World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
TypeFederation of national associations
Legal statusActive (as per Swiss Law as founded in Zurich on February 6, 1988)
PurposeGlobal Development and governance of the sport of Kickboxing
HeadquartersMonza, Italy
Region served
National association[clarification needed]
Official language
International World Games Association
RemarksWAKO was established as "World All Style Karate Organization"

The World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (W.A.K.O or WAKO) is an international kickboxing organization counting over 120 affiliated countries representing all five continents.[1] WAKO is a major governing body of amateur kickboxing and is responsible for the development of kickboxing worldwide. The organization was officially recognized as an official kickboxing governing body by Sport Accord.[2] WAKO is recognized by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).[3][4]


In 1977, WAKO was founded in Europe[1] and formulated the rules and regulations acting as the Kickboxing Federation of the World.[5] It was founded by American Kickboxing promoter Mike Anderson, and his friend, German Kickboxing promoter Georg Brueckner. WAKO was officially registered in Zurich, Switzerland and become the largest unified kickboxing organization in the world.[citation needed] In 2006, the International Amateur Kickboxing Sports Association (I.A.K.S.A) and WAKO merged under the umbrella of WAKO, making its acceptance possible by the General Association of International Sports Federations (G.A.I.S.F) as the governing body for the sport of Kickboxing.[6] WAKO offers 7 different styles: Points Fighting, light-contact, full-contact, kick-light, low-kick, K1-style, and musical forms. Today WAKO can count on 126 affiliated nations in the five continents, with 95 officially recognized by their respective Sports or Olympic Council.[citation needed]

WAKO became a member of Sport Accord and was officially recognized as the official Kickboxing governing body by Sport Accord,[2] Olympic Council of Asia, WADA and the International World Games Association. Kickboxing is included in World Combat Games, Asian Indoor Games, and the Martial Arts Games (promoted by OCA) in the 2017 International World Games. WAKO has five continental divisions functioning under the auspices of the WAKO International Federation which are WAKO Europe, WAKO Pan America, WAKO Asia, WAKO Oceania and WAKO Africa. WAKO hosts its ordinary General Assemblies in Antalya, Turkey.[7]

In 1991, WAKO PRO was officially established during a WAKO Board meeting in Spain. After a their career as amateurs in the organization, fighters were now able to continue as professional fighters in WAKO Pro.[8]

Olympic recognition

On the 20th of July 2021, the International Olympic Committee officially recognised kickboxing as an Olympic sport, and recognised WAKO as the world governing body for the sport.[9][3][4]


WAKO supports 7 different styles: four of them are on the tatami and three of them are in the ring,[10]

Tatami Sports

Musical form

A musical form is a staged or imaginary fight against one or more opponents in which the performer uses techniques from Oriental Martial Arts to personally selected music.

Point Fighting

Also known as semi-contact. Point fighting is a discipline where two contestants fight with the primary goal of scoring defined points and using controlled legal techniques without using full force.

Light Contact

Light Contact in the past was recognised as an intermediate stage between semi contact and full contact Kickboxing. Modern Light Contact has evolved into its own unique style fast and dynamic continuous kickboxing. Unlike Point Fighting, athletes will fight continuously amassing scores over 3x2 minute rounds.


Kick-light is an intermediate stage between semi-kick and low-kick kickboxing.

Ring sports

Full contact

Full Contact is a discipline of Kickboxing where the intention is to mimic the pressure felt during a real fight.


In low-kick Kickboxing, there is the possibility of attacking the opponent's legs with clean kicks.


See K-1.


WAKO holds a world championship every two years, with youth (18 and under) and adult (18–45) championships in 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 recognized 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 participated in the World Combat Games in St. Petersburg, Russia in September 2013, under the patronage of the IOC and SportAccord. There were three styles at the Combat Games: Low Kick, Points Fighting (formally called Semi Contact), and Full Contact.

