WKF History

The first constituted organization was the European Karate Union (UEK). To understand the World Karate general organisation, it is necessary to start with this Union. Karate, on technical plan, was introduced in many countries, as soon as 1950, by Japanese masters from mainly the JKA (Japan Karate Association). They did teach but they did not care about creating national and international organisations, as in other sports. A French, M. Henry PLEE, was one of the most important promoters, he trained hundreds of black belts. In 1961, in France, a pupil of M. Pleee, working as a jurist, also 4th Dan black belt and Karate Teacher (he used to teach after his work at the famous « Club Franccais ») ; named Jacques DELCOURT, was elected President of French Karate, then associated member of the Judo Federation.

After having organised Karate in France from 1961 to 1963, he invited afterwards the few federations known in Europe (they were 7!) to come to France at the occasion of the 1st International Karate Event of all time : Belgium/ France/ Great Britain. On the 15th of December 1963 (remember this date, it is the departure point of the world karate), he gathers in Paris the representants of 7 known nations, it was the 1st Karate European Congress! Remember also the names of the attending persons, they are the one who began the future WKF. For Italy, M. Augusto BASILE, for Belgium, MM. AARTS Leeo and STAS, for Switzerland, M. CHERIX Bernard, for Germany, M. Karl HEINZ KILTZ for Great Britain, M. BELL, for France, MM DELCOURT et SEBBAN.

The representative for Spain, M. P. GARCIA was excused. An inventory of the establishment of Karate, then very disorganised not to say not organised at all was done. It was decided to contact the different Judo federations, which, in many countries, headed up Karate. The question of different styles and techniques was approached and the delegates noted - already! - That the unification of techniques was impossible. The question of refereeing unification, which differed significantly from a country to another, was approached and put on the agenda for next meeting. An inventory of the practitioners was done: Germany 5 to 7000, Belgium, 1200 to 1500, Great Britain around 5000, France, 4000. M. DELCOURT was in charge of coordinating actions and to prepare the next meeting.

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