Camaraderie, Why We Need It And How To Get It

Latest graduating class of Blackbelts and various degrees, Oct 3 2020! Congratulations! They have camaraderie btw.

 

I was thinking this morning about my time in the Army and what I’ve missed about it and, while there is more than one thing, the greatest is the camaraderie.

Then I started thinking about my 38 years in the martial arts and the last 20 doing it for a living, empowering lives through my programs at Krav Maga Martial Arts, and I realized that what I love most- amongst the many, many great things I love about my mission- is the camaraderie.

 

  What is camaraderie and why do we need it?

ca·ma·ra·de·rie

/ˌkäməˈrädərē/

noun

  • 1.mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together:“a genuine camaraderie on the hockey team”

I realized two important things pondering cameraderie this morning:

     1. Over a literal lifetime in the martial arts, my memories of the people I have spent considerable time with are the greatest of many great memories.

     2. That camaraderie is the thing that my students are referencing when they say that they love our program not only for the great training, lessons and benefits they gain, but for the people.…..

We need positive interaction with others. We are wired that way. We long for the feelings of friendship and community and having fun socializing with other humans is just part of what we are created to do.

  And let’s face it, circumstances of recent history have stifled some of that for many; we have seen the dire results of people isolated and locked away from this basic human need. I am proud to say we are coming back from some of that and also that KMMA has been able to provide some normalcy during the whole pandemic through our live virtual and our live in the dojo programs…

     I do also think, however,  in meditating on my years of military and martial arts education service, that there is another element that makes the feeling of cameraderie even more special than the feeling of fellowship, which is also important but I would argue a step below camaraderie in degree.

  Camaraderie is the prize when we engage in a meaningful, purposeful mission with others, towards some greater cause; a situation where we are together with others,  but not just for the sake of being together but also for the sake of accomplishing a mission greater than ourselves.

   It’s what we do in the military and it’s what we do in the best martial arts programs.

It’s what we do at Krav Maga Martial Arts and it’s why the feelings of camaraderie are great amongst those that serve in the military and also those that are on the Blackbelt Leadership Quest at KMMA!

  Join Us!

For A 2 week free trial of our program call 813-948-4844 or visit TampaKravMaga.com

And check out the free community events this month at KMMA!

Remember to RSVP as events are free but limited! 813-948-4844

Bring A Buddy Goal Setting Workshop!

     Oct 23 from 6-7:30pm

Students and guests will have fun, practice some great martial arts and break a real board! Through this Grand Master Del Castillo will teach the process of setting and getting and goal you want to accomplish in martial arts and in life!

 

KMMA Blackbelt Taylor Hixson, Now Lt. Hixson, Graduating from US Naval Aviation School

 

The Great Pumpkin Tournament

     Oct 24 from 1030-1230am

Students will be competing for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place Pumpkins. Guests are welcome to spectate or enter the 1st-timer division where you can take a special 1st class and qualify to earn your white belt and win a free month in addition to a prize pumpkin!

 

Our own Sensei Kyle and Shihan Harley, both who grew up here and are National Tournament Champions as well as champions in life will be hosting the tournament, running and judging the divisions along with other KMMA Sensei celebrities.

 

Halloween Costume Party

     Oct 30 from 6-8:00pm

Fun, games, obstacle course, halloween based activities and contests, candy (of course) and a costume contest too! There will be grand, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes and every guest will win a free month membership for the whole family!

 

 

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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

Why We Train

One of our favorite sayings, reference our self defense training, is that we pray for the best, but train for the worst.

   There are two hopefully obvious insinuations of this maxim which are:

  1. better to be prepared and never need it, that to need it and not be prepared and, 
  2. we must train realistically, and hard enough, to create said preparedness.

 

But, if we have our way, we will never have to use the self defense aspects of our art. Does this mean our training in wasted?

   Of course not!

Martial arts training develops fitness, focus, discipline, leadership and goal setting skills to name a few! 

 

These are all great benefits for all people of all ages, but let us focus for a moment especially on our important task of helping raise up a child in the way he or she should go.

 

 

  The four laws of concentration and the seven words of respect are just two examples of the way that we train children with the positive habits that will serve them well for success in school, in life and in their future! 

 

Can you imagine what kids empowered with these kinds of leadership skills are capable of?

   Would you like to?

 

Call 813-948-4844 or visit TampaKravMaga.com to find out.

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

 

It’s Not So Scary

October is Halloween but not scary at all at KMMA.

October is Fall Friendship Month at KMMA and we want to invite you and your family to some great FREE Events!

1.  We have a KMMA Leadership Free Community Day Camp this Monday coming!

The theme is Leadership & Goal Setting.

This is a FREE community event for our KMMA students but I am inviting ten guests that may be interested in learning more about our leadership development academy (what we parents want) while also having fun and making new friends (what the kids want).

Your child will have fun, make new friends and learn something new. RSVP here!