World champions

Men's divisions

Style 52 kg 54 kg 56 kg 58 kg
Low Kick United Kingdom Bunion Vacant Poland Michał Królik Russia Yury Trogiyanov
Full Contact Italy Ivan Sciolla Russia Alexey Trifonov Russia Ilnaz Sayfullin Germany Johannes Wolf
K1 Rules Vacant Vacant France Franck Gross Russia Astemir Borsov
Style 60 kg 62.5 kg 65 kg 67.5 kg
Low Kick Russia Ruslan Tozlyan Serbia Miloš Anić Serbia Aleksandar Konovalov Turkey Kenan Günaydin
Full Contact France Kamel Bacha Italy Giuseppe Di Cuia Russia Sergey Lipinets France Dieter Leclercq
K1 Rules Hungary Antoine Habash Portugal Ruben Almeida France Eddy Nait Slimani France Mohamed Galaoui
Style 70 kg 72.5 kg 75 kg 78 kg
Low Kick Russia Evgeni Grychishkin Turkey Hüsnü Sarı Kosovo Shpejtim Ahmetaj Greece Giannis Sofokleous
Full Contact France Edouard Bernadou Slovenia Gregor Stračanek Germany Artur Reis Germany Artur Reis
K1 Rules Romania Georgian Cîmpeanu Bulgaria Atanas Bozhilov Russia Alexander Zakharov Serbia Aleksandar Menković
Style 81.5 kg 85 kg 88.5 kg 94 kg
Low Kick Serbia Nikola Stošić Russia Andrei Chekhonin Serbia Bojan Džepina Brazil Felipe Micheletti
Full Contact Germany Viktor Fröhlich Croatia Bojan Mišković Norway Robert Paulsbyen Germany Eugen Waigel
K1 Rules Serbia Aleksandar Menković Italy Gabriele Casella France Greg Grossi Lithuania Sergej Maslobojev

As of July 14, 2020

Women's divisions

Style 49 kg 52 kg 55 kg 58 kg 61 kg
Low Kick United Kingdom Bunion Spain Eva Naranjo Poland Iwona Neiroda Vacant Spain Loli Munoz
Full Contact Vacant Vacant Hungary Renata Rakoczi Norway Thea Næss Bosnia and Herzegovina Olja Zerajić
K1 Rules Italy Silvia La Notte France Anissa Meksen Czech Republic Veronika Petrikova Spain Loli Munoz France Mallaury Kalachnikoff
Style 64 kg 67 kg 71 kg 75 kg Over 75 kg
Low Kick Vacant Vacant Vacant Vacant Vacant
Full Contact Austria Nicole Trimmel Italy Cristina Caruso France Cathy LeMee France Cathy LeMee Vacant
K1 Rules Italy Cristina Caruso Vacant United Kingdom Trix March Vacant Vacant

Notable WAKO Pro world champions

See also


  1. ^ a b Geoff Berkeley (13 June 2021). "World Associations of Kickboxing Organizations to elect new International Women's Committee chairperson". Inside the Games.
  2. ^ a b Abhishek Arora (23 July 2022). "First-ever WAKO Indian Open International Kickboxing Tournament slated to begin on 10th February in capital". Sportskeeda.
  3. ^ a b Jackson Rudolph (31 July 2021). WAKO Fully Recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Black Belt Magazine.
  4. ^ a b Geoff Berkeley (13 June 2021). WAKO toasts "historic day" after gaining IOC recommendation for full recognition. Inside the Games.
  5. ^ "About W.A.K.O".
  6. ^ "SportAccord Members".
  7. ^ Daniel Etchells (27 November 2019). World Association of Kickboxing Organizations changes statutes and elects new Board. Inside the Games.
  8. ^ The history of WAKO PRO: Where, when and why? (Part 1). Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  9. ^ IOC session accepted WAKO application for Full Recognition
  10. ^ "WAKO rules and regulations". Retrieved 2016-09-03.