The Origin of WKO

By June 18, 2020No Comments

After Mas Oyama death in 1994 the International Karate Organization (IKO) divided into a numbers of federations.

Some of Mas Oyama apprentices formed their own organizations with the same name. Therefore, after a general meeting of the branch chiefs, it was decided almost unanimously that the name should be changed in order to protect its unique identity. The name of the organization was changed to “World Karate Organization (WKO) – Shinkyokushinkai.

The word “shin” was added to the word “kyokushinkai”. “Shin” in Japanese has two meanings: “truth” and “new. In this way, the meaning of the word “Shinkyokushinkai” may be translated as “True Kyokushinkai” and “New Kyokushinkai. “WKO-Kyokushinkai” remained true to the codes of Oyama Sosai who was against the professionalizing and commercializing of the Organization. Its main goals remain, i.e. education of young people and international communication and collaboration. The distinctive sign of the organization became the symbol “Kokoro” (“Heart”, in Japanese), signifying the unity of mind, skills and physical strength. Since 2001, the president of the Organization has been Kenji Midori – World champion from the 5th World Championship 1991.



Today, WKO – Shinkyokushinkai is the world’s largest organization in full-contact karate, with 100 member countries. Daily and yearly, it becomes more and more popular worldwide. An increasing number of young people practicing it is an indicator of the rightness of the chosen path inherited from the ideas of Sosai.


Daihyo Kenji Midori

Kenji Midori was born in April 18th 1962 in the city of Setenay in entrepreneurial family of Amami, Oshima island. He grew in a challenger family where the success is important, he begin judo when he is child and wins any championships.He get his high school diploma in 1976, he go in Tokyo to follow studies in private college so as to prepare at university.This is in this time the beginnings to study the kyokushin karate in the Hiroshige Tsuyoshi’s dojo. Kenji Midori get his 1st kyu in just 9 months, obtaining of Shodan taken more time because he must studied and he was also in rugby team of school.

Kenji Midori lost a very close friend, after that, he decided to devote himself to kyokushin karate in the early 1980s he remarked in often find themselves on the podium. In 1983, he won 3rd place in the first championship of western Japan.

In 1985, in the championship of Japan, Kenji Midori ranked first in the lightweight division.

In the 4th World Championship, held in October 1987 Kenji Midori receives award “The best techniques.” At the championship of Japan (1990) Kenji again ranked first in the lightweight division, and more later that same year, the Japan Cup 22, he became the second.

The 5th World Championship, Mas Oyama comes Setonay and turns to Kenji’s father, saying, “Your son has such flexibility that it can become a world champion. What do you think before the World Cup, he entirely focused on karate? I ask you to agree with this“ Gemba Midori could not refuse the guest of honor at his request.

On November 4th, 1991 Kenji Midori became the winner in the 5th World Open Kyokushin karate Championship.

“Little Giant” – as it was called Kenji Midori after this championship. And, indeed, he was a giant! With 165 cm and weigh of 72 kg, with a fantastic sense of distance and techniques, knockout punch watermarks, eliminate his opponents one by one. Defeating strong Japanese Kurosawa and Sitinohe in the final Midori met Akira Masuda who was at that time very powerful, strong in body and mind.

Kenji Midori record:

5th Kyokushin Karate World Tournament 1991 – 1st place
4th Kyokushin Karate World Tournament 1987 – Last 16 (Lost to Michael Thompson)
22nd All Japan Tournament 1990 – 2nd place
17th All Japan Tournament 1985 – 5th place
7th All Japan Weight Tournament 1990 – 1st place
4th All Japan Weight Tournament 1987 – 1st place
2nd All Japan Weight Tournament 1985 – 1st place
Sursee Cup 1988 – 2nd place (Lost to Andy Hug)


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