Bill Wallace (martial artist)

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Bill Wallace
Bill Wallace, Karate World Champion 2011.jpg
Wallace in 2011
BornWilliam Louis Wallace
(1945-12-01) December 1, 1945 (age 75)
Portland, Indiana, US
Other namesSuperfoot, Fast Billy
NationalityUnited States American
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight166 lb (75 kg; 11.9 st)
StyleShorin-ryu Karate, Kickboxing, Boxing, Judo, Wrestling
Fighting out ofDaytona Beach, Florida
Teacher(s)Michael Gneck
TrainerJim "Ronin" Harrison
Rank  10th dan black belt Soke
Years active1974–1990
Kickboxing record
By knockout13
By knockout0

Bill Wallace (born December 1, 1945) is an American martial artist who was a Professional Karate Association world full-contact karate champion. He was the Professional Karate Association (PKA) Middleweight Champion kickboxer for six years.


Wallace was born in Portland, Indiana, and trained in wrestling during his high school years.[1] He began his study of Judo in 1966 and was forced to discontinue his Judo related activities because of an injury he suffered to his right knee during practice.[1] He then began to study Shōrin-ryū Karate under Michael Gneck[2] in February 1967 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. After entering the point fighting tournament scene and achieving success there, he switched to full-contact competition.

With the coaching help of veteran fighter Jim 'Ronin' Harrison, Wallace won 23 consecutive professional fights between 1974 and 1980,[3] becoming the Professional Karate Association middleweight world full-contact karate champion and retiring undefeated.[2][4] He was known for his fast left leg kicks,[5] especially his roundhouse kick and his hook kick, which was clocked at about 60 mph.[4] He focused on his left leg because of the Judo-related injury to his right knee, using the right leg primarily as a base. He also suffered the loss of one testicle during a point fighting tournament, when his protective cup was struck at an unfortunate angle.[6]

A year later, Wallace turned professional and captured the PKA middleweight karate championship with a second-round knockout. He relinquished the crown in 1980, undefeated. The PKA promoted the sport of full-contact karate. Full-contact karate differed from kickboxing in that leg kicks were allowed in kickboxing and forbidden in full-contact karate. It was PKA President, Don Quine, who coined the phrase "Superfoot" to describe Wallace after witnessing his fight first with Mark Georgantas and then with Jem Echollas.[7]

In 1990 Bill Wallace (166 lbs) fought one last exhibition kickboxing/karate match with friend Joe Lewis (198 lbs) on pay per view. Both Wallace and Lewis were refused a boxing license because of their age. The exhibition ended with one judge in favor of Wallace and the other two judges scored the bout a tie; ending the exhibition in a draw.[8]


Wallace studied at Ball State University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1971 in physical education.[5] In 1976, he earned a master's degree in kinesiology from Memphis State University.[5] The only martial artist known to record a faster reverse roundhouse kick is Superdave ( Hodgi ) Rodgers. From Erie Pa. Goshon Jitsu style. recorded 77 MPH reverse roundhouse. ( Black and blue bout macazine , October 1981 }


Wallace has taught karate, judo, wrestling and weightlifting at Memphis State University. The author of a college textbook about karate and kinesiology, he continues to teach seminars across the United States and abroad.[5] He has acted, most notably in A Force of One starring Chuck Norris.[9] Wallace was the play-by-play commentator for the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view event UFC 1 in 1993 alongside fellow kickboxer Kathy Long and NFL Hall of famer Jim Brown where in which he burped as he said "Hello, I'm Bill Wallace, and welcome to McNichols Arena" in what has become a much beloved blooper from that event.[3] Wallace administers an organization of karate schools under his "Superfoot" system. He was elected to Black Belt Magazine's Hall of Fame in 1973 as "Tournament Karate Fighter of the Year" and again in 1978 as "Man of the Year."[10] His film credits include A Force of One with Chuck Norris; Killpoint, with Cameron Mitchell; Continental Divide and Neighbors, with John Belushi; The Protector, with Jackie Chan; Los Bravos with Hector Echavarria; A Prayer for the Dying, with Mickey Rourke; Ninja Turf; and Sword of Heaven.[11]


