Why Miss USA Was Scorned and Attacked And The People Who Add to Problems of Women’s Safety!

I didn’t watch the Miss USA Pageant.  But this year’s winner caught my attention.  Miss Nevada, Nia Sanchez, is a 4th Degree Black Belt trained in our organization, Tiger Rock Martial Arts.  Her original instructor is a friend of mine and she has been training for over 12 years.  I was glad she won and became Miss USA because she has overcome quite a bit in her life and will bring a strong, intelligent message to others.  But during the pageant something insane happened. Ms. Sanchez, in one of her answers about sexual assault, stated the following:

“I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out into the public.  But, I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women.”

The insane part is the response this drew from people around social media and the press in general.  An unbelievable number of people, including an editor from Cosmo, made statements that the idea of women learning self-defense or strategies to protect themselves was icky, unnecessary, not a solution, not part of the answer, a bad idea, somehow victim-blaming, or a number of other absolutely idiotic messages.  This sent my blood pressure through the roof and I’m NOT going to be quiet about it.

You see, I’ve worked with women for over 25 years teaching them how to defend themselves and how not to be a victim…..and many of them have had to use the skills I’ve taught them.  I have worked with thousands of rape and assault victims.  I have friends and loved ones who were victims.  And most importantly, there are many women and families who I care about and don’t want to see have their lives shattered by sexual assault.

The statements about women not needing self-defense are flying all over and may be doing an incredible amount of harm to women, families and our communities in general.  The idea of being against women taking steps to protect themselves from sexual assault is the equivalent or worse than saying we shouldn’t lock our doors, shouldn’t teach kids to protect themselves from abductors, and shouldn’t have banks put our money in vaults.  The haters, who are vilifying Ms. Sanchez, are basically saying women shouldn’t train because we can prevent the assaults by making more laws and teaching men not to rape.  Perhaps they missed the facts that rape is already illegal and that there are countless ways men are told or taught not to rape.  In a utopian world, this would work but we don’t live there—-we live here in a place called reality where we need real solutions that actually help people.   Society as a whole needs help reinforcing values and acceptable behavior and, at the same time, women should be empowered by learning the skills it takes to stay safe because statistics are clear on the threats against them.  Doing otherwise increases the risk of women we care about becoming victims.  That’s not something I am willing to allow…not on my watch…not now…not ever.

So, I congratulate and thank Ms. Sanchez for her message that more people need to hear.  To my communities and the people I care about, I ask you to simply do two things.  First, tell anyone and everyone you can that women absolutely do need to get training to protect themselves and not be a victim.  Second, if you are looking for a place to get training for a group or someone you care about, email me at Jeff@paradigmimpactgroup.com.  We have seminars, lessons, and classes designed to empower and protect women here in Nebraska.  Please don’t wait until it’s too late.

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com.

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Why Most Kids Summer Programs Fail…PART 2 & What You Can Do to Pick the Right Ones!

Last month, this column was dedicated to identifying how important it is for parents to make good decisions regarding their children’s summer activities, some of the common mistakes, and how you can pick the right programs for the summer.  If you missed it, now would be a good time to find that issue or go online and review to catch up, and then come right back here.  Go ahead, I’ll wait…..

Ok. So now that you are caught up, I’d like to pick up and continue with Part 2.

After deciding to be a great parent and to be proactive in the decisions about your children’s summer activities, families also face three big challenges with TIME.

The first challenge is that some activities want you to commit, up front, to being a part of something for the whole summer.  That isn’t an extremely long commitment.  But, during the summer, many families have plans to be out of town or plans for other special activities.  So committing to a program for the whole summer when you really can’t take advantage of it can be frustrating.  Instead, it’s good to look at programs that offer a slightly shorter period and/or offer several different start times so that it’s convenient for your family’s calendar of events without wasting money.

