The World Union of Karate-do Organizations was originally founded in 1970. The name of "WUKO" was abandoned in the early 1990"s when WUKO and the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) were to amalgamate as the World Karate Federation (WKF). The unification did not occur and the WKF was essentially the former WUKO group.
The existing international karate organizations are either pure style federations or multi-style groups which accept only one federation per country. Therefore many federations and associations are left outside of the international karate world.
The World Karate Confederation (WKC) was founded by a small group of karate enthusiasts on 4th May 1996 in Frankfurt/M, Germany.
Originally the WKC offered an important option for such groups in which all the different styles and federations can join a World body and fraternity, without having to compromise their style or size. In order that there are opportunities for all, the WKC accepted more than one federation or association per country.
"The purpose of WKC is to regulate, spread and foster Karate in the world from an educational, cultural and sports point of view by promoting Karate ethics, technical seminars, championships and all that is necessary to encourage the spreading of Karate-Do all over the world and to promote friendly and beneficial relations between its members." (WKC Statutes, Article 1.4)
The WKC grew from strength to strength. More than 1500 karate-ka from around the world attended the Junior World Championships and Children"s World Cup in Germany in October 2004.
Sadly, a small fraction of the WKC attempted to hijack the organization in April 2005. They held an illegal election and, in their eyes, replaced the legal executive committee. This resulted in the WKC separating into two factions.
At the 5th WKC World Karate Championships, in Fortaleza, Brazil in June 2005, the legal and rightful WKC voted to change provisory their name to the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO), and fight for WKC name into justice. This name was imposed by Mr. Carlo Henke that guaranteed to all the participants that is free and the use of it will cause no harm to the organization.
The new organization functioned more than 3.5 years, more than 150 federation requested affiliation being interested by good competitions, friendship with all the participants into a sport climate and not by the name of the organization.
Based on modern way of competition organization, a flexible management focused on the request of the affiliated members, with a continuous improvement system that allows corrections depending of the specifics of the competitors in geographical region, of religion or material conditions, the Executive Committee elected in Fortaleza gave a proof of professionalism, more and more federations joining the organization.
In December 2008 after the World Championships for children, cadets and juniors in Lido di Jesolo the majority of members decided to change the name of the organization that was attacked in court by WKF who claimed the ownership of the name WUKO.
This crisis situation determined the members of Executive Committee to meet urgently and changed the name WUKO in WUKF - World Union of Karate-Do Federation, a measure to continue the legal run of organization till the Congress in Odessa.
In June 2009, at the programmed Congress the affiliated members will discuss and take democratically all the necessary decisions for the good working of the organization. The name is new but the organization is the same, all the affiliated members of the former WUKO sent letters of support (except FESIK and another 4 federations), all the WUKF events will be organized like they were programmed before, the life of the organization will go on.
The former WUKO was founded in Rome on the 1st May 2005 by the Federations from Romania, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Spain, all these federation excepting FESIK from Italy continue now in WUKF.
In 2013 the WUKF leadership decided to change the location of WUKF to Belgium.
Today WUKF is located in Herstal, Belgium after obtaining the approval of Belgian Ministery of Justice and Belgian Royal House (www.wukf-karate.org