2018 07 05

Around 400 karate students gathered on the airport’s runway to display their skills. On Saturday afternoon, Palanga Airport’s passengers and guests had an opportunity to observe this unusual event. The runway that normally accommodates plane take off and landing was now hosting Kyokushin karate belt qualification exam. According to the karate masters, holding the exam on the airport’s runway presents an exceptional challenge requiring highest levels of concentration and, of course, awards students with an abundance of good memories and an invaluable experience.

Children and adults practising Kyokushin karate, a Japanese martial art, have taken their exam on the Palanga Airport runway in the past. In 2016, first karate exam of this kind was organised on the premises of the third largest Lithuanian airport. On that occasion, it attracted around 300 karate students who all passed their exam.

“The first attempt at such an event was successful and left the karate community impressed. Therefore, we decided to organise it again this year. Shodan Karate School and its staff are doing a great job raising the popularity of the sport, educating young people, and strengthening their personal and leadership qualities. We are happy to be able to contribute to this process.

Palanga Airport is open to various offers, of course, as long as they go in line with the aviation safety rules,” states CEO of Lithuanian Airports Marius Gelžinis, who holds a blue belt in karate himself.

According to the Head of Shodan Karate School Lukas Kubilius, each exam represents a challenge. When it takes place in the open air with planes taking off and landing in the background and hundreds of the airport’s passengers observing the process, the challenge becomes significantly harder.

“Airport environment requires especially high levels of concentration from the youngest students. For them, it is an excellent opportunity to learn concentration and focus, regardless of any background distractions. This is one of the key rules for successfully mastering this martial art,” believes Lukas Kubilius.

During the unique Kyokushin karate exam that took place on Saturday, students had to showtheir fighting skills and physical capacity, as well as engaging in kata (fight with an imaginary opponent) and kumite (real fight).

About Palanga Airport

Palanga Airport belongs to the Lithuanian airport network that manages three airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga. During 2017, they serviced 5.2 million passengers and 55 thousand flights. During the summer season, 17 airlines organize direct flights in 79 regular directions to 67 cities in 29 countries. Based on data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute to the Lithuania’s GDP by 2.5 percent.


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