(please only register if you plan on your child really coming as I am limiting space and only have room for ten new guests)

 

 

 

2. It’s Kick or Treat Week October 26-29.

Kids wear costumes to all classes and there will be fun kicking, tricking, candy, games, prozes and more!

All community kids are welcome! Call 813-948-4844 to reserve your child’s spot ASAP as these class sizes are limited then too!

3. Our Halloween Costume Party & Contest is Friday October 30!

          Same rules apply! Call 813-948-4844 to grab your spot!

 

 

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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

 

Blackbelt

Welcome Blackbelts and Blackbelt candidates to your 2020 Blackbelt Retreat! I am not going to talk long, because this is your night to give your presentations and share your experiences, emotions and your story about your Blackbelt Leadership journey! But I am going to begin by telling you how very proud I am of each and every one of you, and tell you a few things that you may or may not already know.

First, allow me to remind you that it’s actually a small percentage of the American population that ever start at martial arts and, of these, an even smaller group that seriously sets their goal to become a Blackbelt. Of that group a smaller group of special people actually demonstrate the focus, perseverance, commitment and dedication that it takes to become a Blackbelt, and then a smaller elite group to continue on the quest, to advanced degrees of Blackbelt and even Master level like a few of your peers have. I am very excited that we are testing this weekend 8 Junior Blackbelts, 5 Probationary Blackbelts, Four Certified 1st Degrees and also 4 Second Degree Blackbelts, one to third and two for their 4th degree, which is the beginning of Master rank! We are all super proud of and excited for all of you!

And while such a small percentage of the American population will ever know the satisfaction, pride and excellence of these accomplishments, let me tell you something else you may not know. While it’s a small number that make it to the 2nd Degree Blackbelt and beyond, a very, very large majority of those that do, especially through our school, go on to amazing positions of leadership and success! Our graduates go on to be successful in college, the military, ministry and business and careers. It’s not surprising because so much of what we do here is dedicated towards developing in you the leadership success skills to be excellent in anything and everything you are ever called to do! As proud as I am of you for your accomplishments to this point in this dojo, I am even more excited about all of the great things that I know all of you will grow to do in our dojo and out of the dojo and into the world!

I would be remiss, by the way, not to acknowledge and thank the amazing Blackbelt Leaders that have stayed on to help me help prepare each and all of you for this. Please join me in special recognition of Shihan Harley Del Castillo, who’s not only a great Master Instructor that has sown into many of you, even this week, but his is also the creative genius behind the great audiovisual and print materials of KMMA; soon to be Shihan Diego Del Castillo- though he will be off to a cereer as an Army Officer soon, starting with Army Basic and Infantry School at Ft. Benning Georgia and then on to Reserve Officer Training Course at University of North Georgia, he’s done some amazing work in and on so many of you in the mean time; soon to be Shihan Carolyn Borton, a great leader of KMMA and who’s son Sensei Ben Borton is also a Sensei here; our Chief Instructor, the great Sensei Kyle Bierly who’s testing for his third degree and is a walking, talking testament to the Blackbelt Excellence we speak of; the great Sensei Sarah Church who is our Welcome Program and Home School Class Instructor; and Sensei Michelle and Mackenzie and Aden and all the rest of my instructor and assistant staff, stand up and be recognized too!

Finally, I want to talk to you about a few of the benefits that you have gained through your training and will continue to develop through this weekend and the next training evolution.

 

  • First are the obvious one, like Blackbelt fitness, speed, focus, power, accuracy and intensity, real world self defense skills; and even Blackbelt focus, discipline, perseverance, courtesy and respect, integrity, self control and leadership skills.
  • The second is less obvious but just as important, and shows itself in times of stress and testing. Just as in the many stress drills you have negotiated over the years of your training, and especially like you will in a Blackbelt test, life is full of trouble. You can tell the quality of your physical krav maga skills by the way you react under the stress of the drill. Well seasoned Blackbelts react calmly, effectively and efficiently under the worst of variables being attacked with grabs and holds and punches and kicks and sticks and knives and guns. You focus not on what’s happening to you, but what you can do about what’s happening to you. This skill of being undistracted by the circumstances, no matter how dire, and focusing on what you can control to improve your situation is one of the most important skills and attributes you will ever acquire. We can look around the world right now and tell through people’s behavior and leadership who has and who hasn’t. You will be in the group that has.
  • The third amazing benefit you have or will gain through this process is that you will become part of an amazing community. We are a Knighthood- a band of brothers and sisters who are forged in fire and bound together in a way reserved only to those who have sweat, bled and triumphed together. As proud as I am of each of your accomplishments to this point, this weekend and beyond, it is all of you that accomplish the most together. After this weekend, your family will have grown, and you will know that you always have brothers and sisters that will have your back. When the dragons and demons come, we will slay them together. Many of you already know what I’m talking about, and the rest of you soon will.

 

I am really excited to hear your stories now, and then to watch you add another chapter this weekend!

Congratulations and be great!

I will be followed by Sensei, soon to be Shihan, Diego Del Castillo!

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