Bill Wallace was a personal trainer and close friend of both Elvis Presley and John Belushi. On March 5, 1982, Bill Wallace found John Belushi dead of a cocaine and heroin overdose, in his room in Bungalow 3, at the Chateau Marmont, on Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, California.[12]

Wallace has written and co-written a number of books, including:

  • The Best of Bill Wallace[13]
  • Competitive Karate: Featuring the Superfoot System[14]
  • The Ultimate Kick [15]
  • Dynamic Kicking & Stretching [16]
  • Karate: Basic Concepts & Skills [17]

DVD format:

  • BOOST Karate for Children[18]
  • Karate: Basic Concepts & Skills [19]

Bill Wallace also starred in the 1985 James Glickenhaus action film "The Protector" alongside Jackie Chan and Danny Aiello. Wallace played a tough ex karate champ bodyguard (for a criminal boss), who has an extended fight scene with cop Jackie Chan in a Hong Kong warehouse.

Kickboxing record[edit]

Full-contact karate record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest


Year Title Role Notes
1979 A Force of One Sparks
1981 Sword of Heaven Butch
1984 Killpoint Sparring Partner
1985 L.A. Streetfighters Kruger
Manchurian Avenger Kamikaze
The Protector Benny Garucci
1987 Fight to Win Tankson
1988 Silent Assassins Colonel
1989 American Hunter Adam
2016 Enter the Cage
2019 The Last Operative Bill


  1. ^ a b Durbin, William. "Bill "Superfoot" Wallace: The Man, The Martial Artist, The Teacher". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Corcoran, John & Farkas, Emil (1983). Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People. Gallery Books. p. 392.
  3. ^ a b Biography for Bill Wallace at IMDb
  4. ^ a b "Bill "Superfoot" Wallace". Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b c d [1] Archived October 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Bill Wallace IMDB Biography". Retrieved July 28, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Hayes, David (February 2017). "Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and the Taekwondo Connection". Taekwondo Life Magazine (3): 50. Retrieved January 16, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Bill Superfoot Wallace vs Joe Lewis, retrieved February 1, 2020
  9. ^ A Force of One (1979)
  10. ^ Black Belt Hall of Fame Awards Archived January 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Bill Wallace IMDB Listing".
  12. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (March 6, 1982). "John Belushi, Manic Comic of TV and Films Dies". New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2007. John Belushi, the manic, rotund comedian whose outrageous antics and spastic impersonations on the Saturday Night Live television show propelled him to stardom in the 1970s, was found dead yesterday in a rented bungalow in Hollywood, where he had launched a film career in recent years. The 33-year-old actor ... CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Wallace, Bill. The Best of Bill Wallace. Black Belt Communications (April 2005) ISBN 0-89750-146-2
  14. ^ Gibson, Adam, and Wallace, Bill. Competitive Karate: Featuring the Superfoot System Human Kinetics; 1 edition (January 27, 2004) ISBN 0-7360-4492-2
  15. ^ Wallace, Bill. The Ultimate Kick. Unique Publications (January 1987) ISBN 0-86568-088-4
  16. ^ Wallace, Bill. Dynamic Kicking & Stretching. Unique Publications (November 1981) ISBN 0-86568-018-3
  17. ^ Schroeder, Charles Roy and Wallace, Bill. Karate: Basic Concepts and Skills. Addison Wesley Publishing Company (July 1976) ISBN 0-201-06837-0
  18. ^ Ferguson, Robert and Wallace, Bill. BOOST Karate for Children Black Belt Communications (May 1, 2005) ASIN: B0009T2JN8
  19. ^ ASIN B000LBZLTI
  20. ^ "Bill Wallace's record at STAR". Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]