CANI, Kaizen and my Boys


These are my sons, Shihan Harley in the white uniform with the big smile, Sensei Winston next to me and Shihan Diego next tim him.

They’re all great martial artists and Blackbelt Leaders who grew up at KMMA.

So they’re great teachers and pretty great at everything that they decide to do.


That picture was taken at the Wiregrass Sports complex this weekend.

Harley was competing in a BJJ tournament and, while he’s a 5th degree Blackbelt with over two decades of experience and amazing proficiency in Krav Maga Martial Arts, he’s a beginner in the sport of jiujitsu.

But look at the joy on his face getting better at something new.

Knowing Harley as well as I do, it wasn’t about winning his match either, but about being aware of how much he’d improved.


Shihan Harley was experiencing the joy of CANI & Kaizen- two related principles we teach.

CANI stands for constant and neverending improvement. It comes from a growth mindset, measuring progress and the action orientation to do what it takes to get better. It can be applied to any area in which we want to improve.  Shihan Harley applied it to Krav Maga Martial Arts for over 20 years to become the amazing martial artist and student he is today, and now applies it in college, at work and in relationships and, most recently to jiujitsu too.

The cool thing is that the foundation he built at Krav maga Martial Arts has prepared him for success at anything he decides to do.

His BJJ teacher, who is a good friend of mine, sent me this reply to my thank you message to him, for doing a great job sowing into my son:

“Your welcome. It’s easy because you have trained him to be a great student seeking his truth.”


The comment meant a lot to me, as his father and teacher; in both roles, this is what we strive to do.

Prepare them to be a great student…

Prepare them for a life of CANI and Kaizen- Kaizen is a Japanese term which means “good change”, “change for the better”, or “improvement.” As a philosophy, kaizen promotes a mindset where small incremental changes create an impact over time.


Life will continue to teach us all, if we’re paying attention.

And, if we refuse to learn the lessons, we are dommed to take them again and again.

But those that are good students, instead experience the joy of CANI and the joy Kaizen.


Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts


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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 commissioned 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.

See for more information and to order my book, Developing Your Superpower, Meditations on Mastery, Volume 1.

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