Blog Meditations on Mastery

The Quest

I get so excited about this time of the year- I’m not talking about season nor for sure election time nor any of the craziness going on in our world right now.

I’m talking about Blackbelt weekends!

Next weekend 8 KMMA students will test for their Junior Blackbelts, 5 more for adult probationary blackbelts, 3 for 1st Degree (Blackbelt Certified), 3 to the coveted rank of 2nd Degree Blackbelt Sensei, one to 3rd Degree (Senior Blackbelt) and two to 4th Degree (Master)!

  • On Friday night they will arrive at the Blackbelt Retreat, focus and fellowship and give their Blackbelt presentations.
  • On Saturday they will train and help train all of the other campers at Krav Camp!
  • On Sunday, the Blackbelt Test. The test is really all weekend though- and you could argue for all the years before. The Blackbelt Test is really like a punctutation mark, an exclamation point specifically, that says YES I AM!

It’s a confirmation and validation of our oft used mantra “Yes I Can”!


And as I swell with pride and gratitude for all my Knighthood of Blackbelt Leaders on this special weekend, I always meditate upon that line of our student creed that references “the quest” to be our best!


The Quest is a journey.

The Quest is a mission.

The Quest is a brotherhood.

The Quest is a lifestyle.


The Quest is a journey of a thousand miles that begins with a single step, a mission to become and keep becoming, our very best.

The Quest also connotes the brotherhood, fellowship, accountability and support of the rest of our Knighthood on this Quest.

The Quest is a lifestyle and one that, for some of us, is a life-time pursuit.

As we meditate upon the quest this week, with all of our students taking next steps on their Quest towards Blackbelt, and our Blackbelts taking their next steps on their Quest towards Mastery, remember that, like any great Quest- this one isn’t easy.

There will be peril along the way, hardship, challenge and dragons. Every Blackbelt has slain some dragons. The dragon makes he or she want to quit. Fear or complacency or busyness or some other distraction gets in the way and makes the would be Knight forget the Quest. But Knights that earn their Blackbelts and degrees thereof have slain these, and will slay all the dragons and other enemies before them too. They can not lose while they stay focused on the Quest.


And I sent this to my entire contact list, not just my students and Knights because I believe many and most are in their own fights, and the same holds true. When the dragons come, remember why you do whatever you are doing. Stay in your fight! We can never lose if we never quit.


If you are looking for a great Quest to embark upon, for you or your whole family, join us.

If you’re looking for some Knights to help you on your own Quest too, we’re here for you.


On the Quest!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo, 7th Degree

Founder & Chief Knight of Our Blackbelt Round Table 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