WAKO was established as "World All Style Karate Organization".
The World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (W.A.K.O or just WAKO) is one the international organizations of kickboxing, and the governing body of Amateur kickboxing sport certified by SportAccord. It is formed of two organizations: WAKO for amateur sports and WAKO PRO for professional sports. Besides holding world championships, W.A.K.O sanctions the champions of kickboxing in six rules.
W.A.K.O started its activities in Europe in 1976 and created the rules and regulations for the new fighting sport and acted, as the Kickboxing Federation of the World. It was founded by American kickboxing promoter Mike Anderson and his friend German kickboxing promotor George Bruckner. Today, W.A.K.O is the largest unified kickboxing organization in the world. In 2006, the International Amateur Kickboxing Sports Association (I.A.K.S.A) and W.A.K.O merged, making it possible for their acceptance by the General Association of International Sports Federations (G.A.I.S.F) as the governing body for the sport of Kickboxing. W.A.K.O offers 8 different styles: semi-contact, light-contact, full-contact, kick-light, low-kick, K1-style, aero-kickboxing and musical forms. Today W.A.K.O can count on 126 affiliated nations in the five continents, with 75 officially recognised by their respective Sports or Olympic Council. W.A.K.O id the only International Federation and governing body of sport of Kickboxing member of Sportaccord. W.A.K.O Asian Continental Division (WAKO ASIA) has been granted from OLYMPIC COULCIL OF ASIA ("OCA" the IOC Asian COntinental Division) as been the body in charge of Kickboxing sport in Asia. Accordignly Kickboxing Sport under WAKO ASIA as a governing body was included in Asian Indoor Games in 2007 and in 2009 in Martial Arts Games promoted by OCA. Kickboxing sport has included as official sport in 2013 Incheon Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games.
W.A.K.O holds a world championships every two years, with youth (18 and under) and adults (18–45) on separate years; only national teams are accepted. Each member country can present only one competitor in each weight class. Competitors are commonly the national champion of their weight class in that particular kickboxing style and many are also officially recognised by their National Olympic Committees or Ministry of Sports.
WAKO kickboxing was one of thirteen combat sports participating in the first Combat Games being held in Beijing, China under the patronage of the IOC and SportAccord. WAKO will again be participating in the World Combat Games, in St. Petersburg Russia in September 2013, under the patronage of the IOC and SportAccord. It will have three styles at the Combat Games - Low Kick, Point Fighting (formally called Semi Contact), and Full Contact.