The Sidekicks Team
A 35 year veteran of the martial arts, Master Cabrera has been involved in all aspects of teaching, training, and competing. Born in Tampa, Florida, Master Cabrera’s family moved to New York City where he grew up in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When attacked while in junior high school by a much larger man who stole thirty five cents from him, Cabrera began to study the martial art of Tang Soo Do which is one of the earlier Korean arts that developed into Taekwon-Do. Upon his family’s return to their home state of Florida, Cabrera began to study Taekwon-Do with Robert Sparks in Crystal River, Florida, eventually earning his black belt. Upon leaving high school, Cabrera moved to the Pittsburg, PA area to train with Sparks and his instructor, Master Kong Young Il. The education he received was unparalleled as Cabrera was exposed to the inner workings of a complete Taekwon-Do lifestyle.
Upon leaving Pittsburg, Cabrera returned home to Crystal River, Florida where enlisted in the U.S. Army. Trained as a military policeman, he was sent to Europe where he was eventually stationed in Mannheim, Germany. During this time (mid seventies) there were considerable terrorist activities throughout Europe and Cabrera trained with various elite special operations groups where he developed his unique style of unarmed defensive tactics which he has shared with law enforcement and military organizations all over the world. While in Germany, Master Cabrera began his studies in Jiu-Jitsu, he would eventually go on to study three different styles of jiu-jitsu.
Returning home, Cabrera operated Suncoast Taekwon-Do Centers in Central Florida, which grew to five locations, before selling them to students who were eager to advance their own journey in the martial arts by becoming school owners. Cabrera began to work in the commercial nuclear power industry which took him all over the U.S. It was while working at a nuclear plant in Arkansas that Cabrera met Master Scott McNeely who was president of the newly formed U.S. Taekwon-Do Federation. Cabrera eventually became national director of the organization and settled with his family in Tallahassee, Florida where he opened Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Center. For the next twelve years Cabrera would operate one of the country’s most successful schools before selling and moving back to the Tampa Bay area and living in Brandon, Florida.
Master Cabrera joined the staff of the National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA) as sales manager and senior membership consultant. His work at NAPMA allowed Cabrera to find his true talents as a mentor to many of the world’s finest instructors, helping them to grow their schools and improve their teaching skills. Cabrera left NAPMA in 2006 to join forces with sons Manny and Ryan in developing Sidekicks Family Martial arts Centers into the preeminent martial arts program in the Tampa Bay area. Sidekicks currently has two locations with future plans to open eight more. Master Cabrera has joined forces with Master Robert Hardin as Florida director for the Choongsil Taekwon-Do Federation.
As a competitor, Master Cabrera has been a member of two U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams, a U.S. Karate Team, and a U.S. Jiujitsu team, eventually retiring from competition after twenty three years as a world ranked competitor. Cabrera has also trained many state regional and world champions. Master Cabrera is on the cutting edge of new information and is instrumental in teaching these advanced techniques and strategies to instructors throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia. An author of several publications, Master Cabrera has literally written the manual on martial arts training and techniques. A father of three and grandfather of one, Master Cabrera understands the needs of students and how to communicate effectively with them.
Mr. Manny Cabrera III
Mr. Cabrera has been training in Taekwon-Do since the age of four in the various programs of his father””s. He is an expert in teaching and training methods, having been exposed to some of the best marterial in the world. This has led to a unique understanding of the needs of both new students, black belts, and instructors. Now, as an instructor, he is an innovator in the areas of teaching and curriculum organization. Always committed to the idea of Constant and Never-ending Improvement, he””s taken great care to never forget what it was like to be a white belt–helping to constantly shape the program to be as student friendly as possible. Like everyone at SIDEKICKS, he has a firm belief in the power of the martial arts to change lives and that every person, no matter who they are, has the ability to lead a black belt life and already posesses the tools needed to earn a black belt in the martial arts.
Mr. Cabrera credits much of the success he has in his life because of the guidance he has received from his parents Manny and Amber Cabrera, the martial arts, God, and the companionship and support of his fiance, Jessica Meador, and his brother Ryan. When asked, he would quote Albert Einstein “I stand on the backs of giants.”
As a student at the University of South Florida, Mr. Cabrera is working on a degree in English. He also has consulted with organizations on how to be more successful. Extremly goal oriented, if there is something that he doesn””t know, he will research or practice it until he is an expert bringing many diverse perspectives to the Sidekicks programs. Manny knows just what it takes to get students motivated to achieve the ultimate goal of Black Belt.
Mr. Cabrera married his high school sweetheart, Jessica – a second degree black belt and instructor at the Valrico location, in 2006.
Loreto Lapeiretta has been training in the martial arts since she was in elementary school. She began apprenticing in the instructor training program in the Little Dragon’s classes so she knows what it takes to to teach and motivate children to reach success through martial arts and in life. Her exciting classes and animated personality mean that she’s enjoyed by both children and adults when she’s teaching them and nobody is ever bored.
As a student at the University of South Florida she is finishing up her Pre-med degree with plans to pursue graduate and post-graduate degrees in dentistry. When not going to school or teaching martial arts at Sidekicks, Miss Lapeiretta enjoys Anime/Manga graphic novels, video games, and learning about Asian cultures.
Miss Lapeiretta is joined by her brothers Alex and Peter as part of the Leadership team at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers.
Alex Lapeiretta has been training in the martial arts since he was very young, just like his older sister. Now in college, Mr. Lapeiretta has shown himself to be one of the best instructors around. He is equally capable of teaching all ages in a fun and informative way. His easy going personality makes even the shyest of students at ease and thrive in our program.
Mr. Lapeiretta recently graduated from Hilsborough Community College and is now pursuing a pre-med degree at the University of South Florida.
When not teaching martial arts, Mr. Lapeiretta is an avid video game player making it easy for him to relate to younger students.
Mrs. Amber C. Cabrera
Amber Cabrera has numerous credentials and accomplishments. We will be updating this section shortly to detail them.
Mrs. Cabrera began her martial arts training in high school. After she started taking classes, she began to excel because of SIDEKICKS’ unique method of personalized instruction. She comes from a family that has a tradition of educational excellence, including classroom instruction and was right at home when she began to step into leadership positions in the SIDEKICKS program. She is constantly challenging the children and the adults to constantly strive for Black Belt Excellence.
Mrs. Cabrera holds a bachelor’s in English and a bachelor’s in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of South Florida. She and Manny Cabrera III were married in 2006 and when she’s not helping to shape the future of America through teaching martial arts or being a great mommy to twin boys, Jonas & Manny, she enjoys scrapbooking, photography, and going to Disney World.