Bill "Superfoot" Wallace
Boynton Beach, Florida

Bill "Superfoot" Wallace Tribute - The Man, The Kicker, the Legend

Bill "Superfoot" Wallace was one of the true pioneers of Full Contact Karate (Kickboxing).
Today Bill lives in Boynton Beach, Florida but he was born in Portland, Indiana, and trained in wrestling during his high school years. He began his study of Judo in 1963 and was forced to discontinue his Judo related activities due to an injury he suffered during practice in 1966. He completely ripped the ligaments in his right knee. While his knee was healing, He made a decision to learn karate. He began to study Shorin-ryu Karate under Micky Geneck and trained with him from 1966 to 1967.

After advancing rather quickly in his martial arts he entered the point fighting tournament scene and achieved great success. He captured virtually every major event including the U.S. Championships (3 times), the USKA Grand Nationals (3 times), and the Top Ten Nationals (2 times).

Soon later he took up what was at the time, the fledging sport of full contact karate. With the coaching help of veteran fighter Jim 'Ronin' Harrison, he was quickly known for his fast left leg kicks, especially his roundhouse kick and his hook kick, which was clocked at about 60 mph. He focused on his left leg due the Judo-related injury to his right knee, using the right leg primarily as a base.

Wallace's first (And Second) Full Contact Kickboxing bouts were at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on September 14th 1974. It was billed as the first international championship of full-contact, organized by the PKA (Professional Karate Association). Wallace had two matches. In the semi-finals, he beat Daniel Richer (Canada) by TKO in the 3rd round. In the final, he beat the Bernd Grothe (Germany) in 2 rounds and became the first PKA Middleweight (Some sources say this was a Heavyweight Title) World Champion. On May 3rd, 1975, Wallace became the first world champion to defend his title, beating Joe Corley at the "Battle of Atlanta" by KO in the 9th round.

Wallace defended his title 11 times over the next 5 years. His final kickboxing bout was in in Anderson, Indiana, USA and was shown live on TV on the CBS Sports Spectacular on June 8th, 1980. Wallace faced off against challenger Robert Biggs of St. Louis, Missouri who entered the bout with a 15-1 record. (Lead-up to the fight on Youtube Click HERE - What will AMAZE EVERYONE HERE is the size of the crowd at this event!) In the end Wallace won the 12 round bout by decision. The win was Wallace's 23 consecutive win of his 6 year kickboxing career which spanned from 1974 to 1980.

On October 3rd, 1981, Bill came out of retirement to win a 3 round bout against John Shields at the Battle of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.

He also has a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree in kinesiology (the study of human movement) he earned at Memphis State University in Tennessee, where he taught wrestling, weightlifting, judo and karate. His insight on proper stretching techniques and the use of body mechanics in the ring makes him one of the most sought after seminar speakers and teachers in the nation.

Black Belt magazine named Bill to its Hall of Fame three times in seven years, Twice as "Competitor of the Year" and once as "Man of the Year."

Wallace met Elvis Presley in 1973 before he started doing Kickboxing while Bill was doing graduate work at the University of Memphis (then called Memphis State University) in Tennessee. One of the reasons he had gone to Tennessee was to open a martial arts school for somebody else, but the school had closed. So Bill went over to the school of Kang Rhee, who ran a large school in Memphis, and introduced himself. Rhee recognized Bill and offered him a teaching position. One evening when he was working out, in walked Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Kang Rhee stopped the class and asked everybody to sit down, then introduced Bill to Elvis Presley. Elvis said he'd seen Bill win the U.S. championships in Dallas over Skipper Mullins and complemented him on his kicking. The two talked for about 10 minutes and not long after that first meeting in May of 1974, Elvis asked Bill to come work for him as a teacher and personal trainer which he did until Elvis' death in 1977.

It was 1974 when Wallace became Elvis' bodyguard and personal trainer. About two years later, Elvis said he wanted to open a karate school in Memphis and asked Wallace to run it. Elvis basically wanted his own place to train and he would stop in once in a while and work out with Bill. Wallace ran the school until 1977 when Elvis died.

Bill was then hired to start a new program at the University of Memphis where he taught karate, judo, wrestling and helped out with boxing.

Despite his retirement, Wallace continues to be one of the martial arts most popular figures. He's the author of three books:

  • Karate: Basic Concepts & Skills
  • Dynamic Kicking & Stretching
  • The Ultimate Kick

In addition to his fame in the ring Bill is also a former member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and has been active in the film industry. His credits include:

  • A Force Of One, with Chuck Norris
  • Kill Point, with Cameron Mitchell
  • Continental Divide, with John Belushi
  • Neighbors, with John Belushi
  • Protector with Jackie Chan
  • A Prayer for the Dying", with Mickey Rourke
  • Ninja Turf
  • A Sword of Heaven

As a Martial Artist and a fighter Bill helped people become aware of what ballet dancers and gymnasts have always known - that flexibility is vital for developing good skills and for avoiding layoffs caused by pulled muscles and other injuries. He invented new ways to stretch out muscles such as the hamstrings, quadriceps and abductors, all of which are involved in kicking.

He then developed ways to strengthen these muscle groups and created endurance exercises for them. Wallace would freely share the secrets of his success while still competing as a world class kickboxer. Even teaching fighters who were potential contenders for his title. Today Bill travels the globe teaching martial artists around the world how to not just be better fighters and or martial artists, but better people.

Bill currently lives in Boynton Beach, Florida with his wife and five dogs.
He remains active in public appearances for conducting seminars around the world, and has schools in not only the USA but around the world.


Bill Wallace With Elvis

Exhibition with Don Wilson In 1979.
They never actually fought a REAL fight.

Chuck Norris and Bill Wallace in "A Force of One"
Photo from Force of One courtesy of American Cinema

Mike Swain, Bob Wall, Bill Wallace & Steve Fossum
Strikeforce Kickboxing Event, San Jose, California, USA

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