Blog Martial Arts

beware your adverb

Words are incredibly powerful.

We have the words to bless and the words to curse in our arsenal.

And, while an encouraging word can make a positive difference in someone’s life, the same power exists for negative words to be harmful as well as hurtful.


We should be careful and deliberate about how we speak to others, and how we speak to ourselves.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)


This is one of the things I love most about the environment we have created at Krav Maga Martial Arts, by the way;

a key component of the way we empower lives and build people up to their full Blackbelt Leadership potential is by speaking words of encouragement, edification and inspiration into their lives.

I’m looking forward to writing more on that subject later this week- but, for today, I want to warn you about two adverbs to be aware of.

Both carry great Power, but one for good and the other for ruin.


The adverb which can keep us from our potential is the word “almost”.

It seems to the untrained eye or ear a simple measure of degree but, like all words, carries with it great Power.

Consider I almost got the Blackbelt, finished the book, accomplished my goal, did what I said I would, got the A, forgave, told them, did it, quit it, etc, etc.


Take a minute to analyze any of the actions after “almost” and you may notice something else (and I hope you will).

The statement that you “almost” did something suggests not only that you haven’t but also that you won’t.

It connotes a degree of finality.


If we are not really careful, statements like these can even become excuses, rationalizations and self fulfilling prophecies, often with many extra words attached to explain away the failure that the word “almost” suggests.


Now don’t misread this and think that I am implying that just because you haven’t, or even “can’t” (another negatively charged and often used adverb), done something that you have failed or that you are a failure.


The opposite is true. You just have to use more powerful words.


So one of the lessons I teach my students is always to attach the word “yet” to something they haven’t completed or lack the ability for at this time.

I can’t do push-ups, that kick, that form or technique yet.

I’m not a Blackbelt yet.

I haven’t finished the book, the course, the mission yet.

I’m not an A student, haven’t quit smoking, or forgave the person who hurt me yet.

I haven’t hit my goal yet.


Adding the word “yet” attaches possibility where “almost” adds completion.

Yet implies intention and hope.

And when the verb is added to the adverb in real life execution- in other words, when we apply fuel to the fire with ACTION, Intensity and Resolve, we create the Power to finish what we started.


I am a Blackbelt, I can do the push-ups, I forgave, I finished, I accomplished….

These are the results when we use “yet” instead of almost- but I will close with one more “word” of caution.

Never accomplish your goal without having set your next one.

The emptiness of complacency is almost as bad as the pain of regret.


As is often the case for me, this meditation began with a very light observation and consequent discussion with my wife.

We were watching football and were reflecting on how unfortunate it was for the QB that almost got to play in a play-off game against Tom Brady. He was warming in to replace Washington’s Taylor Heinecke but the latter returned to the game before he got his chance.

I mean, just think how different a story he would have to tell if he’d played in a game against Tom Brady than if he almost did.  That’s how most “almost” stories are.

And anyway, that’s the thin thread that started me thinking about the implications of the word “almost”.


Speaking of almost, I haven’t finished my book yet.

But I’m working on it, and I’ll have a copy just for you.


Grand Master Stephen Del Castillo

Founder, Master Instructor, Author



———————————————————————————————————————- 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.

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