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While Fullcontact Sport Karate was already at a professional stage in the United States, Europe started out a couple of years later. Heavily influenced by American soldier Mike Anderson who was teaching Taekwon Do and Karate in Germany and it's student Georg Brueckner from Berlin together with his friends from all over Europe. This elite circle of influential martial arts pioneers and commercial gym owners decided to create the World's first unique Sport Karate World governing body WAKO - World All Style Karate Organisation. WAKO's first World Champion Ships were held in 1978 inside Berlin's prestigious Deutschlandhalle.
Peter Harbrecht of Darmstadt became the first German Full Contact champion. Many other kickboxers started their career inside WAKO including fighters like Troy Dorsey, Tony Palmore and Ray McCallum. Some other famous WAKO fighters include German celebrity bodyguard Michael Kuhr of Berlin. Pro-Boxing's World Champion Vitaly Klitchko was a WAKO kickboxing champion long before he entered into a professional boxing ring. Klitchko defeated Hubert Numrich in Paris to win a WAKO kickbxing Championship in 1990.
Today, WAKO is an global umbrella organization for many different martial arts systems including point fighting, light-contact, full contact, leg-kick, forms and aerobic martial arts performances. It's president Ennio Falsoni is holding all strings in his hands from his Milano headquarters since 1987 when he accepted Georg Brueckners offer to re-unite and rename WAKO after the association was split up in 2 competing fractions for over 2 years. Parties who did not agree with Ennio Falsoni, created their own IAKSA brand that later faded out after it's most senior official Geert Lemmens returned to WAKO. Some others sought shelter in competing organizations such as the WKA around Klaus Nonnemacher and Paul Ingram.
It is WAKO's big dream to be accepted by the IOC and become Olympic sooner or later. However, this seems to be a very complicated procedure and takes a lot of time. However, it has made it's first step by being introduced to the General Association of International Federation of Sports, GAIFS.