History of Kun-Tai-Ko

Kun-Tai-Ko (short form KTK) was founded in Paris by Lucien Victor Ott in 1957, an very high ranked master in different styles of Martial Arts. At this present time he was already a 7.Dan Ju-Jitsu, 7.Dan Karate-Do und 1.Dan Judo

Major Lucien Victor Ott, was a much decorated French Para-Commando Veteran. He was born and brought up within the French Foreign Legion in Algeria. His grandfather was killed in World War 1 in the Dardanelles campaign, while he was serving in the elite Chasseurs d'Afrique.

Lucien's father Victor served in the Spahi (An Algerian cavalryman in the French army) before joining the French Foreign Legion. Victor Ott became a senior NCO in the 1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment! Wounded in the Riff wars, he was invalided out on pension.

Lucien joined the newly formed French Para-Commandos serving in the 2nd Demi-Brigade SAS in Indochina, then with the 8 BCCP under Col Brigeard. He volunteered to parachute into Dien Bien Phu, where he was wounded and captured by the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam). He escaped and joined the GCMA (French predecessors of the Special Forces, that set up the "maquis montagnards" behind "enemy" lines). After the war he transferred to the Deuxieme Bureau (Military Intelligence).


In Marseillaise his friend Jim Alcheik (of the French Secret Service) introduced him to Karate and Aiki Ju Jutsu training of the Yoseikan school under Tetsuki Murikami. After a long period of training Lucien became a great friend of this Japanese Grandmaster. Because of his background in tactical Military- Police and Martial Arts work throughout the years, he decided to develop an very effective Martial Arts system. But not only effectiveness should be inside, no, also lots more for the spirit and the arts. So you can use his created style for relaxation as well as for perfect self defence in danger situation. "The small can be powerful" was the name he chooses! The words he was using was not only Japanese. He used a very old Chinese way to create the style name: KUN-TAI-KO! The Japanese translation would be Jaku-Hai-Kyu. The basic idea was created and the perfect name was found out of the "I Ging" the Book of Changes! He was using the hexagrams No. 2 called Yin (equivalent to Kun - soft) and Hexagram No. 28 DaGuo (to get over something very excessive - with a big force or power).


In 1956 he was tasked with reviewing operational protective methods for French military VIPs. His review found that the methods used internationally in Bodyguarding were ineffective and outmoded. From this was born the Lucien Ott protection method he called 'Defence & Security' ! Lucien Ott founded the International Bodyguard Association as a think-tank for bodyguards and as their Association. Lucien was working against terrorism in Algeria when he was selected by M. Tinet to form a personal bodyguard for President de Gaulle at the height of the OAS crisis. Under the authority of General de Monssabert a group of ex-special forces veterans were formed as "Les Gorilles". When Pompidou succeeded De Gaulle as President 'Les Gorilles' were given the option of being absorbed by the Gendarmerie or leaving.


Constant absence from his family while on duty led to a divorce and separation from his two children Veronique and Didier. Lucien moved to Munich where he tried his hand as a 'Cascador' or stunt man and he established a Cascador school.


Soon, Lucien returned to Bodyguarding celebrities from the world of the cinema. He was in demand from both Military and Law Enforcement as a bodyguard instructor. In the mid-1970s he moved to Bruxelles and established his IBA Acadmey 'Defence & Security' in Rue de l'Etoile in Uccle. There he trained the Royal Belgian Police academy and was known and highly respected throughout Military- Security- Police- and Martial Arts Groups. While Lucien Ott was over in Munich, he started a club in a small apartment in the region around Schwabing. Together with one of his first students he gave all his knowledge to him. His name was Walter Obermayer (later Obermayer took over the name of his wife - Smigielski). The same time he travelled many times to Brannenburg into the Bavarian Alps near Rosenheim. Also there he opened one day in 1974 a Kun-Tai-Ko Dojo. After a bit more than one year he had to leave Germany again, back to Brussels. He left two students, also like travelling. They used each chance to train with Lucien in Brussels and finally became one day Black Belts of Kun-Tai-Ko. The one student in Brannenburg was Mr. Norbert Punzet. They have been responsible for the big growth of KTK in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, USA, Turkey, Spain and many other Countries. Ott was called into the official board of directors of the World Ju-Jutsu Federation with the function of Vice President for Germany and President for Belgium.

Ott's last big project before he died was to take care as the top Security Advisor for the Olympic Games 1992 in Barcelona / Spain. In December 1989, Lucien was diagnosed with terminal cancer and admitted to the Erasmus Institute in Anderlecht where he dies in February 1980. At Lucien Ott's wish, he was succeeded after his death in 1990 by his deputy who is the current Director General tasked with ensuring that the IBA fulfills it's mission in training bodyguards in modern effective techniques. TheBaron Castleshort, the current D.G. was a student and protégé of Lucien Ott's and led IBA training teams to the Baltic Republics, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakstan.Training Teams were dispatched by the current Director General to train UN Forces at Tuzla in Bosnia and elements of the Security Forces of the European Union (EEC).

He became the first outsider to train KGB (Crimea 1991) and started training for bodyguards (Government and Corporate) in Poland (1988) Estonia (1989) Latvia and Lithuania (1990). He pioneered the IBA method in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. To date he has trained bodyguards on 5 continents including 36 countries.

Professor Ott left lots of Martial Arts friend over. He will be an example of the art for them and they will try to fullfill and spread his idea of Kun-Tai-Ko throughout the World.

There are still books, written by Lucien Ott in Martial Arts stores to buy. Lucien we will never forget you!