Black Belt Karate expert encourages St John’s Year 8 to banish their inner ninjas!
Karate Black Belt Nick Forgham believes that many life lessons can be learned from karate and he visited St. John’s on Tuesday 27 November to introduce this powerful discipline to a group of Year 8 boys through an inspirational workshop.
Nick, a 4th Dan Black Belt has been training in Shotokan Karate since 1987 and has written a book about this called “Black Belt Thinking”. The book identifies fifty nine strategies for success in life and business and the workshop opened the eyes of the Year 8's to something quite different to what they would normally experience on a school day.
As well as teaching at his club in Reading, Nick runs workshops for schools and businesses to introduce people to black belt thinking. Nick believes, “There is a black belt inside everyone of us, who is calm in a crisis, who knows who they are, and who is comfortable with others because they know and understand themselves.”
“Black Belts have a different way of thinking,” Nick told Year 8. “And if you want to you can choose to think that way too. When we talk to ourselves we can talk positive stuff but occasionally negative words like ninjas creep in. Ninjas are limiting beliefs such as ‘I can’t do that, everyone is better than me’. Get rid of the ninjas and take the ‘t’ out of can’t.”
According to Nick, Black Belts focus on small steps and things that they can control in their lives in order to make progress towards a goal. "You need to be motivated but not just focus on the end result", and “What you change today is what matters,” says Nick.
The Year 8 students were asked to identify what their strengths are, and to complete the sentence, ‘I am best…’ Two mantras were given to the students : “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up.” And, “If I fall down seven times, I’ll get up eight.”
Nick also introduced the importance of Zanshin (awareness) and gave examples as to how to apply this to their lives. Zanshin encourages you to be alert to dangers before they become critical and to identify opportunities before others.
The workshop ended with some impressive karate board breaking. Each Year 8 wrote something they wanted to achieve on one side of a board and then what was stopping them achieve it on the other side of the board.
After being taught the karate move to break the board they smashed their way through the boards!
Nick told the students, “You can decide right now and if you are totally committed you will get there. You will never ever give up. You will never fail. ”