Thursday, July 7, 2016

Super Foot Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace, a unique presence for his time. He really could live up to the title of Super Foot.


When my wife and I attended a clinic with him in 1976  in Yorm Pam he was extremely engaging. Part of the reason I was there is because it was near my hometown. For reasons never clear to me, almost no one attended, In fact if Reese Rigby had not brought a group up from his school in Dover. But there was a small group and he worked us.


First there was an hour of stretching, Drill Instructor style. He pushed us, and pushed us. We found out his daily routine was to spend 3 hours stretching every day. It became clear that this was what he did for life.


The next 2 or so hours we kicked. Three kicks. Round kick, side kick and hook kick.. Over and over, all on the same foot. Each of the kicks were to be thrown from the same chamber, one where the leg to kick was bent and held against your chest. So the center of gravity for the body was a straight line from the knee to the foot on the floor.


And how he did kick. From that chamber he could throw hundreds of kicks without putting his foot down. Fast ones, slow motion ones, in innumerable combinations. I recall one of those drills, he had us throw a hundred round kicks, not letting us put our foot down. By the end our round kicks were inches off the floor. And the whole time he was screaming, exhorting us to do more, as in boot camp.


Then he allowed us to try and block his kicks. He would tell you which combination he was going to use, show you first in slow motion. Then come at you with speed. And nothing you  could do would stop them.


Now I was just a blue belt, and my wife a yellow belt. So not being able to stop them was not much. But Reese Rigby was a regional fighter and good, He also had no chance stopping those kicks. Most impressive.


And if when he was walking around the floor he noticed your hair had come down, why in slow motion he would lift up his foot and use a hook kick to slowly brush it back into place.


For years I worked on what he shared. Too soon I was on my own as it was. But it didn’t take. I did not realize that my body type was not one for that style of kicking, nor as I observed many times over the years, how few people could successfully adopt those strategies.


It was worth the experience training with Bill Wallace, if only for the stories you could share.


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