Blog Martial Arts

Don’t Deny the Struggle


The title of this blog may have caused you to think that I meant “don’t say it isn’t real” and, while that’s not what I’m talking about, it is an important place for us to start.


Struggle is real.

There is no such thing as a life without it and a life without it isn’t real.

I know I’ve had my fair share. I’ve struggled physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationally, professionally…..


And I’m not going to claim that I enjoyed one moment of any of it.

But what I have come to understand, and what is the topic of this chapter, is that struggle is not only inevitable, but also important.

It is through the struggles that we learn, and from the learning that we grow better.


Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with learning some lessons vicariously for those smart enough to do so.

But I still think there’s got to be some struggle.


I’m not sure that if it had been easier for me growing up that I’d have worked as hard as I have.

I look around at a lack of work ethic in many and wonder.


It’s why, though I want to give my kids everything that I never had, and made that mistake a time or two, I let them struggle and work for what they want.

Without that, what are they learning?


If not for some of my struggles early on, I may not have joined the Army, won the Green to Gold scholarship or have developed the important foundational lessons I gained through both enlisted and officer experience over those formative years.


But then, if not for the struggles induced by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) of the nineties, I may not have had the experiences that led me to choose to leave military service; and may then have never started the dojo that evolved to become our modern day Krav Maga Martial Arts.


I could go on and on about struggles that I have gone through that seemed terrible at the time, but that later led to something better.

I know you could too.


I think that the struggles of life are like our krav maga stress drills.

The purpose of the stress dril is to test the student’s skills and tenacity and to make them better.

Perhaps the trials of life are for the same.


So should we deny struggles? Should we wish they didn’t come?

Should we protect our loved ones from them?


Or should we embrace them?


I know that without the stress drill my students’ self defense skills wouldn’t be as good.


So I’m believing the struggles that come are our stress drills too.


Let’s not deny them, but learn from them.


Let’s focus not on wishing it were easier, but on becoming better.


By the time my Blackbelts stress test in their Blackbelt tests, they’re ready for anything.


That’s what happens when we struggle right in life too.

It’s hard, but worth it.

So have faith, and struggle on!



Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo

Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts

Author of Developing Your Superpowers  Meditations On Mastery Vol One

Check out the Meditations On Mastery Blog and Podcast too!

By the way, my Blackbelts get to be the ones that can survive those stress drills with the help of an amazing team of Sensei at KMMA. We can help you learn to deal with the struggles associated with real world self defense, and the ones associated with the rest of life.


And we can help you and your whole family to do that in our family classes.


Like to join our tribe? Start here.



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

Also, check us out on Fun4TampaKids & on