This is the Way

What does the above quote mean to you?

I really like it and think it’s a powerful one; but the language makes it a bit more philosophical than clear.

So, of course, I cannot even be certain that my interpretation of it is accurate, as in 100% what Aurelius meant to convey…


But I will share what I think he meant and why I think it’s important for us to understand today.

Like much great philosophy, I think the lesson is timeless.


The first part of the message is that the impediment to action advances action.

This is to say, I believe, that what may appear as an obstacle, stumbling block or even opposition to the action we take, may help us to succeed in that action.


Of course, that hypothesis is totally interdependent with the second postulate of the quote:

     What stands in the way becomes the way.


I think that this part of the quote is the most important one!

I believe that the ancient emperor and philosopher is saying that the very obstacles, challenges, or hardships in our way, may indeed be the catalysts for the way (to success in our action).


Sorry, I geek out on philosophy.

It was my undergraduate degree, and of choice, because I love it.

Today I also believe that it turned out to be quite a relevant degree…


Anyway, as not to let this paper become as long as something I would have written for that degree; because I know we all had more time to spare when “we were kids”. 🙂


I believe that the method that we use on the way to creating KMMA Blackbelt Leaders is just like this.

The goal is to become a confident and competent Blackbelt, physically and mentally fit and able to survive and thrive in any situation.

But there are so many obstacles along the way! 

There are the ones baked into the system- i.e., hard physical training, mental challenges and obstacles deliberately programmed to be overcome.

There are the commitments- 2-3 days a week of training, stripe test monthly, belt tests quarterly and more.


And of course, there are the distractions, conflicts and real-world obstacles.

These days all things compete for our time and attention, so I won’t spend much time discussing that.

Time, financial, family, or other conflicts may arise along the way….

and each Blackbelt in training faces their own unique obstacles.

For some they are crisis of character, or the tenants I call “Superpowers”, like Focus, Respect, Discipline, Confidence, Gratitude or Vision.

One person must develop courage and confidence, and another may face the adversary of self-control…

yet another may never have exercised a day in his life or may be so out of shape they believe they can’t do this.


I call these challenges dragons.

“Dragons” refer to the fears, weaknesses, challenges, or obstacles they MUST slay long the way.


But when they do, they understand the quote of Marcus Aurelius, though they may have never heard it before.

The KMMA Blackbelt Leader understands what I believe to be the essence of this quote in a way that I believe can’t even be explained to one who hasn’t experienced that journey and transcends what I am explaining in this writing.

What stands in the way becomes the way; what stood in the way creates the Blackbelt when he or she overcomes it.


This is the way.




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




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 commissioned 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.

See for more information and to order my book, Developing Your Superpower, Meditations on Mastery, Volume 1.

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