Sheperd is one of the top action film and television stars
in the world. Audiences are attracted to her irresistible
combination of beauty, lethal martial arts skills and theatrical
was named among the Top Ten Martial Arts Movie Stars in
Black Belt Magazine alongside Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris.
was voted The Most Popular Female Martial Arts Superstar by readers
of Inside Kung Fu magazine.Karen
is not only a skilled and talented actress, but she is also a highly
awarded Black Belt.
Sheperd’s fast road to success took her from being
a mesmerized 11 year old girl who wanted to be the
female Bruce Lee to her rise as a legend in the martial
single-handedly took the reins to establish National
women in martial arts forms competition when there were
no official titles for
women to be had.Often
being the only woman competing with men, Sheperd
got tired of hearing women spectators
they were too intimidated
to compete with men. Believing that more women would compete if
they had a goal to work towards, Sheperd became a role model and
leader by doing something about it. She petitioned Black Belt magazine’s
national rating system (the only one at the time) to add a rating
for women forms competitors. She also had to convince tournament
promoters to add separate divisions for women so that they could
be rated. With magazine and television publicity, word
of mouth and Sheperd's tenacity, the ratings war was on. Sheperd
was the first woman ever to win the Grand Champion title at the
prestigious U.S. Open Karate Championships, a win so unprecedented
that it was featured on national television news reports and magazine-format
t.v. shows. In 1979, Karen traveled the country, earning enough
points to see her dream for women forms competitors come true by
becoming the first woman ever to hold the Official #1 National rating.
title she held until 1981 when she retired halfway
through the 1981 tournament circuit to answer the
call from Hollywood when she received her first
offer to star in an action film. Not
limiting herself to the National level, and even
though there was no official “World” title to
be had, Sheperd often traveled outside the U.S.
wowed the international tournament scene with
her masterful performances with forms and weapons
as the Double Broad Swords and the Steel Whip-Chains).
set the standard for not only the level of competition
but with her
presentation and showmanship, helping to innovate
and influence the shape of competition today. Karen
revolutionize forms competition by incorporating
exciting music, creative moves and beautiful costumes.
legacy as “Queen of the Golden Age of Kata”, paved
the way for women competitors all over the world. Karen
Sheperd has been featured on the covers of every major martial
arts magazine and in hundreds of articles worldwide.
worldwide for her expertise, skill and influence
in the martial arts community, Karen continues
to be validated with prestigious awards. Sheperd
was inducted into the most highly coveted Black
Belt Hall of Fame as “Woman of the Year” in 1997.
Her other awards include, the World Confederation
of Spain’s Golden Medal of Honor, the Golden
State Karate Association’s “Hall of Fame” and
the Martial Arts History Museum’s Martial Arts
Hall of Fame for which Karen received an overwhelming
flood of international votes.
converted her focused determination
as a highly awarded athlete into
a successful action film and
television celebrity by immersing
herself in acting studies in
Hollywood with such notable acting
coaches as Zena Provendie (head
coach at MGM for 30 years),Harry
| Mastrogeorge at
Theatre, Rick Walters at Theatre
Craft Playhouse and Jack
Kosslyn. Karen’s earliest job in
the entertainment field was starring
as Red Sonja on stage at Universal
where she performed live, on
stage in over 3,200 performances.
She recently completed filming the
role in a short-film titled,
Midnight Expression. Her
starring film roles have taken her
all over the world, the first to
Japan to star in Shinobi Ninja, with
Eric Lee and Tadadshi Yamashita.
| She traveled to Hong Kong
to star in the cult classic
Righting Wrongs (directed
by Cory Yuen), the Philippines
to star in Blood Chase (with
Andrew Stevens), Africa to
star in Eliminator Woman,
Israel to star in America
3000, and Lebanon to star
in Operation Golden Phoenix.
in the United States, Sheperd starred in Cyborg
2 (with Jack Palance and Angelina Jolie), Markus
4 (with John Savage and Robert Caradine), Soul
of the Avenger (with Nancy Kwan, Richard Norton
and James Lew), Boogie Boy (with Joan Jett, Emily
Lloyd and Mark Dacascos), and Mission of Justice
(with Brigitte Nielson).
a fan of Karen’s martial arts
films, producer Rob Tapert
took Karen to New Zealand to
film her recurring guest-star
roles of “The Enforcer” in
his hit international television
series, Hercules: The Legendary
Karen’s performance opposite Kevin Sorbo was
hugely popular with both Hercules fans and Karen’s martial arts
fans worldwide. “The Enforcer” drew the highest ratings ever for
the entire series.
Sheperd has a huge worldwide fan base and is a popular speaker and
instructor on the International seminar circuit where she shares
her knowledge and insight on martial arts training, motivation and
on film & television fight choreography.
also lends her unique skills and expertise to the stunt business.
choreographed hundreds of martial
arts fights for film and television. Karen also regularly performed
stunt fights for Eliza Dushku’s character, Faith, on Buffy the Vampire
Slayer and Angel. Karen’s exciting fights with Sophia Crawford (Sarah
Michelle Gellar’s stunt/fight double) were enormously popular with
fans because they were some of the most creative, and high-energy
stunt-filled fights between two women ever on television. Karen also
performed fights for Nia Peeples on Walker, Texas Ranger and on V.I.P.
with Pamela Anderson.
current main focus is acting and her abilities extend far
beyond the action genre, as proven by her passion for theater
and dramatic television and film roles. Karen
Sheperd possesses a winning mixture of self confidence and
unorthodox determination. Film makers seem to like the combination
as Sheperd continues her steady rise to prominence as a member
of an elite fraternity of performers and martial artists
dedicated to the mastery of their craft. Karen Sheperd is
... The Karate Diva!TOP