The second challenge is that some programs have very limited schedules.  Families today are busier than ever.  So if a summer activity for kids doesn’t offer multiple times throughout the week to participate, then there is clearly a lack of understanding of the families they are there to serve.  When checking out the activities and facilities, be sure to look to see if there is a selection of several times.  If not, then it may be difficult to make things work on a consistent basis (because most of our schedules have a tendency to get disrupted no matter what we do).  Also if there is only one specific time, the activity could be very crowded and your child becomes just a number in a crowd.

The third challenge is, “What happens when my child likes the summer program but then there’s no way to continue?”  Some programs are only set up during the summer and really offer no year-round options or extended opportunities for your child to continue learning, developing and achieving.  If you decide an activity is a great match for your goals regarding your child and they are having fun too, then why would you want to stop?  Unfortunately this is not always an option.  So, this is something good to look into before getting hooked into something.  Moreover, find out if there are options for family participation in any of the activities—this is a great way to support your child and share in something fun!

So as part of your final evaluation of summer activities for your child, be sure to check into these three time factors.  Do they offer multiple start times throughout the summer to match your calendar?  Do they offer multiple times throughout the week to find your busy schedule and avoid overcrowding? And finally, do they offer options for continuing past the summer if you decide it’s a good match for your family?  Checking into these things ahead of time will avoid stress, save money and help you make the best decision for your child’s activities for the summer.

And, when you want to ask more about great options for summer programs, be sure to check out Tiger Rock Academy at (402) 483-1011.  In its 20th year in Nebraska, Tiger Rock continues to provide great training solutions for families in Lincoln, Omaha, and Firth.

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com.

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Why Most Kids Summer Programs Fail…and What You Can Do to Pick the Right Ones!

First let me be very direct with parents who are reading this column:

Your kids learn how to make good decisions by observing you and by testing their boundaries.  

What does this have to do with summer programs?  Everything.  You see, too many parents today make a critical mistake with their kids when it comes to decision-making.  Though well meaning, it is damaging to their child’s long-term development and success.  The mistake is simply trying to be more of a friend to their child rather than being a parent.  By this, I mean that they 1) leave the decisions in the child’s hands and 2) allow the child to determine when they do and do not go to an activity.   Every time I see a parent turn over decision making to an 8 year old, it pains me.   How can an 8 year old make a good decision on what will help them reach their long-term goals?  I’m not saying that a parent shouldn’t ask the child what they like or if they enjoy something…but at the end of the day, the PARENT(s) should make the decision.
For the second part I’m referring to when a parent decides not to take their child to an activity or a commitment they made because the child says “I don’t feel like going today.”  This is a teachable moment for helping a child understand commitments, goals and perseverance.  Or it ends up being a situation where the parent conditions the child to believe they can get whatever they want by whining and complaining.  It shocks me when I’ve had conversations with parents who complain that their adult child has now quit four jobs within a year—and who don’t see the correlation to the fact they let that same child quit most of the activities they were ever involved in earlier in life because they didn’t “feel like going.”  If you train your child to quit whenever things aren’t perfect or they feel less motivation then don’t wonder why they continue this pattern in all areas of life.

So the above two points are major issues to conquer before even looking to the activities themselves.  When you commit to being a parent that is willing to give your child the support and extra push they need at these critical times, the next step is selecting the right activities to match your goals.  If you put your kids in activities without first having clearly set goals, you are wasting your time and money.  Set goals, objectives or more simply just write down what you are looking to accomplish with a summer activity.  Otherwise you are hiring programs to be glorified babysitters with no real additional value to you or your child.  Many programs are just that…they keep your kids busy being busy….but in the end your child has made no real progress in any measurable way to achieve any real goal or skill.  Lots of programs advertise they build a child’s self-esteem or confidence, that they will help them get better grades, that they will help them achieve better fitness levels.  But then when you ask them HOW they do that, they can’t really explain.  It’s because they DON’T; they just know good buzz words to put in marketing.  The programs that CAN do it are able to explain exactly how their programs accomplish the stated goals and benefits.  Finally, ask about the training or qualifications of those left in charge of your child.  Do they have background checks?  First aid and CPR certification?  Training or credentials to teach what they are doing?  You would be surprised how many programs, if telling the truth, would answer NO to some or most of those.

