Blog Martial Arts

Team Tuesday…on Sensei Kyle Bierly

Sensei Kyle Bierly started training with me when he was four years old, and he’s a walking example of what my program can do.

He’s the product of the product-

A Blackbelt Leader in all senses the title confers. I’m proud of him for all he’s done so far, and confident that he’ll be a great success in anything and everything he’s still to do.


I’ll never forget this pivotal moment in Sensei Kyle’s young life, very early in his KMMA education.

He and his buddy that had begun together 6 months or so before wanted to quit.

I spoke to both dads. Kyle’s dad didn’t let him, and I know Kyle Senior, Kyle Junior (Sensei) are as grateful as I am for that great decision.


Sensei Kyle earned his probationary blackbelt in 2004 at only 7 years old.

He went on to be a leader through school as well as in the dojo- and everywhere else for that matter.

Just a few of his accomplishments outside of the dojo:

-named Tampa bay times 2nd team All-Tampa Bay in 2014 as a junior in HS
-full ride scholarship to Bishop State
-honor graduate in both my Marine basic electronics course and ground radio repair course
-meritorious promotion to corporal in (2020)
-was named “Gung-Ho” Marine in my Lance corporal leadership course (2019)
-in the corps, I’ve received 1 Meritorious Mast, 2 Certificates of Commendation, 1 Certificate of Achievement, and was most recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM)

He’s a stellar student, a great teacher, a hoorah Marine.

He walks the walk and talks the talk.

Sensei Kyle is a model Blackbelt Leader and a friend.


Sensei Kyle’s most recent training evolution was as my Chief Instructor at Krav Maga Martial Arts.

I am grateful for the season, the time we spent, the sowing I got to do into him, the sowing he got to do in other staff and into our students, and for all the great things we accomplished together!

I am excited for him in his next training evolution. Sensei Kyle has decided to step down from “active duty” at KMMA to put all his Focus on his last two years of Electrical Engineering training at USF.

As a KMMA Blackbelt Leader, he knows well that “energy flows where Focus goes” and has decided he needs more of it on finishing his degree. So he’ll still be around and, in fact, training to test for his 4th Degree Master rank within the next couple of years.

Of course I’m going to miss him day to day, but I’m super proud that he’s still representing our dojo and Blackbelt Leadership Excellence every day in every way. No doubt he’ll be one of the best Engineers USF has ever produced!

By the way, he’ll be with us at the Blackbelt retreat and Krav Camp as one of the primary trainers and sitting on my Blackbelt  panel for the Blackbelt test!


Over the next few Team Tuesdays, I’ll share the stories of the great Sensei Sarah Church, Shihan Harley Del Castillo, Shihan Carolyn Borton, Sensei Ben Borton and Sensei Mackenzie Meyers who are all on the team and sharing the floor with me; and we’re developing the next generation of great Blackbelt Leaders and Sensei too! After all, we are a leadership development academy. It’s what we do.

Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!
Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Author, MBA & 7th Degree Blackbelt
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