Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace

From the archives:
On July 16th, I joined in a great interview with Superfoot Bill Wallace, a tenth degree black belt and a true pioneering legend in North American karate.

Sensei Dave Hoover with Sensei Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace circa 2013

He was the Professional Karate Association middleweight world full-contact kickboxing champion for nearly six years before retiring undefeated. Through the course of the interview he shared stories of the evolution of karate from his early training in Okinawa during the Vietnam War, through his work as a commentator at UFC 1. He has starred in Hollywood movies. He shared stories of Elvis, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan and John Belushi.

As I mentioned, by rank Bill Wallace is a tenth degree black belt, and has earned the title of Hanshi, but he doesn’t refer to himself as such. He spoke of his teachers in Okinawa only ever using the title of Sensei, so out of respect, I will refer to Sensei Wallace here.

Sensei Wallace spoke of his fighting style, and interestingly, by his definition, his “limited” arsenal and his exclusive use of the sideways karate stance. He talked of his ongoing karate training at the age of 74 and emphasis on flexibility and resistance training with low weights, high reps.

I was fortunate to train with Sensei Wallace a few years ago at a seminar he was running in Las Vegas. He is truly a humble man. I was struck through this interview with his ongoing message of how “lucky” he was. Lucky in his competitions, lucky he was never injured, fortunate in the encounters and people he met. Understand, competitively he fought 23 matches with the top athletes of the time, and went undefeated. Injury-wise, he only started into karate after he tore his right knee. Throughout his career, he fought on only one leg. In seminars, he jokes his nickname was “Superfoot” and not “Superfeet” because he only had one foot to kick with. Humble and modest, Superfoot Bill Wallace is truly an inspiring martial artist.

Again, if you aren’t listening to the weekly Punch, Kick, Choke, Chat series, you should be. The hosts do a fantastic job, and I cannot complement them enough. All of the interviews have been awesome. Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace is running a series of weekly online seminars through the summer.