History of Kickboxing

Modern Kickboxing as we know it today, began in 1974 with the formation of full-contact Karate. This came about with a need for greater physical contact from the more traditional style of Karate.

A year later, WAKO was formed - World All-Style Karate Organization - and was promoted throughout the world. In 1976, Germany hosted the first European Kickboxing Championships.

1978 saw the first World Championships with 18 countries competing. Full-contact Karate or Kickboxing was beginning to spread globally and had become an international sport. It was at this time that WAKO changed its name to World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, and is now the leading amateur kickboxing organisation.

Kickboxing has gained hugely in popularity all over the world and has become both an internationally recognised sport and martial arts discipline. Students from many traditional forms of martial arts eg Karate, Taekwon-Do and Muay Thai are able to take part in WAKO kickboxing competitions through the disciplines of semi-contact, light contact, kick-light and musical forms in tatami (mat), and full-contact, low-kick and K1 in the ring.

Today, WAKO Kickboxing is promoted globally across 130 countries throughout Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. There is estimated to be in excess some 3,000,000 participants.

WAKO is officially recognised by GAISF (General Assembly of International Sports Federation ) and OCA (Olympic Council of Asia), which in turn are both recognised by the IOC. In 2010 along with other  international martial arts federations, the Martial Arts Games was created - an event which brings together the elites of the Martial Arts and Fighting Sports Federations which is an umbrella organisation stressing excellence across all martial arts. Sportaccord Combat Games, as it is known, takes place every 4 years and is under the patronage of the IOC.