Blog Martial Arts

Prepared and empowered

Pray for the best and train for the worst.

I coined this years ago reference the real world self defense training we teach at Krav Maga Martial Arts and it has become one of the many adages used frequently and by many in our dojo to convey a specific idea or principal- this one that I sincerely do pray that none of my students ever have to use the self defense aspect of my system because, if they do, things have already gone terribly wrong.

But as with most things there is a dichotomy and, while I do pray that nobody ever has to use the Krav Maga self defense they learn in my dojo, I also know that it is my duty and responsibility, and that of the Sensei that teach with me, to ensure that we prepare our students adequately to deal with the worst should it occur.


A couple of days ago, I enjoyed a FaceTime call with one of my Blackbelts who lives in North Carolina now, Charlie Fisher.

It was a great call; I am always pleased to spend time catching up with my Blackbelts. Charlie is a successful businessman and Golf Pro. He’s also a dad with a great family. He’s also a great Blackbelt.

Charlie Fisher, Golf Pride Marketing Manager & KMMA Blackbelt


Anyway, we were talking about leadership and many other things. Charlie says he looks forward to these blogs every morning, which I was very grateful to hear. (A writer always wonders who’s reading and what they think. I hope you feel the same.)

The part of the discussion most relevant to this particular writing is where we started talking about Blackbelt Leadership Excellence. I was conveying to Charlie how we have really evolved into a Leadership Development Academy that also happens to teach the most practical self defense in the world.

Charlie praised me for our leadership through the pandemic and said that he has always been impressed with my leadership and he thought that it had really shone during this crisis.

But then he said something that resonated in that way that causes me to meditate upon it for a couple days, mostly on my morning walks.

Charlie said that he felt that the training had really prepared him (and all the others who had gone through the system) to react appropriately to whatever happens to him in life- rather that be self defense or any other situation, including in his career and with his family.


I think Charlie hit upon one of the key attributes of the thing we call Blackbelt Leadership Excellence.

  It’s about being prepared to act upon opportunities and react to contingencies.


It’s also about being prepared for the worst, and empowered for the best.


It is our mission to “empower lives through martial art”.

People have often asked what that means.

I believe it means exactly this. We empower people with the confidence and competence to set and accomplish worthy goals, achieve great successes, to survive any contingency and to lead others to do the same.


If you’re already a student or family of a student, I hope this lesson is useful and helps you understand some of what you are learning and feeling.

I’m proud of and grateful for you.

Keep up the great work on the quest to be your best!


And if you’re not with us yet, what a great time to start. Call 813-948-4844 and speak to one of the Sensei of my Team.

If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.



 Prepared to Live; 

         Empowered to Lead,


     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.

Also, check us out on Fun4TampaKids & on