Archive for the ‘Posts by Master Jim’ Category

Re-posted in part from THINKLikeaBLACKBELT.org…

By Jim Bouchard

It’s simple, albeit not easy, to raise confident kids.

  • Choose your words carefully
  • Be a good example
  • Encourage
  • Provide challenging opportunities for growth
  • Support them in success and failure

Young Couple with Two Children (8-12) Walking on the BeachI’ve been working with kids for nearly 30 years and I can tell you that if you do those 5 things, your kid has a pretty good chance of growing into a confident and competent adult.

As I said; it’s simple, not easy!

It’s not easy particularly because you can do permanent damage to a child’s self-confidence if you’re not careful of the words you use and the example you provide.

Here are 8 things you must NEVER do if you want to raise confident kids…


Jim Bouchard is the founder of Northern Chi Martial Arts Centers and Master Instructor in Residence at our Brunswick, Maine Center.

Through martial arts, Jim Bouchard transformed himself from dropout, drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur and Black Belt. As a speaker and author of Amazon bestseller Think Like a Black Belt, Jim tours nationally presenting his philosophy of Black Belt Mindset for corporate and conference audiences. He’s a regular guest on TV and radio programs including FOX News, BBC Worldview and FOX Across America.

Learn more about Jim at JimBouchard.org and THINKLikeaBLACKBELT.org!

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By Jim Bouchard

From TakePart.com…

“A Florida high school student made a stand against bullying and is now in the hot seat with school officials. For months, 18-year-old Stormy Rich witnessed a girl with special needs being bullied by her peers on the way to school. “They would be mean to her, tell her she couldn’t sit on certain spots on the bus…just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her,” Rich told WOFL-TV.”

Hero, or just another round of bullying? Was she right to stand up and stop the abuse, or do you believe that two wrongs don’t make a right?

I say Stormy is a hero. She acted with moral and physical courage to stand up for that other student. Since when is telling someone who is perpetrating an act of agression to stand down considered bullying as well?

The world in this school district has definitely shifted off-access. More from the TakePart.com article:

“Rich says she reported the incidents to the bus driver and school officials. When they didn’t take action, she stepped in and confronted the bullies; but instead of being praised for her efforts, Rich ended up being labeled as a bully, and her bus-riding privileges were revoked. A spokesperson for the school district said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and that the girl with special needs never complained about being bullied.”

Even if Stormy was forceful and aggressive in her own right, responding to an act of violence with aggression is not an act of violence. Since bullying involves a disparity of power, there is no way that Stormy, acting alone against several other students, could be considered to be abusing a disparity of power and therefore she cannot be considered a bully.

As for the school’s assertions that the special needs child never complained about the bullying, that is simply the worst justification for their actions imaginable. Granted- it’s difficult to handle abuse when none is reported by the target. However, it is all too typical in these scenarios that the target will not report the incident or speak out against the perpetrators. The target may feel that doing so simply makes the situation worse, particularly when no action is taken against the bullies. She may also have feared retribution from her tormentors.

No matter- Stormy reported the incidents…several of them. The school chose inaction; she chose action.

It is not right to stand by and watch others abused and bullied at school, in the workplace or in the community. It’s not always appropriate to intervene physically, and it’s not generally your obligation to do so. At the very least you should report the incident. I just did a post on the THINK Like a BLACK BELT blog contrasting an act of courage in the recent Seattle coffee shop shooting with an act of brazen cowardice as a man recorded video of an assault on a Philadelphia police officer. He recorded his video on a phone he should have been using to dial 9-1-1. (Read the post “Courage vs. Cowardice” here.)

Too many people sit on the sidelines instead of confronting aggression, bullying and abuse. Too many parents train their kids not to get involved.

Stormy Rich is a hero.

Read the entire post by Jennie Inglee on TakePart.com here…

What do you think? Was Stormy a hero or did she just add to the cycle of bullying? Add your comments…

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Valentine's Day Love Like a Black Belt dating books relationshipsFrom the Love Like a Black Belt blog…

Times are tough. For many the thought of spending a lot of money on Valentine’s Day can add pressure you certainly don’t need. The good news is you don’t need a lot of money to create a nice Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart.

As martial artists we spend a great deal of time learning, practicing and perfecting techniques. Granted, those techniques are usually focused on causing pain and injury rather than expressing love and gratitude, but as I always say, the process is what’s important!

Throughout my adventurous and colorful life, I’ve had many opportunities to practice and perfect techniques for crafting memorable moments with the barest of resources and during times of great challenge and adversity. Today I share some of these techniques with you…


Watch for the upcoming release of the new book: LOVE Like a BLACK BELT co-authored by Dr. Jackie Black and Jim Bouchard!

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“Man, 65, kills teen who knocked him off bicycle” 

That’s the MSNBC headline describing last week’s story of a man who was knocked from his bike while riding on a woodland trail during what he says was an attempted robbery. In self-defense, the cyclist shot and killed one of the assailants; Julius Johnson.

Three youths attacked a man who was apparently minding his own business riding on a rural bike trail. According to NBC 10 in Philadelphia, Berks County, Pennsylvania District Attorney John T. Adams reported that the boys cut school to commit robberies and had already attacked two other elderly men earlier that morning.

