Views #21 | Intermediate 5

Martial Arts

Victor talks about his style of martial arts and where he is training.

Todd: Hey Victor, I hear you're going home tomorrow.

Victor: Yes, I am.

Todd: Ah, that's too bad. So how long have you been here?

Victor: I've been here for two weeks.

Todd: I'm sorry, I was never sure. Why did you come to Japan?

Victor: Came to Japan to study martial arts. Budo Ju Jitsu is the art that we study.

Todd: Oh! OK, cool. So are like a black belt?

Victor: Yes, yes!

Todd: Oh, really? Wow, how long have you been doing your martial arts?

Victor: I've been studying this art for about 18 years I guess.

Todd: Really?

Victor: A long time.

Todd: That's a long time. You're a young looking guy. You like 18 years.

Victor: Well, I'm an old guy.

Todd: Well, so when you go back to the States you also train

Victor: Yes, yes! We have a group that we train in martial arts there as sort of a hobby. In a way, it's a sort of a way of life also. But I have a real job. I'm a civil engineer.

Todd: So, actually what does a civil engineer do?

Victor: In America, a civil engineer designs things. In my case, I work on buildings, buildings that have structural problems and I work on repair plans.

Todd: OK. Sounds like a tough job.

Victor: It's OK. It's interesting. All buildings need repairs and it's fun.

Todd: Great. Thanks a lot, Victor. Have a safe trip tomorrow.

Victor: Well, thank you very much.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

too bad

I hear you're going home? That's too bad.

We use the phrase 'too bad' when we are sad to hear information about another person.  Notice the following:

  1. It's really too bad that she couldn't come tonight.
  2. That's too bad that they broke up.

black belt

Are you a black belt?

A 'black belt' is the highest level in karate and some other martial arts.  To show that a student has achieved this level they he wears a black belt around his waist.  Notice the following:

  1. Did you know he was a black belt before you fought him?
  2. I hope to get my black belt one day.

way of life

Martial arts is not just a hobby; it's also a way of life.

If something is 'a way of life' it determines how you live, like what you eat, how long you sleep, everything about your life.  Notice the following:

  1. For professional athletes their job is also their way of life.
  2. Yoga has really turned into a way of life for her.

real job

I also have a real job; I'm an engineer.

We use the term 'real job' to refer to the one that gives us money to live.  This is in contrast to something that we do more or less for fun, or as something temporary or low-paid.  Notice the following:

  1. After I graduate this summer I am going to look for a real job.
  2. For my real job I work as a secretary.

in my case or work on

In my case, I work on repair plans for buildings.

The phrase 'in my case' is used to explain what the situation is like for us personally.  What we 'work on' is a project that we put time and effort into, this can be for pay or for fun.  Notice the following:

  1. In my case, I have many friends in other countries.
  2. I need to work on my speaking skills before I go to England.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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034 Writing
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033 Road Trip
33 Road Trip
Tim talks about his road trips.

032 High school
32 High School
Kerys talks about her rough school days.

031 Martial Arts
31 Martial Arts
Victor talks about his maritial art.

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
too bad • black belt • way of life
real job • my case • work on
  1. He needs to change his if he ever wants to be successful.
  2. In , I have never tried martial arts.
  3. It's that you didn't win the tournament.
  4. Improvement in English is something you have to .
  5. How many years did you study to be a ?
  6. I am looking for a right now.