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The World Martial Arts League was founded by American soldiers, stationed in Japan, Okinawa and Korea. These servicemen used their time to learn Karate and when they returned brought their Martial Arts to the U.S.A. and Europe.

Between 1927 and 1960, (in the beginning of this organization), some Japanese grandmasters accepted the invitations of their students and traveled to the U.S.A. to hold seminars and give demonstrations

Within that time, more and more soldiers returning from Asia with black belt ranks in different martial arts began to give classes at their new stations. What resulted, was the creation of new Martial Art groups at these Posts and Bases.

One of the first organizations to evolve from the WORLD MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUE (W.M.A.L.) between 1953 and 1967, was the military based ARMED FORCES KARATE ASSOCIATION (A.F.K.A.), a branch of the ALL-AMERICAN KARATE FEDERATION, lead by Thomas Myslinski.

The only other known Martial Arts organization to develop from the W.M.A.L. during this time was a branch of the AMERICAN-OKINAWA KARATE ASSOCIATION. Who was lead by Donald Bohan, a career marine.

The last known records of the first W.M.A.L. was 1967. For the periods of 1967 through 1973 there was no governing body to present the military interest in world Martial Arts. Because of military operations and the moving of troops in Europe, the activities of the A.F.K.A. stagnated.

In 1973, Jerome R. Reitenbach (a Tae-Kwon-Do stylist), reestablished the A.F.K.A. with the main office location at the Presidio in San Francisco. There Jerome R. Reitenbach served as its president until the association disbanded in 1983.

In the Federal Republic of Germany (1983) Col. Wes Colzart and Cpt. Mike Mobley established THE EUROPEAN-AMERICAN MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION (T.E.A.M.A.A.) as a private organization in USAREUR and Seventh Army. The organization established headquarters in Heidelberg, providing an organized body for promotion of martial arts activity.

Col. Wes Colzart served as its first president until his departure from Europe. Afterwards, Cpt. Mike Mobley became the second president of the T.E.A.M.A.A. before leaving Germany in 1985.

In November of 1986, at Ft. Lee Virginia, Cpt. Mobley headed a committee that was formed to work out the logistics of reestablishing T.E.A.M.A.A., in Europe (military and civilian). By April of 1987 it became apparent that the attempt to rekindle interest in T.E.A.M.A.A. proved unsuccessful.


(1st) That having T.E.A.M.A.A represent the military and the civilian interest in the field of martial arts was hopeless.

(2nd) That a flexible organization was needed for service members and civilian members internationally. (Reason: service members and some civilians only stay in one given area for an average of 24 months).

The later report was presented to the Virginia State Corporation Commission resulting in the ARMED FORCES MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION, A.F.M.A.A. (established by the state of Virginia as a corporation). The A.F.M.A.A. helped establish and organize Martial Art schools and assisted the various styles of Martial Arts throughout all the branches of the Armed Services.

January 16, 1988 in Worms, Germany, the first official board of directors meeting was called to order.

In 1993 an organizational meeting was held to divide the organization into three parts:

1. The Armed Forces Martial Arts League (A.F.M.A.L.), headed by Mr. Gene Silverstrand
2. The American Martial Arts League (A.M.A.L.), headed by Sfc. Rufus Carpenter
3. The European Martial Arts League (E.M.A.L.), headed by Mr. Klaus Schuhmacher, who was also the vice president of the A.F.M.A.L..

In January 1995 at the end of the Cold War a large number of American service members were repositioned back to the United States. This situation made having a military based Martial Arts organization in Europe obsolete.

The last official A.F.M.A.L. event was a Hall of Fame held September 1995 in Lincoln, Nebraska, which was organized by the League´s Commissioner Mr. Ray Silverstrand.

After a survey of A.F.M.A.L.´s current leadership team, Mr. Schuhmacher was chosen to head the WORLD MARTIAL ARTS LEAGUE (W.M.A.L.).

Mr. Schuhmacher’s associations with the worlds top grandmasters made him the perfect candidate. He established the W.M.A.L. as an independent international friendship organization for all Martial artists.

The latest version of the W.M.A.L. was designed to meet the unique needs of today’s world Martial Arts community without falling prey to the same shortcomings fatal to its predecessor.

The W.M.A.L. is authorized to license, issue rank, and different higher degrees, register qualified members, schools and organizations so they may receive deserving recognition for their dedication.

The W.M.A.L. also has special recognition and certification for those who have founded their own system or Martial Arts style.

Email: wmal@mail.com