Bill Wallace retired as the undefeated Professional Karate Association (PKA) Middleweight Champion after defeating Bill Briggs 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 contact fighting.
Bill Wallace began his martial arts training in shorin-ryu karate. It was sort of by accident that he got into karate because originally he was an exceptional judo player with a background in wrestling. He started in Judo in the U. S. Air Force, and in 1966 he sustained a career ending injury. Wallace completely ripped the ligaments in his right knee. While his knee was healing, still in a cast as he remembers, Wallace took the opportunity to get into karate. He trained with some positive and committed people at a school in Okinawa’s Naha city making short work of earning his first Black Belt.
Upon returning home from the Air Force, Wallace enrolled at Ball State University in Indianna. Later he earned a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and Physiology of Movement at Memphis State University in Tennessee where he taught wrestling, weightlifting, judo and karate. Wallace made a national name for himself as a point fighting champion in a tournament career spanning the years from 1967 to 1973. While at a ball game his manager saw an advertisement for “superfoot long hot dogs” and therein a legend was born.
Wallace captured virtually every major event on the point-fighting tournament circuit. His more prestigious victories include: the U. S. Championships (3 times), the USKA Grand Nationals (3 times) and the Top 10 Nationals (2 times). Superfoot was such a dominant figure in the martial arts that Black Belt magazine named him to their Hall of Fame three times, twice as “Competitor of the Year” and once as “Man of the Year.”
Wallace trained and taught at the Memphis Karate Institute which was co-owned by Elvis Presley. It was “the King” himself who introduced Wallace to the art of Chinese Acupuncture in what many would call a career ending injury. The very next year Superfoot turned to professional kickboxing were he successfully won 23 consecutive professional fights between 1974 and 1980 and retired undefeated. He also tipped his hat in the boxing ring where Superfoot won all three of his matches, crediting his trainers and sparring partner Thomas “the Hit Man” Herns.
A former member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Superfoot is one of the most sought after instructors on the seminar circuit. It is said that his frequent flyer miles could have him travel around the world many times. Wallace has authored three books on his style of training and has appeared in countless video training programs. Superfoot was the first play-by-play commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championships along with football legend Jim Brown and kickboxer Kathy Long. He is a member of several Martial Arts Hall of Fames and a member of Who’s Who in the Martial Arts.
Wallace’s film credits include: A Force of One with Chuck Norris, Kill Point with Cameron Mitchell, Continental Divide and Neighbors with John Belushi, the Protector with Jackie Chan, A Prayer for the Dying with Mickey Rourke, Ninja Turf and a Sword of Heaven. Several foreign films have the karate legend appearing as himself along with the Legends episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.