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  Martin A. Dege

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Interwiev with Lithuanian karate Kyokushin World master Donatas Imbras

\'Donatas NGO "Culture Artfact" presents educational-social project

(please look at the photo gallery on 23 of March, 2007)

"Easy way is not my way!"

An interview with DONATAS IMBRAS, the President of Kyokushin Karate club ‘Budora’
March 28, 2007, Vilnius

\'\' At the end of March 2007, in the gym of the Panevėžys Principal School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, young people, and proponents of an active lifestyle were introduced to an unconventional and breath-taking event, a social-educational project ‘I’d like to be like them...’. The project included conversations about values, endurance, will, development of spiritual and physical strength, and the union of sports and music in everyday life. Multiple Lithuanian and European title holder Donatas Imbras was interviewed by Ms. Odeta Abromavičiūtė, author of the project and Director of the Public Enterprise, NGO "Culture Artfact".

Dear Donatas, what does kyokushin karate mean to you?
It is the way of life I chose when I was living in Naujoji Akmenė after I tried all types of sports activitiese. Long and sustained daily workouts brought many international championships. According to the Japanese hierarchy, you have to prove your level of mastery in Oriental martial arts at certification exams, after which you are granted a respective belt. This is a very long road to perfection that consists of 10 steps towards becoming disciple and a teacher. Having passed the first 10 belt-exams, you become a teacher and get the right to start working with your followers. I am glad to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to young people that attend training sessions at the ‘Budora’karate club.

How long does it take to attain results?
According to Oriental philosophy, it takes 90 years to comprehend the essence of the path you have chosen and another 90 years to pass your knowledge on to others.

Do you already have any distinguished disciples among young people you train?
My experience of several years shows that motivated young people who do not become afraid of the first painful defeats and try to achieve their goals with courage are doing quite well. Therefore, today it is difficult to say, since we’ll see the harvest of their work in 10 years or so.

Does everybody find a place for exercise in your club? Do you have any expansion plans or are you looking for other premises?
The real karate school or the Japanese Dojo is a space, where everyone can find a place to exercise, meditate and live. Today, ‘Budora’ is still a young club that has to rent space for exercising. In the future, we expect to make arrangements in accordance with all of the requirements of the karate philosophy.

Why have you agreed to take part in the project ‘I’d like to be like them...’?
Because I like the idea of your project. It is very close to me. I feel pleasure when I communicate with young people, and if some followers and spiritual fighters emerge as a result of the project, everyone will benefit . There cannot be too much goodness.

What is your impression of the program, when you witness the reaction of children with hearing disabilities, when silence prevails and you see their expressions of gratitude in sign language?

It was a pleasure to meet the children with hearing disabilities. As soon as I entered the school, I noticed inquisitive, scampish and silent glances of children and their polite greeting in sign language. The performance of the program went on naturally, without any peculiarities. The performance of the program went on naturally, without any peculiarities. I caught interested glances, and all of us returned to reality only at the end of the program, when children were asking questions aided by interpreters.

What would you like to wish the disabled young people?
I wouldn’t like to emphasize the fact of disability, since it is only a physical issue. The spirit is the most important. There are plenty of examples in the world, which go against the prevailing stereotypes, as people with disabilities have smoothly integrated into society through their will, spiritual strength and faith. One of the best examples is an Asian karate master who lost his leg. He works, teaches and leads his life in a normal rhythm.

Are there any handicapped karatekas among your colleagues?
I don’t know of any so far, but I would welcome them in my club if they would wish to join..

What do you do in your free time and what are your hobbies?
I hardly have any free time, but when I do, I usually take a rest, read books, or visit my parents. Sometimes I attend concerts or other events, when suddenly invited by my friends.

On April 20-21 the European Kyokushin Karate Championship will be organised for the first time in Vilnius. Will you take part in it?
I am truly honoured to take part in such an event, since the best of the best participate. I am very happy that this time the contests will take place in Vilnius, and I believe that the home court and a local audience will ‘turn on’ feisty spirits when defending the name and honour of their country.

Would you like this to become an Olympic sport?

Yes, I would, and I hope this will happen for the benefit of the next generation. This could contribute to the promotion of kyokushin karate.

What is your credo?
‘The easy way is not our way!’

Thank you very much for your time, thoughts and impressions.  OSU.

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