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Sensei Art McConnell Seminar from 2014

Superfoot Seminar

Superfoot Seminar

By: Art McConnell

 

Tozai

 

It was thirty years since I had taken the Superfoot Seminar, so when Hanshi Joyce Santa Maria told me that Bill Wallace (known as “Superfoot,”) would be coming to the Empire State Dojo in Smithtown, New York. I knew it was time for a review.

Sensei Bill came from Florida at the end of January and shared his knowledge of many decades with us. He opened the class with the “science of stretching” and its benefits and disadvantages if practiced incorrectly.

In the early 80’s we had done three hours of roundhouse and hook kicking with intermittent side kick stretches with a partner. This time he stressed timing and delivery, explaining the true function of the ‘jumping jack’ and the trigger point of “Fumikomi” in freestyle sparring. Being the same age I thought about how many years he had devoted to full time training, daily stretching and countless sparring matches done randomly at endless seminars in his career. He began his training in Okinawa while in the Air Force at the same dojo as Joe Lewis who was serving in the Marine Corps there. They brought back the traditional fighting art and pioneered the future of karate, along with Chuck Norris, who trained in Korea while in the army. This trinity of champions excelled in point scoring, kickboxing and martial arts films while developing simple techniques that they turned into high powered weapons that became their legacy.

Sensei Bill’s southpaw takes about two seconds to reach your head where he quickly unloads three different kicks from a common chamber. In between he hammers you with the sidekick to your ribs and stomach. He didn’t say, “Don’t give your opponent a chance” because that would sound un-sportsman like. He did say though, “Don’t let them have their turn.”

In the second half of the seminar Sensei Grant Campbell gave an insight into kata. Taking the first few moves of the basic Shorin Ryu form, he demonstrated the physical spirit necessary in forms to prepare one for ‘Kumite’. He brings much traditional value to the modern ‘superfoot’ system. During this section of the seminar, Sensei Bill spoke about the martial arts of Oknawa, and the history of the country’s empty hand fighting and weapons training.

My instructor also trained in the far east. It was in Japan while stationed at Tachikawa air base, near the Hachioji Hombu of Kenkojuku. His name was John Slocum, and although known for his ‘dojo storming’ and love of fighting he always stressed the importance of strong spirit and delivery in ‘kata’. One of my ‘Senpai,’ Mr. Pierce, who was a boxer in Ireland with twenty two fights under his belt, always told me to take one or two techniques and make a weapon out of them that would eventually become unstoppable. This is clearly what Sensei Bill has done and in the process has taught thousands of students, from white belts to black belts, the ‘superfoot system’ and method of scientific stretching which leads to maximum development and high kicking knockout power.

Anyone who has ever thrown a karate kick needs to take this seminar to gain an understanding of the vital lessons that ‘superfoot’ Bill Wallace is famous for.

 

Art McConnell

Tozai

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