People who do not know Gabija Gudeliauskaitė would be surprised to get to know that she is a Kyokushin Karate fighter with the rank of 3rd dan and the World Vice-Champion. Although Gabija has already completed her professional career as an athlete, karate is still an important part of her life. G. Gudeliauskaitė graduated from Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sports Coaching, and now she shares her experience and knowledge with the children of the karate club “Rifas”.
How did Gabija become a Kyokushin Karate fighter? “My parents thought girls needed to be able to defend themselves, so they took me to a karate club when I was a schoolgirl. I did great, and I really enjoyed this martial art. When I was in second grade, the teacher asked the children what they wanted to be when they grow up. I replied that I wanted to be a karate coach. She laughed and said that my wishes and choices would change a hundred times in my life,” said Gabija.
However, the desires did not change. After finishing secondary school, G. Gudeliauskaitė entered LSU to study sports coaching. Studies at the university provided knowledge and developed the awareness that new goals must be set after each victory. Gabija realized that karate was not what we see in movies. Kyokushin Karate is a martial art, so moral values are as important as techniques, endurance, and physical fitness. No wonder the Japanese word “kyokushin” means “community of absolute truth”.
“Kyokushin Karate is a sports discipline based on deep traditions, Eastern philosophy and moral values. The best karate masters are self-demanding, patient, honest with themselves and others and perfectionists. In my opinion, these qualities are of great importance if you want to become the winner,” says Gabija.
When training children, G. Gudeliauskaitė pays a lot of attention to technique, necessary qualities and endurance. Moreover, she encourages children to choose a healthy and active lifestyle. “I think every coach wants to train a champion – I am no exception, but I will definitely be happier if my athletes choose a healthy and active lifestyle. My goal is to make children love sport and movement and develop moral values,” said Gabija. In addition to children’s training and personal exercises, she successfully participates in the Junior Officer Command Training and is trying to become a fakir.