A Thanksgiving Day Thank You To All My Teachers- Past, Present, Future
A wise man once said, show me three men and I will show you my teachers, for I will observe what is useful, and cast away what is not. In that way, I have so many people to be grateful for, who shared with me great lessons on what to and what not to do, how and how not to behave and who and who not to be or associate with. But this message is specifically to, first, the teachers who have sowed into my life and then to all the teachers who have joined me on my quest at Krav Maga Martial Arts and helped sow into others. This blog is a thank you to the past, a salute to the present and a manifestation of the future!
Thank you to all who sowed into me personally over the last 50 years. Thanks mom and dad. Thank you to all the great martial arts instructors, my krav maga teachers, academic teachers in primary school and college and all the great leadership mentors, from my years in the military and the time since. Each and all sowed something special into my personal development and the evolution of art, philosophy and martial science that became my current day mission.
In that mission- empowering lives through martial arts and improving individuals, families and society one blackbelt at a time- I am also grateful to all the great Sensei that have helped me to do that over the last 19 years. I have had the great honor and privilege of training up some amazing students who became amazing teachers and who helped my team and I positively sow into others’ lives. Some stayed for many years and some for a season, but I am grateful to all for their contributions to our mission.
I am grateful for the great team that continues to perform that mission today. We are blessed with great leaders, of all ages, who sow into our mission of empowering lives. Some are teenagers, at the very start of their leadership lives; of these I am so proud of how far ahead of their peers they are, but also to watch our more experienced leaders come aside them and help raise them up in the way they should go. After all, this takes a tribe. Others are leaders in other career fields who help at KMMA just because they believe so much in the mission, mostly because they have felt the benefits in their own lives and those of their kids. Thank you all. We even have a 72 year old lady, who got het Blackbelt with us at 69 and just finished KMMA Instructor College and is also helping us today. She, like the juniors and teens, are reminders that leadership and excellence are action and attitude and not subject to age.
If you’re a student of mine you know that I value the past for learning and the present for doing, but it is the future that always excites me most. So, most if all, I am grateful to all the amazing students, instructors and support staff that will move us into our future! 2020 is going to be the best year yet! Like a child who toddles, then walks and learns the foundations and fundamentals to go forth and make a difference in the world as an adult, so our dojo comes to the end of adolescence and the start of adulthood!
Many great instructors that will help us empower thousands of lives over the next decade are already with us, but many are not yet. KMMA is always looking for the next generation of leadership students, apprentice instructors, and Sensei and staff to help us accomplish our mission goals. If you personally, or you for your children, are interested in learning more about our leadership development programs, or even applying for our instructor track at KMMA, please email me. We are always looking for positive, hungry, honeable and honorable people that want to have fun, learn and grow and help make a difference in the world. If you are one of these, and not yet with us, I can’t wait to meet you!
Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts