This morning, as I was sitting on the patio sipping coffee and watching the glory of nature as part of my morning rituals, I was meditating upon things as I also often do.
It all started when Barbara (my wife) remarked that my new Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are made in China.
So we ended up talking about the good, the bad and the ugly and all the various things that have changed in America and on the world stage since I served, and about China’s military and financial might, position on Taiwan and such things….
and while there is a lot to be concerned about both internally and internationally, mine is specifically about the cultural change in the American people.
I mean, of course the facts that most our stuff is made abroad, that we are energy dependant again, that our economy is going rapidly the wrong way, that we have a crisis of leadership, a complicit press and all kinds of domestic problems stirred up right now, in addition to a pandemic that won’t go away and crazy on all sides of it, are all causes for concern we could choose to focus on; or the student loan crisis or imminent market reaction to the financial mayhem going on, or the crime, or the etc, etc…..
But let me stop here.
- If you follow my work, you are probably surprised right now.
You know that I teach to Focus on solutions not problems, look at the positive rather than negative and only put our attention and Focus on those things that we can do something about.
- My concern for our country isn’t as much any of the domestic or international problems I’ve alluded to above as it is the crisis of the American spirit. My concern is that the American spirit, character, Confidence and Vision has been systematically attacked for so long that there is a crisis of American patriotism, pride and leadership.
My concern is that I believe that these are the things that got America, and the world, through World War II and that fueled the great military and industrial victories that allowed the Allies to overthrow the imminent evil of Nazi occupation.
I believe we have always had no shortage of American patriots who understood that Freedom is the secret formula that made the American experiment work- and that the American Spirit is the fuel that created the greatest accomplishments, inventions, success stories and economy that made us the land that people flock to in the pursuit of freedom and prosperity.
I fear that if we allow things to keep going the way they’re going, we may indeed one day have a generation of men and women so distracted by the media, entertainment, safety, security and the myriad other trappings of a successful society that they will have forgotten how we got there; that they will be lulled into complacency and the comfortable entitlements of socialism or some other version of the utopian ideal that exchanges Freedom for security and ultimately delivers neither.
As the great Ben Franklin wrote,
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
- But I have spent much longer on the statement of the problem than I normally do. The truth is, much of all of this we can not control, and you know that one of our 7 Key Blackbelt Leadership Principles is that of the Circles of Concern and Control. Blackbelt Leaders don’t spend time as much of the world, complaining about all of the things that aren’t right, nor waste any of our Focus Superpower on worrying about every trouble nor on the things we don’t want.
What we do is apply our FOCUS, DISCIPLINE, CONFIDENCE, GRATITUDE and VISION powers towards ACTION that creates more of what we want and less of what we do not.
So the rest of this blog will be dedicated to a few of the many ways that my Dojo, our Vision and Mission proactively address the problems in our world that I am concerned about.
Read our Vision and Mission below and you will realize that we are directly engaged in preparing future leaders in our community and country.
By developing what I’ve coined the Blackbelt Foundational Superpowers in youth (Focus, Respect, Discipline, Confidence, Gratitude and Vision) we not only prepare them for success in life, but create more of what we want to see from adults in society.
By honing our own current Leadership abilities, while also developing the next generation’s, we are preparing to be better rather than caving to the complacency and mediocrity some in society would lead the willing to in preparing for their own evil agendas. We empower to Lead!
By belonging to a group of not dependent nor even independent, but interdependent and like minded positive and forward moving leaders, we constructively engage and even create the world we are in, rather than passively accepting or complaining about the one we are given.
I am glad I spent this morning writing this for you.
I am feeling less concerned and more motivated. We are on a Quest to be our Best!
Will you join us?
Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Author, MBA, 7th Degree Blackbelt
Founder & Chief Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts
TampaKravMaga.com 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 Go2Karate.com