To summarize, I encourage doing the following things when choosing the right summer program:

1. Write out the goals/what you are looking to accomplish.  Match this to the program selection that YOU (not the child) make the final decision on.

2. Ask questions on HOW programs achieve/teach these goals and skills.

3.Check into credentials, background checks, certifications etc.

And finally, BE A PARENT!  Your child is counting on you and will thank you later in life for doing the right things!!

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com

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Bullying: What They Don’t Tell You Can Hurt Them!

Bullying happens and will continue to happen every day at school, at work, and everywhere in our communities.  Most bullying or anti-bullying programs are designed to make people aware of WHAT bullying is and/or WHY people shouldn’t do it.  The problem with this approach is that it often actually leads to MORE bullying.  This isn’t solving a problem, it’s making it worse.  Just take a quick peek online and you’ll find many studies that are proving the negative impact of these programs.

Worse yet, many schools, families, and workplaces may not realize that the majority of people do not report bullying when it happens.  You may expect your child to tell you when something is wrong or bothering them, but feelings of isolation, fear or even shame can creep in and they don’t want to tell anyone.  Bullies also feed into these feelings.  So we are stuck in a position where we don’t even really know who to help.  These individuals are left to suffer and deal with it on their own and this can lead to disastrous results.

So what can we do?

Instead of being responsive to reported problems, we need to give individuals the tools they need to deal with things to begin with.  We don’t wait until we have a flat tire to start bringing a spare and a jack.  So why do we wait until someone reports bullying to do something about it that gives them any real tools?

Communication should be the first area to improve because it builds trust, understanding and keeps the channels open for more future communication.  No matter the age, we communicate the most with people we trust.  And when we get more communication, we can spot problems or early warning signs.

After this, we have to focus on steps that can be taken to give people the confidence to deal with bullying.  For kids, martial arts has been proven to be one very effective solution.  Now some people worry that training kids in martial arts will make them more likely to get violent or become a bully themselves.  Reality shows that this has not been true at all.

When families train at a martial arts program with professionally trained instructors, ongoing education, and a structured curriculum, the result is that they are more confident and able to avoid or walk away from bad situations.  Then, if things do go to the level where they need to stop someone from hurting them, they have the skills to do it.  At the end of the day we all have to make decisions on how we will equip our children and families to deal with the threats to their safety—both emotionally and physically.  Be proactive and help kids avoid the negative effects of bullying in the first place.

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com

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Who’s in Charge?  You or the Weather? Making Healthy Choices and Improving Your Lifestyle Year Round

As I write this month’s column, I am sitting in Costa Rica.  I have to say the weather down here is a bit nicer this time of year compared to Nebraska.  Last month’s column was about protecting your health when you travel and I’m practicing what I preach while down here—in fact, as I write this I am waiting for the gym here at the resort to open so I can go work off the extra sushi I ate last night.

Whether you are sitting by the ocean and enjoying a morning breeze or you are sitting in your office with the heat turned up to fight off the cold, I think we can all agree that weather sometimes influences our choices.  Not sure what I mean?  Let’s take a closer look at a few examples in Nebraska:

Want a piping hot bowl of chili in August?

How about ice cream while sitting on your back deck in January?

Want to go run or ride bikes outside in February?  (Ok, a few crazy marathon people do)

How about getting bundled up to go sledding with the kids at Holmes Lake dam in June?

These examples should seem a bit odd or ridiculous.  But as odd as they seem, we also often make choices of convenience that would seem just as strange if we took a step back to look at it.  Here are just a few examples of this:

• Eating at a drive through each day and hoping to lose weight

• Snacking at work or during the day by grabbing a bag of chips or a candy bar

• Eating high carb meals late at night

• Skipping breakfast

• Drinking fruit juice early in the morning because advertising has told us this is healthy

