ICSSPE interview with Prof. Dr. Gilberto Gaertner, Chairman of the ITKF

A Conversation with Prof. Dr. Gilberto Gaertner, Chairman of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF)

07/03/2024 12:10

I had the pleasure of leading the conversation as Daniel Gildner, Membership Manager at ICSSPE, conducted an interview with Prof. Dr. Gilberto Gaertner, Chairman of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF)


Introduction and Overview

Prof. Dr. Gilberto Gaertner, a veteran in the world of karate with 55 years of experience, serves as the Chairman of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF). With a rich academic background spanning psychology, neurosciences, and production engineering, his expertise extends to sports psychology, where he applies his knowledge both academically and in direct consultation with athletes, clubs, and national teams.

Established by the legendary Hidetaka Nishiyama, ITKF stands as a bastion for preserving the ethical-philosophical essence and technical foundations of traditional karate amidst a landscape increasingly focused on competitive aspects. Master Nishiyama’s pioneering work not only emphasized the traditional techniques but also integrated insights from sports science, collaborating with experts in kinesiology and biomechanics to deepen the understanding of karate’s intricacies.
Core Values and Principles
At the heart of ITKF lie values that transcend mere physical practice, emphasizing the holistic development of individuals encompassing physical health, mental well-being, cognition, and human values. Guided by these principles, ITKF’s decision-making processes are meticulously crafted by its technical committee, board of directors, and general assembly.
Key Initiatives and Projects
Currently, ITKF is engaged in several impactful initiatives, including the implementation of a new graduation exam program, revision of competition rule books, expansion of environmental education through the Green Belt project, certification of socio-educational programs, and the launch of the International Instructor Training Course from Traditional Karate University (ITKF-TKU).
Aims and Vision
ITKF’s mission revolves around preserving Master Nishiyama’s principles, bolstered by insights from sports and neurosciences. Looking ahead, the organization aspires to set a global benchmark in delivering effective and high-quality karate education focused on health, education, and human development, epitomized by its motto, “Traditional Karate for Life.”
Unique Differentiators
What sets ITKF apart is its unwavering commitment to karate as a holistic practice, prioritizing self-defense, human development, and well-being from a systemic perspective. The organization champions a karate that transcends the dojo, offering practical applications for daily life—an ethos encapsulated in its mantra, “Karate for Life.”
Collaboration Opportunities
ITKF recognizes the immense value of collaboration within the global sports community, particularly in leveraging insights from sports sciences. Partnerships with esteemed organizations such as ICSSPE promise to enrich ITKF’s endeavors, ensuring the continuous enhancement of traditional karate through cutting-edge research and information.
Expectations from ICSSPE
As a new member of ICSSPE, ITKF looks forward to leveraging the platform’s expertise and resources to advance its goals. The establishment of Traditional Karate University (ITKF-TKU) underscores ITKF’s commitment to instructor training, socio-educational projects, and international research, with the expectation of receiving support and collaboration from ICSSPE and its affiliates.
Leveraging ICSSPE’s Resources
ITKF eagerly anticipates engaging with ICSSPE’s global network, fostering exchanges with institutions worldwide, and tapping into ICSSPE’s support in sports sciences and interdisciplinary collaboration. Such partnerships will fortify ITKF’s scientific foundation and contribute to the enrichment of traditional karate on a global scale.
Contribution to Global Physical Education
Through its alignment with sports sciences and neurosciences, ITKF has been instrumental in promoting these disciplines worldwide. By integrating sports sciences into its curriculum and conferences, ITKF not only enhances its own modality but also contributes to the broader goals of advancing physical education and sport science globally.
In closing, Prof. Dr. Gilberto Gaertner extends ITKF’s gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with ICSSPE and its members. With a steadfast commitment to scientific rigor, ITKF aims to elevate the standards of traditional karate instruction, enriching the lives of its practitioners and contributing to a more peaceful and egalitarian world. Through partnerships and exchanges facilitated by ICSSPE, ITKF looks forward to realizing this vision and making a lasting impact on the global sports community.