantage of early-bird discounts.

Ask for financial assistance if needed, even if scholarship information isn’t posted on the camp’s website. They typically don’t mention this because they get plenty of enrollments as it is.

Talk with the parents of your child’s friends to see which camps they’re going to. If you want to send your child to the same one or get a group to join the one you’re interested in, ask the camp director for a group discount if you send in all the registrations at the same time.

As with anything, some camps are clearly better than others. If you do your due diligence, ask the right questions and go with your gut feelings, chances are good that you’ll find the best Summer Camp for your child and a good time will be had by all.

If you’d like to know more about our Award-Winning Camp and take full advantage of our Early Bird Special, click here:

Summer Camp Registration is Now Open, but I gotta tell you… spots fill up FAST so be sure to sign up now.

If you have any questions, give us a call at [insert phone number], as we’d be happy to assist you however we can.

To your child’s success,

Manny Cabrera

P.S. If you know a parent who would love to know about our amazing Summer Camp, feel free to share this message with them. And don’t forget we do offer financing for our program as well as an additional discount for signing up for the full summer (PM me for details). =)

Moms: What do you do on the days when Enough is ENOUGH? (VIDEO)

In her weekly FB LIVE video, Black Belt, Instructor, Operations Director and MOM of three, Jessica Cabrera gets real with moms and talks about the strategies that she uses to cope when enough is just enough. You know those days, when the kids have hit every one of your last nerves and you’re close to a breakdown. In this video she shares some of the ways in which she pulls it back from the edge and regain her center.

What are you ways of coping with a rough day as a mom?

VIDEO: Broken Bridges – The Key to Rapid Success


Nicholas Kusmich runs one of the most successful Facebook marketing ad agencies in the world. He’s also a pretty cool guy that I’ve had the opportunity to sit through one of his courses as well as interact with online and in person. The latest video of his FB show “netting up” reminded me of a core martial arts principle that I continuously keep coming back to. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” He tells a really incredible story to illustrate his point, so I’ll let him tell you.

You can find more content from him by clicking on his name in the video.

2018 Summer Camp Themes & Field trips Are Here!

Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers FishHawk and Wesley Chapel locations have announced it’s Theme and “big” field trips line up for the 2018 Year. To get more information and Register, click here:

WEEK ONE- Diving Down Deep Week (May 28th – June 1st): Dive deep into the world of marine animals for this sea based week. Students will learn about a variety of our ocean friends, make some fin-tastic crafts and use this new perspective as we incorporate the agility of these amazing animals into our tae-kwon-do classes.

Keynote Field Trip: Florida Aquarium

WEEK TWO- Way Back in Time (June 4th – 8th): Prehistoric Predators aren’t the only ones having an amazing time at this camp

Keynote Field Trip: Dinosaur world

WEEK THREE- ANARCTIC ADVENTURES (June 11th-14th): Who doesn’t want to escape to somewhere chilly in the middle of the Florida summer? Students will take a much needed trip to a cold ice-skating rink, have fun playing with ice during our park trip and make crafts that will make you go brrrr! In classes we will focus on their intensity as we ramp to the end of this week you snow they won’t want to miss!

Keynote Field Trip: Ice Skating

WEEK FOUR- Big Top Week (June 18th – 22nd ): Come one, come all as we experience a week of life under the big top! From a trip to the amazing Ringling Museum, featuring a circus performance, to working on flexibility in classes students will leap right into the world of circus performers in this one of a kind extravaganza.

Keynote Field trip: Ringling Museum

WEEK FIVE- Sunshine State Week (June 25th – 29th): Ever wanted to learn more about history? Then this is the week for you! This week we will visit a museum, have decade dance parties and learn about the development of tae-kwon-do. Join us as we travel back in time to have a blast!

Keynote Field Trip: Florida History Museum

WEEK SIX- Olympkicks (July 2nd – 6th): This week is all about channeling our Olympic Spirit! 


WEEK SEVEN- Outdoor Explorers Week (July 9th – 13th): Kids spend more time indoors than ever before. This week is all about exploring the outdoors of Florida and learning about what we find.

Keynote Field Trip: Bok Tower

WEEK EIGHT- Mad Science Week ( July 16th – 20th): Have a budding scientist in your house? This week students will get to explore and satisfy their scientific curiosity. Through creativity and courage our students will get to experience in-house experiments and learn new skills in a special seminar!

Keynote Field Trip: Glazer’s Children’s Museum

WEEK NINE- Wonders of Nature Week (July 23rd – 27th

Keynote Field Trip: Crystal Springs

WEEK TEN- Seaside Week (July 30th – August 3rd): This week we’ll explore the coast life that will culminate with an amazing presentation and trip to the Florida coast to see the tide pools and learn about life along the coast of Florida.

Keynote Field Trip and Presentation: Tide Pools with Dr. Kevin Beach




Using Caring Words and Kind Actions – Kindness – April 2018’s Powerful Word

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “kindness.”

Kindness refers to the caring words and considerate actions we use to show thoughtfulness and concern for others. Kind people are empathetic. They value other people’s feelings. They help people when they are in need without expecting anything in return. When we use kind words and actions it makes the world a better place to live for everyone.

Kindness is a key part of friendship. It is also a vital social skill that will help children in all types of relationships. Even when very young, children can tell when someone is in need of help and they desire to help that person!

Studies tell us that even young children want to be kind and helpful. One 2015 study published in Developmental Psychology, has shown that children who receive training in the area of kindness become more altruistic and more willing to share with others (Flook et al, 2015). It also strengthens children’s ability to focus.

A longitudinal study detailed in the American Journal of Public Health, tracked children from kindergarten to young adulthood with regard to kindness and success. It found that participants who were positive, helpful and friendly over time — tended to be more successful as adults than those who did well academically but lacked the ability to get along with others (Jones et al, 2015).

As part of “kindness month,” we’d like to encourage our students to generate and act on various ways to show kindness to others. Can they do 10 acts of kindness this month? 100? Random acts of kindness don’t need to take a long time or cost money. When your child thinks to open the door for another person, gives a hug to a friend, follows the family rule, helps clean up or steps up  to give an apology to someone s/ he has wronged, s/he is showing kindness!

We must teach our children that while we can talk about kindness and watch movies about kindness– the key to this powerful word is in the actions we take. Challenge your child to do one, two or even three random acts of kindness per day- they add up! Talk about these acts of kindness at touch points during the day such as meal time or bedtime.

We thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.