ITKF opens headquarters in Brazil to leverage global expansion

Headquarters in Brazil should strengthen the entity and boost the expansion projected for this decade


To strengthen its operational infrastructure, International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) inaugurated this Friday (October 7) its headquarters in Brazil, as part of the actions to leverage its expansion at a global level projected for this decade.

Antônio Sérgio Palu Filho, Leonardo Neves, Rui Marçal, Carlos Negrão Huy, Gilberto Gaertner, Sadiomar Santos, Antônio Walger and Luiz Alberto Kuster © Global Sports

The event brought together the main members of ITKF board residing in the country, including Gilberto Gaertner, chairman; Sadiomar Santos, general director; Luiz Alberto Kuster, general secretary; Rui Marçal, treasurer; Antônio Sérgio Palu Filho, legal advisor; Leonardo Neves, communications advisor; Rafael Gustavo Gaertner, innovation advisor; Karla Simas, advisor to the health department; and Carlos Negrão Huy, administrative advisor.

Officers watch the opening ribbon cutting © Global Sports

Gilberto Gaertner emphasized that, from an institutional point of view, the symbolic value of the new headquarters is immeasurable.

“It is with great satisfaction and pride that we inaugurate ITKF headquarters in Brazil. Our institution will now have a better and more suitable space so that we can work efficiently and cope with the growing administrative demands, resulting from the global expansion we are experiencing in this post-pandemic moment”, said the leader.

In his statement Gaertner said that the symbolic value of the new headquarters is very important for ITKF © Global Sports

“The symbolic value of this headquarters is very important institutionally, since through it we effectively put our roots in the ground. When the roots are solid, we can better face adversity to grow safely. This is yet another step taken on the path to restructuring, modernizing and strengthening our institution in the global sphere.”

Directors make a toast after the opening ribbon is cut © Global Sports

The new ITKF headquarters is located at Rua Desembargador Motta, 3231, in Curitiba (PR), in the same building that houses other non-profit sports federations in Paraná.

“This is another step taken on the way to restructuring, modernization and strengthening of our institution on a global scale.”

Gaertner thanked everyone who worked and contributed to the realization of the new ITKF headquarters. “We appreciate the commitment and total trust that all of the more than 60 member countries have placed in our management. The ITKF locomotive will move forward with unwavering strength and determination in order to preserve and project traditional ITKF karate for future generations of practitioners.”

Directors and guests at the meeting © Global Sports

The ITKF chairman expressed that the new headquarters of the international federation is a simple but symbolic space, very important. “Today we have a location, a floor, and I think this is a very important point, now we have our GPS activated, we are stabilized. And this fact, for us, symbolically, is very strong. ITKF has gone through several instabilities, but it is an institution founded in 1975, and has a history that was bequeathed to us by Shihan Hidetaka Nishiyama, the creator and mentor of our institution. He worked hard to develop it and endow it with all the world expression that today is based on the four continents.

Ricardo Buzzi, Marcelo Azevedo, Gilberto Gaertner and Jean Eduardo Oliveira © Global Sports

At the meeting, Luiz Alberto Kuster, general secretary of ITKF, emphasized that International  Traditional Karate Federation is the soul of professor Nishiyama. “This organization represents his life and work for the development of traditional karate. Those who do not know the history of world karate do not know that in the mid-1980s, when it was first tried to unify karate globally (general karate and traditional karate) to make it an Olympic sport, professor Nishiyama was in the process at front of ITKF. But at a given moment he realized that for that, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wanted to impose rules and with that change basic principles of traditional karate. But he would only agree to participate in the Olympic project if it was to improve traditional karate, without altering its essence. Traditional karate then chose to continue its trajectory independent of the IOC, but keeping its technical and ethical philosophical principles intact.”

Antônio Sérgio Palu Filho, Gilberto Gaertner and Luiz Alberto Kuster © Global Sports

The general secretary reiterated that “unfortunately, after the death of professor Nishiyama, this soul was weakened, until the world championship held in Curitiba in 2019 brought a new breath. It was an important moment, when all the affiliated countries got together and professor Gilberto Gaertner, led the rescue of the institution. The ITKF is now present in more than 60 countries that believe in the essence of traditional karate”

Luiz Alberto Kuster, Gilberto Gaertner, Giordana de Sousa and Sadiomar Santos © Global Sports

“Until 2018, we were without a consolidated statute and weakened at an administrative, legal and financial level. In these last three years, even with the pandemic, our institution has been restructured, modernized and fully legalized. I think that the opening of this headquarters summarizes the work of legalizing the institution, which must have made professor Nishiyama smile. His soul, which very well represents our institution, today has a lot of the soul of professor Gilberto, you can be sure of that.”

Gilberto Gaertner and Antônio Carlos Walger © Global Sports

In commemoration of the 96th anniversary of the birth of Master Nishiyama, a large poster with his image was also inaugurated at the new ITKF headquarters.

Among those present at the inauguration ceremony were also present Antônio Carlos Walger, president of the Pan-American Federation of Traditional Karate; Jean Eduardo Oliveira, president of the Traditional Karate-Do Federation of Paraná; Luciane Piovezan, president of the Association of Sports Federations of the State of Paraná; José Nunes and Cassemiro Guinski, representatives of Paraná Sports; Diogo Tonet, Sports Director of Campina Grande do Sul; José Luiz Casela, representative of the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná; Marcelo Azevedo, ITKF designer; Ricardo Buzzi, world champion and coach of the Brazilian team; Nelson Santi, vice world champion and technical coordinator of the Brazilian team; Giordana de Sousa, world champion and coordinator of the ITKF women’s committee; Josué Votroba and Eduardo Votroba, from Escrisul Accounting; Carlos Ramos and Jackson Lima, ITKF associate auditors; Muriel Heloisa Gaertner, Francisco Martins, Pablo Gaertner, Luciana Artigas and Carlos Henrique Simas, members of the ITKF event organizing committee; and Raphael Sfreddo, representative of the English company Rezzil.

Gilberto Gaertner and José Luiz Casela © Global Sports

Gilberto Gaertner and Luciane Piovezan © Global Sports

Josué Votroba, Gilberto Gaertner and Eduardo Votroba © Global Sports

Nelson Santi, Gilberto Gaertner and Diogo Tonet © Global Sports

Gilberto Gaertner, chairman da ITKF and Marcelo Azevedo, designer da ITKF © Global Sports

ITKF chairman in front of the image of shihan Hidetaka Nishiyama, founder of the entity © Global Sports