Sidekicks Insider for December 2nd

How are you? I hope your week went well and that you’re looking forward to doing something fun this weekend. I just wanted to take a few moments to give you an update on everything that’s going on here at Sidekicks. It’s my goal to send this "Sidekicks Insider" out every Friday so that you’re ready for the next week. Let’s get right to it, of course, if you have any questions you can always send me an email or see one of the staff members here at the school during your next class.

Have a Powerful Day!

Manny Cabrera III

P.S. I like pictures, so make sure you enable them in the e-mail to get the full awesomeness of the Sidekicks Insider 😉

For E-mail Skimmers, here’s a look at what’s in this issue of Sidekicks Insider

  • December’s Powerful Word: Acceptance (With Links to Videos and Powerful Project Sheets)
  • Early Bird Discount on the New Year’s Eve Lock-In Extended Until Sunday
  • Article: 5 Ways to Get Active During December
  • Belt Testing Update (Like to Register Online)
  • Article: New to the Martial Arts? Some Tips on Getting the Most from Your Experience
  • We’ve Redesigned the Events Page
  • New Training Equipment Coming for the iLoveKickboxing Classes!
  • Social Media Goodies


December’s Powerful Word: Acceptance

Did you get to see yesterday’s e-mail introducing this month’s Powerful Word – Acceptance? The concept of acceptance has to do with the willingness to be understanding of ourselves, tolerant of others and open-minded to the different ways that people live. It also relates to our abilities to appreciate of new experiences and different ways to do things.

While most young children are not able to grasp the philosophical dimension of acceptance, it is important for these youngsters to learn simple concepts such as “it’s OK to be different.” We will inspire all students to exercise an open mind, embrace diversity and fuel a sense of curiosity that lacks bias or prejudice.

Learn more about this month’s Powerful Word on our Blog. As a bonus there’s a video of Dr. Robyn Silverman, creator of the Powerful Words Character Development Program, introducing "Acceptance." Here’s that link:


Download Your Powerful Projects Here:

The Powerful Words Character Development system is one of the cornerstones our school’s curriculum is built on for ALL ages. Part of the Powerful Words program is some take home study in which we ask our students to really contemplate on their own about the Powerful Word of the Month. Those Powerful Projects are due by the end of this week. It’s a great opportunity to spend some time in contemplation or have a conversation with your child about the Powerful Word and how you can make these character traits real part of the character of our martial arts school and our families.

The Powerful Projects are a required part of our curriculum for all ages in order to progress towards testing and are due by December 15th.

You can pick the Powerful Project sheet for December from any of the instructors here at the school or download them at the link below:


"Early-Bird Discount" for the New Year’s Lock-In Extended Until Sunday

The New Year’s Eve Lock-In is the party of the year here at Sidekicks. For the first time ever, because we have the new event registration program, I opened signing up for the Lock-In early with a special discount. The deadline was supposed to be today, but apparently I didn’t know how to use it right and several of y’all couldn’t register this morning. Well, I fixed the glitch and just to make sure that everyone who’s going to take advantage of the early-bird discount is able to, I’ve extended the early-bird discount until Sunday, December 4th at 11PM.

Every year, Sidekicks celebrates the New Year with a kick! The premier party of the year is our New Year’s Eve Lock-In. Here, kids come to the school and spend the night playing games, eating good food, celebrating the countdown to 2012 and best of all gaining memories that will last a lifetime.

We even have our annual video game tournament scheduled. This is definitely the place to be this New Year’s Eve. All the while the kids are having fun, mom and dad can have a quiet evening at home or a nice time out on the town, resting assured that the kids are with a team of highly trained killer black belt ninjas!

Remember, to get the early-bird discount, you need to register by the end of the day on Sunday. To register, visit:


Get Healthy — Stay Healthy

5 Ways to Get Active During December

With all the events, school breaks and celebrations, even the most diehard fitness buffs can find it hard to stay active in December. Here are five ways to integrate activity into your busy holiday schedule:

1) Embrace Crowded Parking Lots

Instead of sitting in your idling car waiting for that elusive parking spot near the store entrance (or worse yet, stalking a departing shopper for their space) avoid parking lot road rage by heading to the spaces that are far from the shops. This gives you the chance to squeeze in a little extra holiday exercise with a long walk to the store entrance, saving entrance and saves you the stress of battling with holiday-crazed drivers who are anything but jolly when it comes to battling for a parking stall.

