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 contact fighting.
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, IN, 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 (2 times).
He was such a 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.
A former member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Wallace has also 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, for 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.