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Last updated at 13:19 BST, Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Swimming samurai


Report and vocabulary


Keeping the tradition afloat... This is swimming samurai-style.

Mutsuo Koga shows off his skills in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

But once he's in the pool, it's sink or swim. The armour weighs 15 kilos.

The feared warriors developed this form of swimming around the 15th century. They had to brave waves and currents.

Nowadays, the most difficult part seems to be getting out of the pool.


stay above the water

shows off


sink or swim

fail or succeed


fighters, soldiers

to brave

to deal with a difficult situation


Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from BBC news reports.
Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

afloat/ shows off/ sink or swim/ warriors/ to brave

1. The Persians called the nomads Saka and regarded them as fearless _______.

2. From the defeated nation of World War II to an economic power: it was a great leap forward that Japan _________ to the world when it last hosted the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 1964.

3. "The more senior parliamentarians will always be helpful but this is an environment where frankly you _________. No one hands anything on a plate to you."

4. Tens of thousands of India's landless poor are marching from Gwalior city, in Madhya Pradesh, to the capital, Delhi, ________ intense heat, surviving on one meal a day and sleeping on the roadside at night, demanding their right to land.

5. The tragedy on 23 October 1943 during Operation Tunnel, which aimed to intercept a German convoy in the Bay of St Malo, was due to errors made ashore and ________.


To take away:



How did you do?




showed off


sink or swim