Why are we different?
WAKO started its activity in Europe in 1976 . The founder was Mr. Georg Bruckner from Berlin, who promoted the first ever World Championships in semi and full contact karate (as it was called in those days) back in 1978 with 110 competitors representing 18 countries. WAKO immediately created the rules and regulations for the new fighting sports and acted , since the very beginning, as the authentic Kickboxing Federation in the world. In our Championships, only national teams are accepted. Each member country can present only 1 competitor in each weight class, the best, "la creme de la creme ". Our World Championships are NOT open competitions where everybody can try, spending a few dollars, to become "World Champ" like they do almost every week-end in USA.
Each competitor has gone through a long selection in his country before competing in WAKO tournaments and normally he is the national champ of his weight class in that particular kickboxing style. (WAKO offers 7 different styles: semi contact, light contact, kick-light, full contact, low-kick, K1 Rules, and musical forms: 4 styles are on tatami or mats, 3 in the ring ). Therefore WAKO guarantees the best possible kickboxing fights and its gold medallists are true champions. Today WAKO can count on 118 affiliated nations in the 5 continents, and in the greatest majority of cases, WAKO unites the strongest and best national kickboxing organisations.WAKO has today 85 affiliated national federations which are officially recognized by either their National Olympic Committees or by their Highest Government Sport Authorities.
Today WAKO counts on a market of kickboxers estimated to be around 3.000,000 participants and no less than 25,000 clubs around the globe. We promote , nationally and internationally, more than 1,000 amateur events a year . These figures speak for themselves. Now officially recognised by GAISF and by OCA, WAKO is growing steadily all over the world promoting regularly continental and world championships and organises "open" events that spread the word about our movement, attracting thousands of spectators to sports-arenas.
In 2007 WAKO participated in the African Games , held in Algiers (Algeria) in July for the first time and in the 2nd ASIAN INDOOR GAMES held in Macau (China) in October. It happened the same in Bangkok (Thailand) and then in Ho Chi Min City (Vietnam) in 2009.
WAKO, being a member of SPORTACCORD ( former GAISF) , together with other IFs, have contributed to create the WORLD COMBAT GAMES, an event which gathered the élites of the Martial Arts and Fighting Sport Federations in Beijing in 2010 , an umbrella organization stressing excellency in our sports.
The second edition of the WORLD COMBAT GAMES will be held in St.Petersburg (Russia) in October 2013.
Our strength lies precisely both in our numbers and quality.
If you are a young national kickboxing organization, if you look for guidance and support,contact us and join us : we are different, as you will find out for yourself.