Blog Martial Arts

What’s in a title?

A student recently asked what he should call me and it got me thinking about the topic for today’s message.

I am a father, husband and grandfather, as well as a Christian, Author, MBA, Veteran……

I am also called Sensei, Shihan and Grand Master. These are of course the ones the student was asking about and I told him that I’d answer to all of them and all were true. I was first a Sensei and then a Shihan and now a Grand Master in the Martial Arts. The way I see it, I don’t stop being the one just because I’ve now earned the other title too.


And what really is a title?

Upon meditation I believe the titles that we wear are symbols for who we are and how we should be.

My titles reflect:

  1. Who I am in relation to others around me: I am the father of my children, a teacher to my students and the Grand Master of my dojo academy.
  2. Recognition of work and accomplishment, i.e. Author of books, Master of Business Administration, Sensei (which is in my dojo a certified instructor) etc
  3. The most important- our titles reflect who and how we should be.  


As a father I need to be committed, give both love and discipline and raise up a child in the way he should go.

As a husband I need to love my wife.

As the Grand Master of KMMA, I am charged with not only the training, growth and development of all of my students but the care and professional development of my team.

And I am also, as all of my Sensei, held to a higher standard of conduct and behavior than I would expect of others.


One of the titles I am most proud of is that of the Blackbelt Leader- not only because I am one but, more importantly, because my most important role and goal is to create, develop and grow other Blackbelt Leaders.


Our Blackbelt Leaders are second degree Blackbelts or above.

On the journey to earning that title they learned to be leaders and teachers.

They developed FOCUS, RESPECT, DISCIPLINE, CONFIDENCE, GRATITUDE, and VISION, as well as the physical attributes of Speed, Focus, Power, Accuracy and Intensity.

They are prepared to live and empowered to lead!


Some will head off to college, others to military, business or ministry leadership callings…

Of course some already had great careers when they began our Blackbelt Leadership Development Program, and have just honed and improved themselves and their leadership skills.


But in each and every case I know that they are prepared for success in every challenge, at every opportunity and for every calling.

I am proud of and grateful for each and all of them and for my calling to prepare them to live and empower them to lead.


Call me Sensei (Teacher), Shihan (Master) or Grand Master.

The title is just the title- but what I’m called to do with it is who I am.


Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Author, MBA & 7th Degree Blackbelt
Founder & Chief Master Instructor,
Krav Maga Martial Arts

Begin Your Blackbelt Leadership Journey with us at


———————————————————————————————————————- 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.

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