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Character Matters

     Character Matters

We have to consider 2020 a test of our character.

   More than developing character, adversity reveals it.

It’s not that trials and tribulations, adversity and challenging situations don’t also have the potential to develop resolve, perseverance and other desirable character traits- they do.


But even more than that, and even more obvious by some people’s reaction behavior right now,

trying times more than anything reveal the quality and depth of character that we have developed to that point.

   It’s kind of like our stress test in Krav Maga, or how one reacts when confronted with violence; it’s too late to prepare when the test is on, but the test is a useful indicator of how well we have trained.

The same is true of our character traits. 

   We see how well a leader has prepared by the attitude, actions, resolve and command he or she exhibits under fire.

We see how well a person’s been groomed by their poise, courtesy, modesty and respect.

Character matters, and it matters a lot.  In stressful situations, character is revealed and is the chief indicator of rather one will survive and lead those under his or her charge to victory.

   This is true for the leader of a unit, a family, a business or a team of any sort, and true for combat, but also for negotiating any of the physical, mental, financial or social stressors that can be caused by a situation like the Corona pandemic, and our reactions to it including the shutdown.

Look, I’m not going to lie. I was afraid for our business of 20 years when we had to close our doors. I was afraid for my team and the many students that rely on our program for so many things in their life, including character development.

   And I was aware that all of these people, many afraid and all confused or at least concerned, all needed leadership and consistency more than ever before.

So we stood up our Emergency Operations Center (EOC), made a plan and executed swiftly and decisively. We created a state of the art studio, first shooting and canning lessons and then setting up a live virtual classroom environment so that students could get the essential interaction with their Sensei that they could not get just by watching the video online.

Virtual Dojo Filming


We still got hurt by what happened, but we survived.

    That was never a question because failure was never an option.

The proper mindset and character when the situation seems impossible is HOW will we get through this, not will we. The prior creates action while the latter causes paralysis.

Our students today have even more training options than ever before: they can train live and safely at our beautiful facility again; they can train live virtually and our virtual dojo technology and delivery ROCKS! 

   And while we discovered that on-demand is not the best way to serve students, because they miss out on the important personal interaction and all the advice and positive reinforcement and coaching of the Sensei, we also developed all kinds of great remote learning tools that are an amazing supplement to both the physical and virtual dojo live training experience.

We are excited to share our new Google classroom that my son Shihan Harley has been working on next week as an amazing supplement that will help students even more!


   It’s a great time to get started or get back if you’re not currently actively training at Krav Maga Martial Arts! 

Call 813-948-4844 and I’ll have Sensei Kyle or Sensei Sarah get with you to get you oriented and on a plan to start or get back on track-

                      along with the kick-off of our new and improved Simulcast schedule that kids off next week!

   And if you’ve been training all along, thank you and congratulations! 

It says a lot about your character that you didn’t let the craziness derail your focus on your goals. I’m proud of you.

     Character Matters,

     Grand Master Stephen Del Castillo, KMMA


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