I wrote about Bill Wallace in the past and I explained about his amazing style built on very fast techniques and combinations always developed from the left side stance. Given his strong knowledge about the human anatomy, built on a master in Kinesiology, he developed over the many years of his amazing career the so called “Superfoot” system that first helps to develop flexibility on the main groups of muscles involved in kicks and then teaches how to use, in a very effective way, the three kicks and the couple of punches on which he bases his system.
Earlier today I had the opportunity of finally meet one of my heroes in martial arts: Bill “Superfoot” Wallace was running a morning seminar organised by Colin Payne from TKO in Chatham (Kent, UK); although I found out about it just a few days before, I dropped all of my engagements and simply went there J Bill Wallace was famous when I started Kickboxing in 1981 and I never had the opportunity of meeting him so this was a chance not to be missed.
At first impression Superfoot appears as very friendly and unassuming person: he arrived with a big smile and looking to “have some fun”. Within minutes from his arrival we started with some warm up techniques, very similar to some I have seen on his DVDs and we worked out flexibility for both the hamstrings and internal adductors in order to help relaxing the muscles needed for the 3 main kicks that make up the Superfoot method:
- Round kick
- Side kick
- Hook kick
Then we started some simple exercises to improve speed and coordination about delivering individual kicks from the above list; finally we worked at combinations that use either a punch (typically a jab or back fist) or one of these kicks as a preparation for another kick.
His philosophy was and is conceptually simple: keep hitting with one technique that works and hurts a bit and keep changing angle. Although the repertoire is quite limited it just works. It is about working on speed, surprising the opponent with techniques that will probably not knock him down straight away but will upset him many times, make him nervous and help building up for the eventual final strike while scoring many and many points in the process.
At 65 Mr Wallace is no longer a young man: from his face you could compare him to other men of similar age. Looking just at his body most people will think he is at least 20 years younger and that is until he starts moving. That’s when you think he could be 25 or 30 years younger. He can stretch his legs more than the majority of kick boxers and other martial artists I know of. When he was a professional fighter his kicks were of truly lightening speed but even now he can kick amazingly fast. There were several under 30 at this seminar that could not do what he was demonstrating at the speed he was doing it.
Is he a super human (apart from the Superfoot)? Absolutely not! He simply (!) managed to improve his techniques to perfection and then he adds to his techniques an amazing knowledge of what works, what scores, what helps you winning. Full contact kickboxing is today dominated by a number of good boxers that work out how to put a few round and front kicks within a rich combination of punches. His technique and style is unique and I don’t know of any professional full contact fighter that could fight today in this style but still he can be described with similar words I heard by a TV commentator during one of his fights: “you know he will come from a left side stance and you know he will either kick side, round or hook kick; nonetheless he scores and he does it every time”.
Meeting Bill Wallace was an amazing experience and although the workshop was less than three hours long I took home a list of amazing tricks that I will surely add to my repertoire and I will start teaching straight away. Thanks Superfoot, looking forward to seeing you again.