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Words of Wisdom: Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace, the three-time Black Belt Hall of Fame Inductee, who goes by the nickname “Superfoot,” owns an arsenal of kicks that made him a legend in and out of the ring. His outgoing personality and ability to have fun whether teaching or fighting are part and parcel of his life philosophy — even if he’s kicking an opponent in the head!

Black Belt Plus

Best Advice from Bill Wallace

Just have a good time. “The best advice I ever got was just to have fun,” Wallace said. “If you are going to do it, whatever the ‘it’ is, enjoy it because if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t care.“

For example, I love to train and practice my kicks. I don’t believe I’ve ever thrown a perfect kick. I’ve thrown some pretty good ones, but I don’t think any of them were perfect. I tell people, ‘Practice makes permanent; it doesn’t make perfect.’

”No matter how much you practice, something eventually will go awry, so you should learn to laugh at yourself, he explained. “Once, I was fighting a guy and tried to kick him in the head, but I landed on my butt. [All you can do is] just grin and get up and do it better the next time.”

Wallace reached deeper into his martial memory and came up with another example: “In 1990, I hit Joe Lewis with a counter hook kick. I thought, Oh, damn! I’ve killed him with a perfect heel kick! Lewis merely backed up and said, ‘Ouch.’ I just shook my head and smiled. Like I said, you gotta have fun.”

Martial Arts Drills

Worst Advice from Bill Wallace

Don’t mind the pain. Wallace said the worst advice he ever received was to ignore pain. Now he knows how ill-advised that is. “If something starts to hurt, there is something physically wrong,” he explained. “The guy who said, ‘No pain, no gain,’ is dead because he said that a long time ago before we got smart about how to train safely.“

Working through the pain is very stupid. Let an injury heal because with rest, it will heal a lot faster. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are soft tissues and will give — but only to a certain degree. When you go too far, they’ll snap.”

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