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Bill Wallace

Although born in the Chinese Year of the Rooster (December 1, 1945), Bill “Superfoot” Wallace is a dragon—not the mythical creature but the predacious dragonfly. His fabled hook-kick velocity had the same airspeed acceleration of the dragonfly: 60 mph. It’s no wonder Bill Wallace bugged his opponents with a subtle grin before kicking them into next week. He won 23 consecutive professional bouts from 1974 to 1980 to retire undefeated as the Professional Karate Association middleweight world full-contact karate champion. It’s an amazing “superfeet.”

Bill Wallace began judo in 1966. As luck would have it, he injured his right knee, forcing him to quit judo and begin studying shorin-ryu karate under Michael Gneck in 1967. Using his right foot for balance, Bill Wallace racked up victories with left-footed kicks on the point-fighting circuit and in the PKA, where he “left” his opponents on the floor.

A three-time Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Wallace fought Jackie Chan on-screen in The Protector (1985), which was re-shot for the Chinese audience without the director knowing. In 1993, he provided commentary for the first Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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  1. 7 Things You Don’t Know About Bill Wallace

    7 Things You Don’t Know About Bill Wallace

    Longtime Black Belt magazine writer Floyd Burk did some digging on full-contact karate legend Bill Wallace — and what he found may surprise you!
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  2. Bill Wallace on the Death Touch and Other Martial Arts Myths

    Bill Wallace on the Death Touch and Other Martial Arts Myths

    The kickboxing champion and longtime Black Belt columnist takes on dim mak, the reverse punch, women’s self-defense and other controversial martial arts topics!
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  3. Wing Chun Techniques: The Secret Weapon Against Leg Attacks

    Wing Chun Techniques: The Secret Weapon Against Leg Attacks

    In 1966, karate legend Joe Lewis rocketed to stardom by winning Jhoon Rhee’s U.S. Nationals in Washington, D.C. Incredibly, it was his first tournament, and he won every single point with only one technique — the side kick.

    For six years, Chuck Norris ruled the karate world with his spinning kicks.
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  4. Are Your Favorite Self-Defense Techniques Overrated?

    Are Your Favorite Self-Defense Techniques Overrated?

    The first time you watched your favorite martial arts star wipe out a horde of bad guys with a string of jump-spinning back kicks on the silver screen, you probably were impressed. I know I was. On the other hand, you probably weren’t quite as inspired the first time you
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  5. Bill “Superfoot” Wallace on Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bob Wall and Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Bill “Superfoot” Wallace on Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bob Wall and Jean-Claude Van Damme

    It was 1 o’clock, and I was sitting at Jun Chong’s taekwondo school in Los Angeles getting ready to work out. In walked Dolph Lundgren, 6 feet 5 inches tall and built like a brick [outhouse].

    He said, “You’re Bill Wallace, right?”

    I said, “Yeah, and you’re Dolph Lundgren.”

    I stood up and
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  6. Teaching at Elvis Presley’s Karate School

    Teaching at Elvis Presley’s Karate School

    I was probably 24 or 25 years old and was doing graduate work at the University of Memphis (then called Memphis State University) in Tennessee. I was already the national champion, and my kickboxing career hadn’t started yet.
    One of the reasons I’d gone to Tennessee to open a martial arts
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