BILL "SUPERFOOT" WALLACE
Bill Wallace retired as the undefeated Professional Karate Association
(PKA) Middleweight Champion after defeating Bill Biggs in a 12-round
bout in June 1980. The victory, Wallace's 23rd straight, signaled
the end to an illustrious 15-year career in tournament and full
Known to the karate world simply as "Superfoot," symbolic
of his awesome left leg, which was once clocked in excess of 60
mph, Wallace left a string of battered and bruised bodies along
the martial arts fighting trail.
He used his foot as others would use their hands, faking opponents
with two or three rapid fake kicks and following with one solid
knockout technique. His power was amazing, his precision astounding.
Wallace, a 5-foot, 10 1/2 inch native of Portland, Ind., began
studying karate in February 1967 after suffering a right leg injury
in a judo accident. The injury left him without the use of the leg
in karate competition. Some observers said Wallace was committing
martial arts suicide. Wallace, however, had other ideas.
In the next seven years, "Superfoot," named after his
manager saw an advertisement for a "super foot long hot dog" at
a sporting event, dominated the point-tournament circuit.
As a national champion point fighter three years in a row, Wallace
captured virtually every major event on the tournament circuit.
The more prestigious victories included: the U.S. Championships
(3 times), the USKA Grand Nationals (3 times), and the Top Ten Nationals
He was such as dominant figure in martial arts that Black Belt
magazine, the bible of industry publications, named him to its Hall
of Fame three times in seven years -- twice as "Competitor
of the Year" and once as "Man of the Year."
In 1973, Wallace, whose education includes a bachelor's degree
(1971) in physical education from Ball State University and a master's
degree (1976) in kinesiology (the study of human movement) from
Memphis State University, suffered what many considered a career-ending
injury. However, one of Wallace's friends, the late Elvis Presley,
flew in a Los Angeles acupuncturist to treat the Karate champion
at Graceland Manor.
A year later, Wallace turned professional and captured the PKA
middleweight karate championship with a second-round knockout (hook
kick) of West German Bernd Grothe in Los Angeles. He relinquished
the crown in 1980, undefeated and respected around the world.
Despite his retirement, Wallace continues to be one of the martial
arts most popular figures. He is the author of three books: Karate:
Basic Concepts & Skills, Dynamic Kicking & Stretching, and
The Ultimate Kick.
As well as a former member of the President's Council on Physical
Fitness, Wallace also has been active in the film industry.
His credits include : A Force of One with Chuck Norris; Kill Point,
with Cameron Mitchell; Continental Divide and Neighbors, with John
Belushi, whom he acted as trainer and bodyguard; Protector, with
Jackie Chan; A Prayer for the Dying,with Mickey Rourke; Ninja Turf;
and A sword of Heaven.