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How To Fight Sideways Like Bill “Superfoot” Wallace


– What’s up, I’m Jesse from
from karatebyjesse.com, aka “The Karate Nerd” and today I am joined by the one and only, the
man, the myth, the legend, Sensei Bill “Superfoot” Wallace. – Thank you sir. – Thank you so much for taking your time. – No problem. – Experience, and expertise
and sharing it with all of us. So you’re known all across the world, in the history of karate, as one of the greatest full-contact fighters. – [Announcer] I think
they’re trying to show each other something in this round. Who is the toughest? – And your unique approach revolves around this sideways stance. – Yes. – Could you explain a little
bit about that approach? Why you’re doing it, why
and how it’s so effective? – When I started karate, I had just ruined my right knee in judo. I was playing judo, a guy
fell on my right knee, tore the medial ligament. – Okay. – So the right leg was gone. And when I started doing karate training, I was already in the cast. – Okay. – And I started doing side
kicks, roundhouse kicks with the front leg, just snap, and just working that movement,
because I couldn’t step, I couldn’t do anything else. And then, when I started,
I got out of the cast, and I started working
regular karate training, I had to protect my
knee, because back then there was never arthroscopic surgery. It was called exploratory. – Okay. (laughs) – Which is not good. And I found out that because
I’m sideways this way, and kiba dachi, modified kiba dachi, but when I step from
here, again, I can still stand my kiba dachi, right? I don’t have to go boom and do this, so I’m right here, and me being a kicker, if I do back fist reverse punch, now, can I kick with this leg? – Not really. – Not really, so I gotta stay here. So the very first
combination that everybody was taught in any striking sport was back fist reverse
punch, or jab cross, right? Okay. For us, like today, no. From here, you take your
stance, I throw back fist, boom, another side kick. Now, I’m still sideways. – Yeah. – Now, if you come at me
hard, I’ll just take off. So I’m protected. What do you see to hit? Look at my body. What do you see to hit? There’s only one target that
you see, and that’s my head. – Right. – And if you throw at my head, now it’s gone because I have this, and as you throw. – Oh. – I have the side kick. So from here, it’s back fist, he blocks, and a side kick. Very simple movement. Not this, no, nothing like this, it’s just step movement, speed. – Right. – Works for me. Speed in the movement. It might not be strong, but it’s quick, and in speed, you develop power. – So basically, what most people do in a lot of martial arts is they wanna use their hips. – Yes. – To generate power,
and that’s why they have this kind of square stance, right? – Yeah. – So your whole fighting
system revolves around speed, which is why you can
have a sideways stance. – Yes. Because from this position right here, I can throw the side
kick, I can throw mawashi, I can throw ura mawashi. But for me, how much flexibility do I need to throw yoko geri? – Exactly. – That’s all I need. I don’t have to lean,
I don’t have to shift, I don’t have to jump at you. I just step. From here, look at the distance, step, now look how close I am. Now you still have to
say, what’s he doing? – Right. – Not that, here comes a
kick, here comes a punch, but you gotta say, what’s he doing? – Yeah. – That gives me the opportunity
to work my combinations. – [Announcer] He’s vicious
when he’s unloaded. I mean, that’s the most powerful
right-hand I think I’ve seen. – So let’s say you’re facing somebody who does a lot of low kicks. It might be a tempting target
to go for your front leg. – There’s the hook kick. – Aha. – Or better yet, you sweep the kick. – Right. – There’s the side kick,
because as you sweep. – Yeah. – Stop. Look at your body. – Right, I open up. – You’re here. ‘Cause you have to get power in the sweep. As you do that, there’s the side. – Okay. – Or I let you sweep it. – Right. – And then there’s the hook kick. Because now you walk
right into the hook kick. The side kick is my power. – Okay. – The roundhouse kick is like my jab. – Okay. – But the hook kick is my counter. – So you’re using three
basic different kinds of kicks for different purposes. – But it’s the same kick. – It is? – Comes out the same way. Yoko geri comes straight out like a punch. Mawashi geri comes out like a ridge hand. Ura mawashi comes out like a back fist. – Right. – If I have to turn to
throw this kick for mawashi, you’re gonna see this. – Exactly. – If I throw the ura
mawashi, you see that. – Right. – Yoko is here. If you’re fast enough, you know what I’m gonna throw before I throw it. – Exactly. – But if it all looks the same, what do you have to wait for? You have to wait for me to throw it. – Yeah. – It’s here when you see it. – Right. – Now you have this time to defend. – Mm, exactly. – And up to now, everybody’s picked the wrong thing to defend. – [Announcer] His corner
did not appreciate that. – [Other Announcer] That
beautiful round kick! – So how would you combine
a sideways fighting stance using both the kicks and your arms? What is the philosophy there? – Well, the easy way to
practice is from here, you be like this. – Okay. – Now, okay. Now you, right here, we did this today. Open your hands. I throw the jab here. I throw the cross here. He turns that hand, now I just slap that. Son of a gun, I’m sideways. Boom, and there’s the sidekick. – So you’re loading up the
side kick with that hook punch. – Yep, because when I jab, and I cross, and I hook, see how I’ve turned sideways? – Yep. – Now, the speed as I turn here, bam, and there’s the sidekick. – Mm, I see. – Not… Because see, you’d already moved! – Yeah, exactly. – But if I do one, two, three. Now, so before you can
react, and the punches are thrown to the face. – Yeah. – The cross is thrown to the face. The hook is thrown to the
face, so where are your arms? – Up here. (laughs) – There’s the sidekick. – Then some people say
it would be difficult to do a cross with your hips to the side. Do you have any advice
for throwing this hand? Because it’s so far away from the target when you’re sideways. – I don’t. (laughs) – Oh, you don’t? – No, I’m… You’ve got Floyd Mayweather. – Right. – The world boxing… He fought from this position,
