Hero of the week–Morgan Cabrera

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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Morgan Cabrera, lead instructor at Docarmo Taekwondo Center in Greenville, has been named this week’s Greenville Advocate Hero for his dedication to teaching and inspiring young children. Cabrera, who teaches students aged four and up, is being recognized for his strong work ethic and commitment to instilling confidence and discipline in his students.

Reflecting on his own transformation, Cabrera believes that Taekwondo played a pivotal role in his personal development, and he is passionate about passing on the same benefits to his students.

“I used to be the quietest kid in class. I’d sit in the back corner, and I never spoke in front of the class or anything. I’ve grown a lot in that area.” 

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With nearly a decade of experience in Taekwondo, Cabrera is currently working towards his second-degree black belt. Recalling his journey from student to teacher, Cabrera credits the long hours spent in the studio.

“My brother and I were here all the time. My mom would drop us off by four, and we’d stay till 8 p.m. There were classes four days a week, and we were in all of them,” Cabrera said. “Mr. Robert (the studio’s owner) started asking us to hold paddles, and that turned into helping with drills for the younger ones.”

Cabrera’s dedication to Taekwondo extends beyond his teaching role. Despite working full-time at a local restaurant, Cabrera makes time for his personal practice before cleaning the studio and leading classes. 

“I loved Taekwondo immediately. I gave up baseball to do it,” Cabrera said. “It was just different from any other sport I’d ever seen. There was no ball involved.” 

For Cabrera, Taekwondo is more than just physical exercise; it’s about character development. 

“It builds character, confidence, hand-eye and hand-foot coordination, as well as memory,” Cabrera explained.  

Drawing from his own experiences with social anxiety and confidence issues, he takes joy in witnessing his students’ growth.

 “I really enjoy watching them build and grow their skill and technique,” Cabrera said. “They come in with these little, tiny kicks, and before long, they’re doing almost perfect full kicks.”

With a passion for helping others instilled in him during his time as a Boy Scout and later as an Eagle Scout, Cabrera aspires to become a licensed paramedic. However, his dedication to Taekwondo remains unwavering.


“Seeing new white belts come in as I start a new session, I get to see that excitement when they first step on the mats and want to punch everything in their way on their adventure to black belt,” Cabrera said. “And getting to teach them different forms of discipline and respect as I prep them for their first test, watching them go from spastic and always running around to calm and collected while paying attention to what is being taught in the moment, I really enjoy that.”