Blog Martial Arts

My two favorite leadership lessons

I have been a leader and student of leadership for 28 years, and also teaching leadership as part of my program at Krav Maga Martial Arts over 20.

I LOVE Leadership and great leadership lessons, and have many “favorites”- but 2 are my very favorite of all!

Bottom line up front, here they are:

(I’ll explain why they are my favorite and how to use them POWERfully in YOUR life if you read on).


  1. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens to us.
  2. Everything happens for a reason and it serves me well.


These are two similar principles, but with subtle differences.

The most important thing that they have in common is that each has the potential to change anyone’s life for the better that understands and is willing to apply the lessons’ POWER to their life.


Life is 10% What Happens and 90% How We React To It.

  • Good things happen to all of us and bad things happen to all of us. None of us is immune to this truth.
  • It is also true that while we can not always control what happens to us, we CAN and SHOULD control our reaction to that event.
    • Between stimulus and response, there is a choice; and it is that choice that makes all the difference.
  • How we react to the opportunities, and how we react to the challenges, problems or even disasters of our lives determines our outlook and outcome.
    • Our outcome will be different because the actions that we take or fail to take determine what happens next.
    • Our outlook (attitude) being better (more positive) not only affects how happy, motivated, satisfied or unhappy, dejected, discouraged we are but of course this affects our actions and in turn our outcomes which then affects our outlook- you can see the cycle.

Everything Happens For A Reason And It Serves Me Well.

  • Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was absolutely terrible, but then later realized it was a blessing in disguise?
    • We all have.
  • These are examples of this leadership principle at play (and maybe God’s providence); but, we must learn to use the principle proactively.
    • This means that instead of only looking back, we can choose to immediately invoke the power of the principle in our lives.
    • When something “bad” happens we can choose to believe that there must be a reason (that we don’t understand yet) and make the POWERful choice to insist that it WILL serve us well.
      • This of course also involves the outlook/outcome cycle I spoke of above.
      • When we decide that this thing will serve us well, we will create the attitude and action that will make it so.


A Practical Example From KMMA:

The COVID pandemic and subsequent shutdown hurt us. Things had already started to get tough towards the end of February and we had to shut down in March and April. We were attempting to keep our business going on half of our monthly budget income. Students quit. Schools all around the country and even friends and peers of mine were closing.

I am so grateful that I understood these principles and was able to apply them at this time.

I told my team that we would keep working at our mission and that I would continue to pay them and these things we did.

WE invoked the 10/90 principle in every way and survived and thrived through the very difficult season that was March through May.

And, wouldn’t you know it, Everything DID happen for a reason and serve us well!

Here are  few of the positive outcomes that came from this trial:

  • We shot 100% of our curriculum and put it on video. Originally I was creating an online teaching platform, but then I realized this was a mistake. The lack of Sensei interaction just took away too much of what makes our live training so valuable. So we created another solution I will speak about next; but still. We shot all of our curriculum in a week and now have this all as supporting material for our students!
  • In reaction to the realization that the on-demandish training platform wasn’t good enough, we experimented with and mastered our LIVE Virtual Classroom, where-in the virtual students are SIMULCAST and take the same exact class as our live in the dojo students at the same time and with similar interaction. When my Sensei “walk the line” they stop and observe the virtual students as well, making sure they get the praise and encouragement, critique and mentorship that every student in our program does.
  • But we wanted our product and service to be even BETTER than before, so we created our KMMA Google Classrooms to support the LIVE in facility and LIVE virtual training platforms and give students great training tools, and checks on learning, that they can use to practice at home, supplementing their live classroom training.
  • Many students that travel or otherwise have trouble always making it to the dojo now use the live virtual and Google Classroom options to not fall behind where/when they might have before the challenge served us well!
    • We have others even virtually commuting from far away!
  • We also sought new tutelage and created new programs that have served us well and, I am sure you will be happy to know, are already coming back and finishing the year better, stronger and faster than we were before!

And Now It’s Your Turn.

  •  What is happening to you right now where you can use these principles to your benefit?
  •  How can you train/internalize these principles so you are ready for when you need them?
  •  How can we help?
    • If you’re a student, make sure you are taking advantage of our Google classroom and our live training in the dojo at 41and Dale Mabry or the virtual dojo online!
    • And if you’re not a student yet, call 813-948-4844 for your 2 week free trial live at our location or on our zoom virtual classroom!
  • Finally, remember to apply these principles to your particular situation wherever you’re at. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it. So even if you are quarantined, even if you live far away, even if whatever- you can take advantage of the many benefits of our training.
  • Email me if you would like help on how to join our virtual dojo.


Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo

Founder & Chief Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts








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

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