ITKF Global joins TAFISA and consolidates another important international partnership

By joining the Association for International Sports for All (TAFISA), ITKF expands its partnerships and increases its institutional credibility.


ITKF was admitted as a member of TAFISA at the institution’s 28th World Congress held in Dusseldorf, Germany, earlier this month. TAFISA, which manages sport worldwide, is present in more than 170 countries and has around 380 members. It is a partner institution of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and IAKS, of which ITKF is also an affiliate, among others.

Sensei Sandrine, Wolfgang Baumann and sensei Muchlas © Archive

For Gilberto Gaertner, chairman of ITKF, this membership is a historic milestone for traditional karate, as TAFISA is one of the most respected sports management institutions in the world. “This is a very important step in our journey, an achievement that substantially strengthens the image and institutional credibility of our entity. An achievement that makes our organization better known and respected worldwide.”

TAFISA members at the entity’s 28th World Congress © Archive

At the TAFISA congress, International Traditional Karate Federation was represented by its vice-president, sensei Sandrine Le Corre, from the French federation, accompanied by sensei Muchlas Rowi, from Indonesia. Sensei Sandrine pointed out that TAFISA aims to increase global public awareness about the benefits of practicing sport for everyone and the importance of physical activity and its impacts on health.

“Becoming a member of TAFISA is a great new door opening for ITKF, which will allow us to create events in partnership with educational, health and wellness, environmental and many other programs. When I read TAFISA’s mission statement, I told myself that we shared the same vision and the same values at ITKF”, explained the French leader.

Hayono Isman, member of the Indonesian National Sports Committee, with senseis Sandrine and Muchlas © Archive

“During the general assembly”, she continued, “there was a warm and friendly atmosphere and, after talking to several members, I had no doubt that ITKF should be part of this organization to continue, strengthen and expand the penetration of the work carried out by the sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama.”

Plenary of the 28th TAFISA World Congress © Archive

Sensei Muchlas, president of  Indonesian Traditional Karate Federation, celebrated the important achievement. “I am very happy that ITKF is recognized by a respected international organization like TAFISA. This is a historic moment, which offers us the opportunity to become even more excited to maintain our spirit of unity in maintaining an increasingly better ITKF in the future.”

Wolfgang Baumann, the president of TAFISA, hands over the membership certificate to the representatives of the entities admitted during the World Congress © Archive

TAFISA’s 2023 mission has the motto of Building a Better World through Sport for All and is based on the UN’s global sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“ITKF has common and similar themes and objectives, which consolidates our institutional interest in this excellent partnership”, stated the ITKF chairman. TAFISA President Wolfgang Baumann emphasized the power of Sport for All as a way to bring people together. “It is a very important and necessary path within the global reality we currently live in.”

Sensei Muchlas and Wolfgang Baumann participate in a Table Tennis activity © Archive

Baumann also celebrated the success of the 28th TAFISA World Congress in Dusseldorf. “We brought together participants from more than 70 countries, people from different religious, ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. It was a strong demonstration and a signal to bring back peace and mutual understanding to the world.”

Common goals

To exemplify the proximity of intentions between the institutions, in addition to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), the ITKF chairman cited the guiding objectives of ITKF Global.

“The practice of traditional ITKF karate aims to promote self-defense, the development of physical and mental health, cognitive development, the development of human values and the implementation of a culture of peace, equality and sustainability.”

Sensei Sandrine and the general secretary of TAFISA, Jean-François Laurent © Archive

Professor Ramy Elmekawi, chairman of ITKF Africa, stated that traditional karate, in its central purpose as a martial art and as a sport, has the function of human development within the global community.

“ITKF shares the same core values as TAFISA and has strived to develop and promote this objective on a global scale. ITKF Africa works actively under the leadership of ITKF, and its members look forward to working with TAFISA to create and promote various programs and activities focusing on human development that can be implemented across the African continent.”

Senseis Sandrine and Muchlas display the TAFISA membership certificate © Archive

The chairman of ITKF Asia/Oceania, Ibrahim Albakr, highlighted that becoming a member of TAFISA brings numerous benefits to the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) and its affiliated organizations.

“The global network, collaboration opportunities, increased participation, recognition, access to resources and international events provided by TAFISA empower ITKF to promote and safeguard traditional martial arts. By embracing the benefits of TAFISA membership, ITKF can contribute to the preservation, growth and global appreciation of traditional karate.”

Participants of the 28th TAFISA World Congress gathered at the end of the event © Archive

The general secretary of ITKF Global, Luiz Alberto Kuster, understands that the scope of TAFISA’s institutional proposal – Sport for All – is very much in line with ITKF’s purposes.

“Mainly with the socio-educational projects developed by our institution, which today serve thousands of children and adolescents on several continents, and with our bold proposal for global expansion”, he stated. “We have signed another excellent partnership towards the creation of a global network of exchanges that contribute to the strengthening of traditional ITKF karate.”

Certificate of affiliation of ITKF to TAFISA © Archive