The World Kickboxing Association (WKA) is one of the oldest and the largest amateur and professional sanctioning organizations of kickboxing in the world for the sport. Its official name is "World Kickboxing and Karate Association, however the logo uses World Karate and Kickboxing Association".
WKA was created in the United States as the World Karate Association in 1976 by Howard Hanson, a Shorin-Ryu Karate black belt, and Arnold Urquidez. The organisation was the first non-profit governing body to use an independently controlled rating list, the first to establish a world championship division for women and the first to include countries from Asia. The organisation became one of the major sanctioning bodies for professional karate. Early stars of the WKA included Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Kevin Rosier and Graciela Casillas. The organization went on to secure network broadcasts in the US and Japan. Howard Hanson sold the WKA to Dale Floyd in 1991.
WKA developed the field of low kicks thanks to strong Asian and Japanese connections. WKA is based in Massa Carrara, Italy with headquarters, prospered throughout Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and in North America. In 1994, Paul Inghram took over the organization. From last 29 September 2012 WKA has a new management: Michele Panfietti World President and Cristiano Radicchi General Secretary.
The organisation became one of the major sanctioning bodies for professional karate.