Ode to the Stress Drill, Plus Time to Level Up!

The stress drill is one of the fundamental tools of our system. I tell students it is the litmus test of progress. In the stress drill students are placed in situations in which they have to deal with various problems, make decisions under stress, fight through adversity and then deal with more problems until the drill finally finishes. Isn’t life like that some times?

The old cliche of “when it rains it pours” attempts to capture this I think. Sometimes it seems like you are just finally solving the one, or many problems, you’ve been dealing with and more and more come your way. But, as with the weather, what happens is beyond our control but how we react to what happens is not. I think that some of the most important principles to survive and thrive the krav maga stress drill may be the same for all the challenges in our businesses, work, world and every day life.


  1. You don’t lose until you quit. Rather surviving the fatigue and complexities of a KMMA stress drill or negotiating the challanges and complexities of life, one of the key elements of success is not to quit. Stay in the fight, and fight with everything in you. Whatever you, or I, are going through, the best chance of success is always to fight as hard as you can, as long as it takes, and never quit.
  2. Each time you deal with a particular problem you learn. You learn about the problem and, perhaps even more importantly, you learn about yourself; and over time you get better and stronger at dealing with the problem more effectively, efficiently and quickly. It’s not that the problems get easier, but it is that we get better.
  3. In the very worse of all situations, there may not be many great choices. Sometimes the situation feels untennable. Sometimes you feel like any way you turn you get struck and/or even kicked when you’re down, and of course I mean this both literally and figurativly. But one fact remains true in both cases, any move you can make to improve your situation improves your situation. It’s advice my teacher gave me once refering to a particular hostage self defense scenario. It was one wherein even the proper defense was very dangerous; but the point was that in dealing with the terrorist that result of not taking action would be worst than any attempt to fight back. I think we face the same in less obvious examples some times and I think that proactive attack of the problem is almost always better than waiting to see what happens.
  4. Everything happens for a reason and serves me well. In the same way as my instructor team and I craft the stress drill to create and develop certain skills and attributes that prepare our students to take on more and greater challenges in the future, perhaps the challenges we face in life are designed to do the same.


Rather in real world self defense, personal life challenges or organizational leadership, embrace the stress drill. Plan, act, review and improve. Learn from every training evolution and never surrender.


Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo

Founder & Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts


Time To Level Up!

   It’s testing week at KMMA!

     If you are a white belt in our Orientation program, you’ll test for your Gold Excellence stripe Wednesday or Thursday!

     If you’re an active student in our Leadership Blackbelt Training Program, you will stripe test Monday or Tuesday and belt test Wednesday or Thursday!

     If you test at the dojo, there will be a small graduation ceremony where you’re awarded your new belt and certification after class. If you test virtually, there will be a drive-by graduation option for you on Friday.

    We’ll have our next large graduation ceremony and Blackbelt Extravaganza in September! Plan to level up and attend that one wherever you are in the process!


Students and Non-students All Invited To Level Up At KMMA Rank Camps the Rest of This Summer Too!

   10 hours of Krav Maga Martial Arts per week in addition to indoor and outdoor sports, Parkour, leadership and more!

   Stripe test at the end of each week and test for rank when you complete 3!

Martial Arts Summer Rank Camp