The World Karate Federation (WKF) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. 

Karate’s international governing body launched a commemorative logo as well as several digital initiatives to mark the occasion, with millions of karate fans around the world called upon to celebrate the landmark moment. 

The WKF was initiated on October 10 1970, at the first General Assembly which was held in Japanese capital Tokyo ahead of the inaugural Karate World Championships.

In the following 50 years, karate’s international governing body has become a universal, unified, and modern organisation, with more than 100 million practitioners around the world, 200 national federation members, and ready to make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 - with the Games delayed until 2021.

The WKF's "50th Anniversary logo" to mark the occasion of five decades of continuous success was the centrepiece of anniversary celebrations. The new emblem shaped the branding of the organisation in the following months.

At the time, WKF President Antonio Espinós commented on the anniversary, which could not be celebrated in-person as would have been first hoped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Unfortunately, due to the current situation, we are unable to celebrate our 50th anniversary as such memorable moment deserves and as we had planned before the pandemic," Espinós said.

"We intended to commemorate the historic occasion this year at Nippon Budokan since our first World Championships in 1970 and the Olympic debut of our sport share the same venue. The postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have altered our plans to honour the brilliant 50 years of our history.

"The 50th anniversary is an opportunity to thank all those who, with their effort and hard work, have contributed to our achievements, all those who are no more with us, and all those who continue with us contributing to the progress and development of our sport." 

A commemorative magazine entitled "1970-2020: A Celebration of Karate" was published by the WKF as another of its digital initiatives. The 24-page magazine explored the creation of the WKF in the 1970s through to the development of the sport in the 1980s, the expansion of the World Championships in the 1990s and the creation of new competition formats in the 2000s.

Articles about the Karate World Championships, karate's participation in various multi-sport Games and a preview of karate's scheduled debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also feature.