Happy Birthday

Today is the 248th birthday of the US Army.

The Army means a lot to me. It’s the place I came of age.

I joined the US Army Reserves and went to Basic training at Ft. Jackson SC between my junior and senior year of high school, and served in the 810th Military Police that year.

During my senior year, I decided that full time Army service was the best option for my future, so I got an exception to be released from the Reserves and go straight into the Active Army after I graduated.

I went to basic again, well as part of the US Army Infantry OSUT (One station unit training) at Ft. Benning Georgia, and then left for my first duty station, with the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg.

I am so grateful for that, and the men and experiences I encountered there; these were fundamental to the trajectory of life.

I am grateful I came of age in the Army and learned what it means to move at “Airborne” speed amongst other things.

My first jump with Division was into Honduras, and I am grateful I got to see how the third world lives first hand while I was still young.

I also won an Army Green to Gold scholarship, and the Army sent me back here, to the University of Tampa, where I completed ROTC, and my undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Communications.

Then I went back and served another 8 years as an officer, first as a Platoon leader in the 3ID in Kitzingen Germany…

all of these things were foreshadowing and preparation for my leadership Mission today.

I wouldn’t have know it then, but all of my experiences in the Army were training me for our Mission at Krav Maga Martial Arts:


Mission: We create confident and competent Blackbelt Leaders, prepared to survive and thrive under any circumstances, and empowered to lead, where they’re at and into their futures.


Today I am grateful for my formative years in the Army, for all my education since, for 40 years in the martial arts, and for all the great mentors, students and staff that have helped me in our Mission, and all those that still will!

I am grateful for you!


Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

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


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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