The origin of IKF Global


Sensei Eric Bortels has provided karate training at BuSO KIDS in Hasselt, a special school catering to children with behavioral problems.



Sensei Eric Bortels has initiated a close collaboration with Bethanië Hasselt. Thanks to the support of the Province of Limburg (Belgium), Eric now oversees all I-sports days. At regular intervals, Sensei Eric Bortels is invited to conduct sessions in various institutions, day care centers, etc. This includes working with individuals with Down syndrome, mental retardation, wheelchair users, and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).



Eric initiated a collaboration with Peter Quanten, Jurgen Evens and Dr. Ilse Rayen, a developmental pediatrician and autism specialist, leading to the establishment of G-Karate Limburg ( In March 2012, Eric commenced working with his own small group of children with ASD aged between 8 and 11 years.



Thanks to JKS Belgium, G-Karate Limburg has transformed into G-Karate Vlaanderen, becoming the primary organization for I-Karate in the Flanders region.



Sensei Eric Bortels received a call from Japan to establish a global organization to promote I-Karate. Alongside volunteers from the world of karate, the medical field, and the business sector, IKF (Inclusive Karate Federation) was founded.



An Erasmus+ Sport project, IKONS, was launched by the University of Rome and awarded to I-Karate Global. This project involves the application of Eric's methodology to individuals with Down Syndrome. Five enthusiastic pilot countries are participating: Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Austria. Two coaches per country have commenced teaching two training sessions every week to 12-15 students. A strict schedule, personally devised, mandates 80 training sessions over a whole year. The project spans three years and conducts scientific research on the effects and applicability of karate for individuals with intellectual impairments.