2) Focus Holiday Gatherings Around Activities, Not Food

December is usually filled with work parties and family gatherings that inevitably focus on eating and drinking. Break with tradition by organizing activity-based events, such as an outdoor skating party, a bowling tournament or a game of laser tag. Your guests will enjoy a break from all the holiday indulgences, and families with kids will appreciate an activity-based event that lets kids and their parents play.

3) Give (And Ask For) The Gift of Fitness

If your family traditions include exchanging gifts during December, consider giving and requesting presents that encourage healthy active lifestyles. Small items such as pedometers, lanyards to hold water bottles and reflective safety bands make great stocking stuffers for adults. Kids and teens enjoy fitness gadgets like skipping ropes with integrated counters and colorful hacky sacks. More elaborate gifts could include heart rate monitors, personalized yoga mats and stackable weight stands.

4) Try A New Activity

During the school break in December there are always lots of opportunities to try new activities such as skiing, indoor rock climbing and visiting an indoor water park. Many companies that offer active experiences use the holiday season to entice new customers with trial memberships and discounted admission prices.

5) Turn Your TV Into A Fitness Tool

During December, many people become housebound due to cold, wet weather and the reduced daylight hours. Instead of becoming a couch potato, turn your television into a fun piece of fitness equipment that both kids and adults will love. Most major home video game systems now offer interactive fitness programs that integrate gaming with physical activity. These programs are a great way to engage the whole family in games and activities that combat cabin fever and help keep everyone moving.


Belt Testing Update

Stripe Evaluation & Pre-Tests, All Paperwork and Fees for Testing are Due December 12-14:

In order to be eligible for their next belt exam, students must earn a series of 4 Motivational stripes on their belts. These are earned after completing and demonstrating proficiency on a number of benchmarks needed to proceed to the next level. Students test for their stripes during class. For more information on what benchmarks are needed to complete each stripe, visit

This is the final stripe evaluation before testing. All pertinent paperwork is due by Wednesday, December 14th. These forms include the Testing Application, Parent Evaluation, Teacher Evaluation, and the Test Fee.

Testing will be Held on Saturday, December 17th

This rotation, testing for new belts will be held at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers on Saturday, December 17th. In a previous e-mail, I incorrectly switched the dates for testing and Black Belt Club. December 17th reflects the correct date for testing.

All regularly scheduled classes for the 17th are cancelled. Please see below to find out when you or your student will be testing:

All Testings will be held on December 17th

  • Adult Color Belts: 8:00 AM
  • Jr. Color Belts (White through Red): 10:00 AM
  • Little Dragons: 12:00 PM (noon)
  • Recommended Black Belts and Up: 2:00 PM

We do understand that on occasion, students may have a scheduling conflict. If you do indeed have one, please see a staff member at the front desk.

Register now online:

We’ve just added the belt testing to the list of events that you can register for through our website. That way you can register from the convenience of your own home. We know you’re busy and any way we can save you time, we’re doing our best to do it. If you register online, print out the e-mail receipt and attach it to the testing paperwork to give to the instructor when you or your child tests for the final stripes the week of the 12th.

Here’s the link to the registration page for testing:


New to the Martial Arts? Some Tips on Getting the Most From Your Experience

Have you or your child recently started taking martial arts classes? There can be a lot to learn. Sometimes it can be very overwhelming. Here are some ideas on how to make sure you and/or your child gain the most from what the martial arts have to offer:

Have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve.

For most martial arts schools, the black belt is the recognized symbol of excellence. It is the goal most students initially set their sites on. Unfortunately, few actually achieve it. This is often because they didn’t understand what their goal should have been. Are you there for exercise? Then make sure you are taking classes that are physically challenging and rewarding. Are you there to learn self-defense? Ensure that the instruction you are receiving meets those expectations. Perhaps you want to be competitive in that particular martial art (Taekwondo, Karate, or MMA). If so, make sure you are focusing on developing the skills necessary to becoming the best competitor you can be. If you are focused on your true goal, your progression through the ranks will come naturally. If you are focused only on progressing through the belt ranks, your training will be less satisfying, and your commitment to your training will be undermined.

