THE HISTORY OF THE W.M.A.L.
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,
which 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 1972 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 1974 the Shihans Bruce R. Bethers, and Bruce G. Butler
organized in Stuttgart, Germany, the European Armed Forces
Martial Arts Association, which was cancelled in 1977.
Already 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 M.A. activities.
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.
THE COMMITTEE ENDED WITH TWO REPORTS:
(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 M.A. 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 USA.
This situation made having a military based Martial Arts
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 Ph.D. 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.