Becoming Legend

In a couple of hours, I will pick up my friend and mentor Grandmaster Jeff Smith from the airport.

He will spend the next few days with us.


Grandmaster Smith is a real life martial arts legend.

He’s a tenth degree blackbelt who’s been in the martial arts for well over half a century.

He’s a 7-time world kickboxing champion who fought on the same card as Ali and Frazier for The Thrilla in Minilla

He coached the US Karate Team for 10 years undefeated and has been on the cover of every major martial arts magazine.

He is a legend, and one of the real world American martial arts pioneers.

But more importantly, Grandmaster Smith is the real deal in all the things that we call Blackbelt Leadership. 


He embodies our Blackbelt Superpowers (Focus, Respect, Discipline, Confidence, Gratitude and Vision) and applied them to becoming a champion of martial arts, kickboxing, business and life.

He has produced thousands of world class blackbelts, and continues to sow into many today.

I am one of many martial arts masters and school owners who has grown immensely under his tutelage, and who grow better every day sowing into my Blackbelts and future Blackbelts because of his dedication to continuing to contribute today.

I am grateful to him for sowing into me and my staff and helping us be the best we can be for our students and families.


There are 3 important lessons that I wanna share from the story of my mentor:

1. Few of us will ever be legends in the sense he is, but we can be to those who follow and depend on us– our students, families and teams where we lead; and we do this by embodying the Blackbelt Superpowers.

2. We all need great mentors to continue to grow; and we should all mentor others behind us as well. To be champions, the stuff of legend, we need to do both. Sow and grow.

3. Age is just a number. Grandmaster Smith fought on that Ali card when I was only two years old… yet, at an age when most have retired, he is still contributing greatly, to thousands and thousands of Blackbelts and future Blackbelts around the world. Because every time he sows into me, I sow into others who sow into others, and I am one of many Master Instructor school owners that Grandmaster Smith still mentors today.

    His example is my goal. 

I wanna be sowing and growing Blackbelt leaders for many many more decades, for whatever time I’ve left.

By the way, we ride Harleys together too.

Grandmaster Smith lives, laughs, loves and leaves a legacy.

That is the the stuff of legend.


Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts have been empowering lives through the martial arts in the Tampa Bay area for 20 years!

Founded in 2000 by Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo, a 7th degree Black Belt and Sr. Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

Krav Maga Martial Arts Adult Krav Maga training is a complete adult self defense, fitness, and conditioning program for adults who want to learn real world self defense, lose weight, and/or get (and stay in shape).

If you have any questions about our program, or would like to go ahead redeem your 2 weeks FREE, you can call us anytime at 813-547-6368 or visit our Krav Maga Martial Arts website.

About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commisioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., 33549. Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding areas.

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