Learn from more experienced students.

Whenever you have the opportunity, strike up a conversation with a student who has been training for a lengthy period of time. Find out what was most beneficial to their training, and what didn’t work as well. Learn what challenges they faced to maintaining their commitment to the martial arts, and what helped them overcome those. More experienced students have a wealth of information to provide, and most are very willing to help.

Practice, practice, practice!

Similar to any other endeavor you attempt, the benefits you receive from the martial arts is directly tied to the amount of effort you put into them. Don’t just rely on your one-hour, two or three times per week to turn you into an expert martial artist. Practice at home, during breaks or lunch while at work, or anywhere else you can find a few minutes. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but the repetition outside of class will dramatically improve your performance in class. Your self-confidence and skill level will grow exponentially by just taking a few minutes out of each day to work on kata, a certain kick, or self-defense techniques.

Learn and follow the expectations of your instructor.

Your instructor is there to help you improve. While no one enjoys a drill sergeant mentality all the time, there are instances when your instructor needs to push you to the next level – physically or mentally. That’s their job. If they have been an instructor for several years, it probably is a good indication they are pretty good at it. Listen to what they have to offer, and work on meeting or exceeding those expectations.
Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to a rewarding and


Redesigned Events Page

The Events Page on our website has been redesigned to make it clearer and more user friendly. I’m really excited about it and I hope that you will find it useful moving forward. In addition to a Calendar view, where you can click on links to individual events to get more information, you can toggle to a list of the events that contains the information you need in order to be successful.

Currently, only the full month of December has bee updated. As the month progresses we’ll add in the events for the upcoming year. Explanations of the individual events will usually be fed in as we get closer to the events.

View the new events calendar here:


New Training Equipment Coming for the iLoveKickboxing Classes

Since the iLoveKickboxing program joined our schedule, our Wavemasters have been taking a beating. We’re excited to say that beginning this month and for the next few months, Sidekicks will be acquiring new Wavemaster XXL bags. These bags are the state of the art technology for the martial arts and fitness industry with extra weight and a taller padded area that doesn’t have to be adjusted according to the user. Look for the first two to arrive during the month of December!

By the way, our iLove kickboxing classes are really awesome. Everyone leaves sweating and smiling. If you know someone that is bored at the gym and needs a workout that’s the real deal, send them to our website.


Social Media Goodies

Have you ‘Liked’ us on Facebook yet?

Every week, we post all kinds of awesome things on our Facebook page, sometimes we even do contests. Tagging us in your status updates when you talk about the awesome things you’re doing here at Sidekicks really does help us with attracting new students. Honestly, I would rather fill our school up with your friends and neighbors because I know that if you associate with them, then they’re probably okay people to be around.

So, do me a favor. If you haven’t already, go to our Facebook page then ‘Like’ it. Once you’ve done that, or even if you’re already a fan of the page write a little recommendation telling everyone what you like about your training here at Sidekicks. As an "ethical bribe" for doing so, I’ll give you some inside info. Next week we’re going to announce pre-sales for new school T-Shirts (for both guys and gals). The first five people that write positive recommendations about Sidekicks on our Facebook page will get one of those t-shirts for FREE! You already love us, so this is kind of a no-brainer and my way of saying thank you!

You know, we also Tweet!

To tell you the truth, I like Twitter better than Facebook when it comes to finding out information about subjects I enjoy. We do some fun stuff on our twitter page, but did you know that I (Mr. Cabrera) have my own Twitter account AND so does Master Cabrera?

If you’d like to follow us on Twitter:
Sidekicks: @SidekicksMMA
Mr. Cabrera: @MannyCabrera3
Master Cabrera: @MasterCabrera

Have a Powerful Week!

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©2011 Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers | 16633 FishHawk Blvd. | Lithia FL | 33547

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