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Our History

WKMO (World Karate Martial Arts Organization) was founded on 22 June 2019 and it was born following the dissolution of the WUKO & AD.

The history of WUKO (World Union of Karate-do Organizations) began in 1970 when Mr. Ryoichi Sasakawa and Mr. Jacques Delcourt decided to found the first global karate organization.

In the year 1990 WUKO should have merged with ITKF, the International Traditional Karate Federation, in order to obtain the acknowledgment of IOC, the International Olympic Committee. Following a series of events, this fusion failed to materialize resulting in the IOC only acknowledging WUKO, on a condition that the name “WUKO” would be abandoned. Hence from the ashes of WUKO, the WKF (World Karate Federation) was created and went on to become the only organization in the world recognized by the IOC as being responsible for karate competitions in the Olympic Games.

In 2005 Mr. Carlo Henke, having verified the availability of the name “WUKO”, which had been abandoned for almost fifteen years, decided to recreate the organization. He changed the original WUKO logo and proceeded with its new registration. The aims of these organizations (WUKO & WKF) are as different as they were in the past; the WKF aims to enter the Olympic Games and acknowledges just one organization per nation whereas the new WUKO would “just” be happy with the promotion and development of karate internationally by acknowledging more than one organization per nation, if only to give everyone the opportunity to compare ideas and practices.

Shortly after the re-founding of WUKO, the WKF filed a legal proceeding decided for the cancellation of the brand WUKO, the case which was won by WUKO in the first instance based on the fact that Carlo Henke, whom the brand was linked to, had been part of the old WUKO.

In 2009 WUKO changed its name from the World Union of Karate-do Organizations into the World United Karate Organization and the brand was registered by another person. In this new brand, there are no words or names in conflict with any other specific brand.

In 2010 WKF decided to contest the WUKO brand once again. This time the judgment and the analysis of OHIM, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, were in favor of WUKO which won the first session at the court of Alicante, Spain. The opposition was rejected and the brand registered. Nevertheless, WKF decided to come forth with a new cancellation request, which eventually resulted in a new verdict in their favor overturning the previous one. This was just based on the fact that the acronym, though not appearing on the logo, was the same as that of 1970.

However, the WUKO leadership has acknowledged the verdict of the Court of Alicante and considered the appeal with no certainty of the outcome to be too costly. Therefore the board of directors has come to a conclusion that the money can be used more productively and in the interest of the WUKO affiliates. To this end, the name once again changed and it is the WUKO & AD, the World United Karate Organization & Associated Disciplines. Now the logo is different, the name is different, the owner is different and even the acronym is different.

But WKF is not yet satisfied with this and proceeds with opposition once again. The WUKO & AD Directing Committee decided to defend themselves when necessary but without having the intention to waste their time and financial means on unnecessary court battles. So, even before the last court decision, it was decided to dissolve the WUKO and to found the WKMO.


                2005                                  2009                                  2014                                 2019



It is not an acronym that determines the value of a group. But the opposite.

A name can be taken, but the dignity and the pride in an amazing group will never be compromised. WKMO will continue to work hard for the development and promotion of karate globally and that promote education, loyalty, and unity worldwide.

WKMO will include, in the world, all martial arts practiced in every style. The new association will be the place for all those who recognize the absolute right of human beings to practice, grow, help, protect and compete. WKMO  will commit itself, through a modern education aimed at an approach based on effectiveness, to conserve, pass on and increase the traditional values of martial arts.

WKMO will act in full respect of the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, a foundation of international human rights law. The UDHR will be the guideline of WKMO to propose and apply a universal educational and technical address in line with the needs of modern man and with the respect and protection of every individual.

All martial arts are an exceptional self-defense tool and a modern sport. The martial arts are based on ancient wisdom and, therefore, contain profound ethical and moral messages that WKMO wants to pass on.

WKMO has been established with the aim of bringing together, with equal dignity, all the organizations that recognize the values above and want to be part of a larger and more united family.

This new and big project requires a structured organization that will be made up of various world and continental commissions that will interface with the national federations.

WKMO is now focusing on the World Cups, Continental and World Championship, Technical Seminars, Referee Courses and so on.

This is a moment of change! Let's take the first step towards a new exciting story that we will build together.

“Be strong to be useful!”

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