This incident has again ignited the ageless debate over the proper use of deadly force. It also clearly shows why deadly force is an appropriate, if regrettable option in cases like this one.

There may not be any outcry had the headlines read:

“Three strong young men viciously attack elderly cyclist; one killed in attempt” 

The loss of life is always regrettable in a self-defense situation. Few victims of assaults kill attackers in a blind rage intent on murder. The death of an attacker is one of the possible outcomes in a righteous self-defense situation when the victim decides to fight back; armed or unarmed. When you make the decision to train responsibly in self-defense, armed or otherwise, this is a serious consideration.

In a situation like this, there is no time and should be no obligation for the victim of the attack to analyze the ultimate intentions of the assailants. We do know in this case that Johnson, the assailant who was killed, was continuing to attack the cyclist. When he was shot, he was trying to kick his target in the face.

We also know that Johnson “had a criminal record and was on probation at the time of the incident. He was even on electronic monitoring, officials said.” (NBC 10, Philadelphia)

Declaring that no charges would be filed against the shooter, DA Adams added:

“While I do not condone violence, the bike rider had no choice…”

Adams is wrong in one respect.

The “bike rider” did not commit an act of violence. The violence was perpetrated by Johnson and his accomplices. Righteous self-defense is not violence; it is an appropriate response to unprovoked violence.

In this case, the gun was not a tool of violence; it was a life-preserver.

Ancient martial arts proverb: 

“It is better not to fight. 

“When attacked, it is better to injure than maim, 

“It is better to maim than kill, 

“It is better to kill than be killed, 

“For all life is precious and can never be replaced.”


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A report by the College of William & Mary concludes that since 1990, “children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas.” Isn’t that what childhood is supposed to be about?

“As society has advanced, our brains have changed” says Susan Gabbard, Director of Fine Arts at Oklahoma City schools. This change is apparently not for the better. For children to expand imagination, Gabbard says they’ve got to be nourished in an environment that encourages creativity.

Martial arts provides that environment. In a well-rounded martial arts program, children are constantly problem solving, imagining and solving scenarios, and expressing themselves through thought and movement.

Some people see the discipline of the dojo as the antithesis to creativity; nothing could be farther from the truth. Discipline is the foundation for encouraging creative thought and gives children (and adults) the tools necessary for creative expression. Creative thought is a discipline; it’s an ability that must be practiced and encouraged to expand and develop. Discipline, taught properly, not restrictive — it’s liberating.

In our society we’ve devolved to a culture of enabling. With best intentions we try to make the learning experience easier and less painful. We try to shield children from failure and protect them from pressure and stress. We allow them to use electronic gadgets that provide answers rather than teaching reflection and introspection as a way to find solutions.

A quality martial arts program teaches through problem solving. We teach by challenging students and giving them the opportunity to expand their potential. We expose students to the reality that life is not always easy and encourage them to develop the strength, confidence and courage to face challenges and solve problems.

For many reasons, a martial arts program may be the most important investment you can make in your child’s life. Encouraging your child’s creative development is one of the best reasons to enroll your child today!

The creativity deficit in children as reported on FOX News...

 NOW through August 19th…Save 50% on ANY program at the Black Belt Mindset Institute at Northern Chi Martial Arts Center! You can enroll today and start later! In Maine call 207-721-0299 TODAY!

*For new students only. Cannot be combined with other discounts.

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Back to school shopping is in full swing, in fact if you don’t get your local big box right now you might miss out on the best deals before they start filling their shelves with Halloween crap. Am I getting old, or didn’t we used to do back to school shopping the last two weeks before school started? Of course Halloween candy used to show up half-way through October and we didn’t see Christmas sales until after Thanksgiving!

What do your kids need for school? New shoes, pencils & pens, maybe a larger backpack to accommodate the additional books he or she will be carrying in the next grade.

Ever since the first humans started scratching pictures on cave walls and telling stories, we’ve been looking for the latest and greatest innovations to make the learning process more exciting, efficient and enjoyable. However, some things never change and if you want your young students to make the most of school this year there are some essentials they’d better be carrying — and these don’t go in their backpacks.

Don’t even think about sending your kids to school without these important items:

  • Self-confidence
  • Motivation
  • Good learning attitude
  • Respect
  • Discipline
  • Focus
Prepare your kids for a successful school year NOW! All programs at the Black Belt Mindset Institute at Northern Chi Martial Arts Center 50% OFF…now through August 15th!
Call today for information: 207-721-0299!
Reserve your space TODAY! Limited class sizes to assure maximum personal attention!
Call today and you also receive a signed copy of Amazon bestseller THINK Like a BLACK BELT by Black Belt Mindset Institute founder and master instructor Jim Bouchard!

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I knew Alex Labbe for only a short time. His parents, Peter and Judy brought Alex to Northern Chi as a Little Dragon. We knew he had severe congenital heart problems- none of the students would have known.

I visited Alex after an operation as he was recovering at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. He was always in great spirits and displayed courage and stamina that people many times his age would envy.

I was saddened to just hear of Alex’s passing. I feel blessed to have known him and his remarkable family for even a short time.

Here’s an article from the Times Record about Alex and his legacy…

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