I Had A Great Night With Two KMMA Leaders: Sensei Thomas And Iris Vidal

Tonight I had the honor of training, and training with, Sensei Thomas Pioli.

   Thomas is a great man.

He served in the Naval Pararescue- the special forces units that rescue Navy Seals.

When he got out of the Navy 13 plus years ago, he began training with us at KMMA.

In that time, he’s become a friend and heralded KMMA leader, who even served as my Chief Instructor for several years.

I am proud and grateful to have Sensei Thomas in my tribe; and that he will be testing for his 4th degree Blackbelt, Master Instructor rank, at the September Blackbelt Retreat.

He also shared his personal KMMA testimonial with me and, I must admit, it moved me.

   I won’t share much of it, because much of it was personal, and he can decide when/if he ever wants to share publicly.

But I will say that I was tickled when he honored me by saying that the training of my Blackbelt Leadership Program and Instructor Training was highly instrumental in his promotion to Vice President in the technology company he works with.

That was one of many things he told me that made my day.

   I do love validation of the good work we do.

It inspires me.

Ironically, young Iris Vidal left KMMA about 13 years ago, about the same time that Sensei Thomas started.

     She had grown up at KMMA and was about to test for her probationary Blackbelt in 2011, when her family were involved in a serious car accident that curtailed her training and put all of them for some years.

But all these years later, we discovered that we had opened our second KMMA location just minutes from where Iris lives!

She joined there today, and is now officially back on her Blackbelt Leader journey!

   I am proud and grateful for her too.

As she left, Sensei Thomas told me, “the fact that students come back to restart their training with you after many years is also a testament to what you’ve built and the quality of what we do.”

   Sensei Thomas is a wise man; and I agree with him too.

To begin your 2 week free trial and orientation at either great KMMA location, call 813-948-4844.

   We can’t wait to show 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.  Today I continue to train, learn, sow and grow under the mentorship of World Champion Grandmaster Jeff Smith, who regularly visits the academy to help sow into my teams and students as well.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes BLVD and now our new location in 8836 US 19, Port Richey! Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Port Richey and surrounding areas.

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

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