Events held in Vila do Conde, Portugal, are a milestone in the resumption of ITKF’s events on a global level
BY PAULO PINTO
OCTOBER 29, 2021 / CURITIBA – BRAZIL
After a long period of isolation imposed by the pandemic across the globe, the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) has resumed its activities in Europe. For being one of the countries with better control of the pandemic nowadays, Portugal was the country chosen to host the first post-pandemic event.
The Master Course 2021 and the European Traditional Karate Cup complied with the safety standards and health protocols established by the European Union and both events received a limited number of participants.
The Master Course gathered 70 instructors from all over the European continent, thus filling all available slots. The course was taught by the members of ITKF’s Technical Committee, senseis Eligio Contarelli (Italy), Justo Gomez (Argentina) and Gilberto Gaertner (Brazil). The meeting also counted on the participation of a special guest, shihan Dino Contarelli, from Italy, coordinator of ITKF’s shihankai.
Theoretical and practical classes regarding technical, physiological, biomechanical, philosophical and refereeing aspects were part of the 2021 Master Course. At the end, the technicians, referees, and examiners were evaluated. The results, according to the members of the Technical Commission, were very positive, resulting in the certification of 25 new technicians and 15 new international referees.
The European Cup also brought together a small number of young and adult athletes from seven countries in the Municipal Sports Pavilion of Vila Chã, aiming to meet the safety protocols. The chairman of ITKF Europe, sensei Roman Pavlovič, and the president of ITKF Portugal, sensei Fernando Silva, also made excellent evaluations of the events.
Roman Pavlovič, chairman of ITKF Europe and vice president of the Slovenian Traditional Karate Federation (SZTK), emphasized the historic importance of the meeting that marked the resumption of ITKF activities in Europe and globally.
“The events held in Portugal mark the beginning of a new era for traditional karate. We believe that we will now be able to resume our calendar and start strong 2022,” said the Slovenian chairman.
Professor Fernando Silva talked about hosting three important events in Vila do Conde. “It was challenging, but we knew that the ITKF needed to take the first step post-pandemic. With the support of several countries in Europe and various sectors of our organization, we were able to resume the activity and project the next steps that will be taken in order to increasingly boost traditional karate,” said the president of ITKF Portugal.
The Master Course and the European Cup were accompanied by the holding of the first ITKF general assembly in hybrid form (in person and virtual). The ITKF chairman, sensei Gilberto Gaertner, evaluated very well the activities that marked the resumption of face-to-face events.
“It’s a very important moment for all of us at the ITKF because, throughout the pandemic, we were very careful with our affiliates. I congratulate the excellent work done by the Portuguese Federation, as well as ITKF Europe, the technical committee and the shihankai. The events were excellent and marked the historical resumption of our institution”, concluded Gaertner.