and he could throw it. See, what you have to do is
pivot and reach and come back. – And you’re also keeping
this pretty much to the front. – Yep. – So it’s not that– – And if you don’t… You gotta throw the left hand at me. – Right. – Okay, what did you just do? You came up on the ball of your foot. – Yep. – Most people won’t, they’ll do this. That’s as far as the hips will turn. Now it’s this. Look how far I’ve missed you. But if I go here, now it’s there. – Yeah. – ‘Cause I turn and I come forward. – Right. – Power, movement, my weight. Weight into the movement. Just like in the kicking. I move my weight into it. – Yeah. – What just happened? (exclaims) – Exactly. – [Announcer] And down goes Corley. – So what about the arm position? I see that you’re holding one arm down and the other arm up. Is there a purpose for this? – I know with my arm down
in this position here that all of this is protected. – Okay. – All of this. All you have is this. – So you’re not afraid of
getting hit in the face. – You throw the punch. – Now it’s–
– Ah. And then your kick is also– – Yeah, ’cause now if you notice I’m on the ball of the foot. – Yep, fast. – There’s no weight on it. – Right. – Now I just redirect it. – That’s incredible. – Or you throw the jab
and I come over the top. – Ah. – And then there it is again. – And I don’t really see it. – You’ll never see it, it’s here. – ‘Cause it’s in the
corner of my eye, yeah. – And also, bam. – Bam, and then it’s too late. – Then boop. (laughs) So it’s all from this position. – Yeah. – And then I can take off. – Right. – The movement is, because of my knee, it did a wonderful sorta… Most of the time when I tore the knee up, it was all, your career’s done. – Yeah. – Well, it made me
change, it made me modify. It made me play with it, to where now everything is with this leg. The right leg, even though it’s damaged, does a great job of holding me up. – So. (laughs) When that injury or accident happened, what went through your head? – I’m done, I’m done. ‘Cause judo, if you got a bad knee, there was no such thing back then in 1965 as arthroscopic surgery. – Right, exactly. – Back then it was called exploratory. They wanted to cut it open
and look what’s inside. – Exactly. – Which is no good. – So what changed in
your mind that made you turn this sort of negative
thing into a positive thing? – I figured, physiologically,
I have a Master’s degree in this, if my right leg
is far away from you, you can’t reach it. And if I do this, see what happens? If I drag it this way, there’s stress on the medial ligament. – Right. – But my step bring it up. Now see how close I got to you right now? – Yeah. (laughs) – Now I can just bring
the leg up and kick, but also, if I step, so if I step, boom, there it is again. – Yeah. – So I can use this from this position. See, if I’m here and
I do this, then I do– What did you just do? – Yeah. – You reacted. – Exactly. – But if I go boom. See I’m going to use the kick. This leg is my third hand. So you put this hand here, this hand here, I’ll go between them. – Ah, I see. Do you have any advice
for people out there who might have some, let’s
say, it doesn’t have to be a disability but maybe some injury or something that hurts,
how to overcome that and turn it into a– – Let it rest. Let the injury rest. It’ll be better. The guy that said no
pain no gain, he’s dead. (laughs) Remember that. – Right. – So… We’ve always been taught,
all martial artists, work through the pain. No, don’t work, let it rest. The pain tells you
there’s something wrong. – Right. – I was in a cast for
three months for my leg. – Yeah. – After I got out of the
cast, it took a month or two, but it started loosening up
and it felt strong enough that, number one, it would hold me up. Number two, it’s never
gone out on me, ever. – No? – Never. – Wow. – [Announcer] You learn
to love the Superfoot. You see that leg out
there, snapping twice. See this extraordinary balance. One, two, three kicks. And that was a good roundhouse kick. – See, if I’m here, if
you throw the low kick, what, there’s still nothing I can do. Even though I lean back and
take the weight off of it, I’m still, I gotta do this. Well, you’re gone. But if I’m already right
here, and you just. – Mm. – So all I do is pick it up, and let you redirect back into your face. – Wow. That makes total sense. – Well, it’s easy for me. – Yeah. – And if I’m here, from
here, you have your hands up, and I can do up like,
what do you wanna do? See, boop, there’s the sidekick. – Exactly. – So, it’s easy movement. Not strong. – Right. – But quick. And maybe I catch you off balance. – So what would you say
to somebody who feels like they’re not quick enough
to make this work for them? – Relax. – Relax? – Teach the muscles to relax. Snap, you notice everything
I did was out and back, never this, but it’s out and back. Out and back. – You pull it back. – Yeah, snap. No, don’t pull it, snap it. – Snap it. – Hyper-extend. See, you can do this 35,000
times and nothing happens, but if you go boom, after about
give or six of those, ouch. – Yeah. – So out and back. – Ah, like a whip. – Yes, yes. And now, there’s no energy spent. – Right. – And it’s out and back. And if I have to do it again, I can. – (laughs) That’s fantastic. Do you have any final piece of advice for somebody who wants
to adopt this kind of sideways fighting stance
that you’re using out there? – Take the movement. Play with it. Change it. Modify it, so it becomes you. We’re not built the same, so you’re not gonna be able to do it like I do. Our flexibilities are different. Our strength, our
weaknesses are different. But most of all, our
psychology is different. I like kicking people. Makes me feel good. (laughs) So that’s what this is all about. Being able to kick. – Right. You found what worked for you, adapted it, tailored it around your
strengths and weaknesses, and became one of the
best in the world at it. – Yep, and the jab keeps you away from me so I can do that kick. So if I go here, aha,
boom, and there’s the kick. – Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. – Have a good time, and remember,
it’s fun kicking people. – (laughs) Thanks.

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