Pupils at Cromer Academy enjoy fighting talk as martial arts author drops in

An audience of excited youngsters learnt the secrets of the samurai and ways of the ninja this morning when martial arts author Chris Bradford dropped in on their north Norfolk school.

The martial arts master captivated the crowd at Cromer Academy while showing off his sword skills, demonstrating traditional Japanese fighting moves and recreating a battle scene from one of the titles in his Young Samurai series.

The series of seven books follows the adventures of a young English boy who travels to Japan and learns the ways of the samurai.

Mr Bradford, who has trained in karate, kickboxing, samurai swordsmanship and Zen Kyo Shin Taijutsu - the secret fighting art of the ninja - told the pupils he went Japan to research his books, and based some characters on the people he had met during his travels.

He told the children: 'Everything in my books is based on truth so that you, the reader, can feel like the hero or heroine. You can read these books and go to your local martial arts club and learn how to fight like Jack.'

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Harriot Ward, acting head of English, said the children enjoyed the presentation, which included some plucky pupils going on stage to help Mr Bradford with his demonstrations, and hoped it would give them an enthusiasm for reading.

'They were entranced by his sword skills. Hopefully it will develop their love of reading, it's a different way into it which is really important,' she added. 'The more ways you can get children interested the better.'

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Charity Sadler, 11, a member of the Academy's reading club, really enjoyed the sword demonstrations.

'They were fantastic,' she added. 'The talk was actually really interesting and not just your normal talk like teachers do.'

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