• Drinking sodas throughout the day to stay awake or satisfy cravings

These are just a small sample of all the things we do that self-sabotage our healthy intentions.  The one uniting factor in many of these actions is “time”.  Sometimes this could even have to do with preparing for or responding to the weather.  We feel rushed, like we just don’t have time, or that we are just too busy to worry about it.  Whenever you feel this way, I recommend that you pump the brakes and think about that for a minute.  You don’t have time to take care of yourself so you can stick around a few more years and actually enjoy your life?  What’s that about?  And if you don’t make the time to take care of yourself, when you break who is going to take care of all the things (and people) you do?  Bottom line is that we have to take smart deliberate actions each day to ensure our health.  Everyone is up in arms about health insurance (rightfully so), but this is just dealing with a symptom of the real problem that many Americans face—our lifestyle choices.   If you and I can both pay just a little more attention to our healthy habits (or fixing the unhealthy ones) then the odds that we even need to use insurance will go down quite a bit over time.  No matter what the weather is, no matter how rushed we feel, make intelligent choices that are right for us….not just what is convenient.

One final note: Focus more on your identity or your “why” behind things.  For me, this changed quite a bit in 2010.  I’ve had a focus on being healthy for many years, but in 2010 I married an amazing woman who has truly changed my life forever.  So now my “why” is more about staying healthy and sticking around as long as possible to be with her and enjoy our lives together.  What is your why?  Your spouse?  Kids?  Family?  Something else?  Whatever it is, go to that first when making decisions on how you spend your time and how you take care of yourself (including what you eat).

Well, the gym is open now so I’m off to work out and then get ahold of some of the great mango and pineapple they have down here.

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock



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Tips for Protecting Your Health When Traveling!

So the last two months I have talked about some great stuff regarding working out, finding your WHY to overcome obstacles, and sticking to what really works…which takes more than just a resolution.  Spring is a time when many business owners, sales staff and other professionals travel a great deal.  Conferences, extended sales visits and more put us on the road, in the air and all over the place staying in hotels and different cities.

When we travel, we expose ourselves to different water supplies, different allergens, usually more unhealthy food, and a number of other issues.  So this makes it more challenging to take care of ourselves properly.  We often put on a few pounds or get sick from traveling, not having time to work out, and just not staying focused.

Last month I was on the road for over half the month–Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles and a few other places kept me busy.  It was a good busy where I was speaking, selling and consulting for some great conferences and businesses, but it was also a huge challenge to take care of myself in order to avoid sickness and to be at my best every time I went on stage or put on training sessions.  I’m thankful I stuck to it, because the last day of my travels was the most important as I had a major presentation and was essentially “selling from the stage”.  If I had been sick or too run down, it would have been very costly.

So what are some of the biggest challenges?

1. On the road we usually eat more fast food and even hotel restaurants offer a very limited number of healthy options.  When we are in a hurry we often neglect our nutrition.

2. We get run down trying to network and take care of everything.  When we get exhausted our immune system is compromised.

3. Some drink a bit more alcohol to be “social”.

4. Tap water from different cities can be quite a bit different and can upset many people’s digestive tract and the harmony of our bodies’ systems.

5. At hotels we are exposed to a tremendous amount of allergens and germs.

So what are a few things we can do to fight these challenges, avoid getting sick and be at least somewhat healthy?

1. Buy bottled water at the store and keep it with you….and drink tons!  Switch half of your “social” drinks to a bottle of water by alternating.  This will save you money AND keep you hydrated!

2. Don’t ever, I mean EVER, drink from a “glass” in your hotel room.  Plastic cups are fine, but not the glasses.  If you don’t understand why, Google it–I won’t put the disgusting details here.

3. Kick the comforter off the bed, and then wipe down the phone, remote and door handles with a sanitizing wipe or spray.  Again, Google it if you want to be disgusted.

4. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.  You can’t perform well without enough rest.

5. Avoid fried foods, get some extra fruit to keep with you, and eat dinner early rather than later at night.

6. Consider eating kiwis a couple times a day.  Kiwis offer great health benefits, especially for those who are traveling.

7. Work out!  Most hotels now have a decent gym, and even 20-30 minutes a day makes a difference.  Set the alarm just 30 minutes early and you will reap the benefits.

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com.

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