English Listenign Lesson Lab Online
Views #42 | Low Intermediate 4

Tough Guy

Nobu is an expert in maritial arts. He talks about the art he specializes in.
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Ann: Hey, Nobu! I've heard that you practice martial arts.

Can you tell me about K1?

Nobu: Yes. Well actually, what I practice is a type of martial arts called mixed martial arts. No holds barred! Mixed martial arts is a mixture of everything, kick boxing, boxing wrestling, submission fighting, so on and so on.

Ann: What are you best at? What do you like practicing?

Nobu: I am very good at grappling. Grappling is the type of sports that you kill your opponent's joint and choke him out or anything like that.

Ann: Do you use your hands or your feet a lot?

Nobu: Hands, feet, legs, every part of your body.

Ann: Biting?

Nobu: No biting. No biting, no fish-hooking, no groin striking.

Ann: What is the fish-hook?

Nobu: The fish-hook is a kind of illegal movement that you use two fingers. Point finger and middle finger hooking your nose or eyes. Like that!

Ann: Sounds dangerous.

Nobu: Yes!

Ann: Do you ever compete?

Nobu: Yes, I compete a lot. Actually, I was a champion back in the States.

Ann: In the States?

Nobu: Yes.

Ann: What kind of champion were you?

Nobu: Grappling champion.

Ann: Grappling champion. What did you win?

Nobu: Well, I entered this grappling tournament called Western Grappling Tournament. I won first place in 185 division, 185 pound division.

Ann: All right, that's great! Thanks a lot for that.

Nobu: Thank you.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

mixed martial arts

What I practice is a type of martial arts called mixed martial arts.

'Mixed martial arts' is a combination of many different types of martial arts like boxing, kick boxing and wrestling.  You can use many methods to defeat your opponent.  Notice the following:

  1. He has recently become interested in mixed martial arts.
  2. Have you ever tried mixed martial arts?

no holds barred

There are no holds barred in mixed martial arts.

If something is 'no holds barred' that means there is no holding back, almost anything is acceptable.  Notice the following:

  1. She has a no holds barred approach to life.
  2. He went for the job, no holds barred.

kill the joints

Grappling is the type of sports where you kill your opponent's joint.

To 'kill someone's joints' it to hit them in such a way in their joints, such as the knee, shoulder or ankle, that they don't function properly or collapse.  Notice the following:

  1. A well placed hit can kill the joints of even the biggest person.
  2. He uses quick kicks to kill his opponent's joints.

choke out

In grappling, you also try to choke your opponent out.

If you 'choke' someone you restrict his airway so he can't breathe.  Notice the following:

  1. It was really scary being choked out like that.
  2. He put his arm around his opponent's neck and choked him out.


Fish-hooking is an illegal movement in grappling.

'Fish-hooking' someone is to use your first two fingers like a hook to dig at your opponents eyes, nose or mouth.  Notice the following:

  1. Getting fish-hooked in the eye really hurts.
  2. The losing wrestler fish-hooked his opponent and was disqualified.

Vocabulary Quiz

martial arts • no holds • the joints
choke out • fish-hook
  1. He killed of his opponent within the first ten minutes.
  2. He is a barred type of athlete.
  3. A in the nose or eye is very dangerous.
  4. He is competing in a mixed tournament this weekend.
  5. She had her opponent in a perfect position for a .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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