Karen 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 range. Karen was named among the Top Ten Martial Arts Movie Stars in Black Belt Magazine alongside Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris.
Karen 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.
Karen Sheperd’s fast road to success took her from being a mesmerized 11 year old girl who wanted to be the first female Bruce Lee to her rise as a legend in the martial arts community.Karen single-handedly took the reins to establish National ratings for 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
say 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.
A 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. and wowed the international tournament scene with her masterful performances with forms and weapons (such as the Double Broad Swords and the Steel Whip-Chains).

Karen 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 helped revolutionize forms competition by incorporating exciting music, creative moves and beautiful costumes. Sheperd’s 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.

Respected 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.

Sheperd 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 the Chamber 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 Studios, Hollywood where she performed live, on stage in over 3,200 performances. She recently completed filming the lead 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.
Filmed 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).

As 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 Journeys.

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. Karen 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.
Sheperd also lends her unique skills and expertise to the stunt business. Karen has 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.
Sheperd’s 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
Karen Sheperd Karate Diva © All Rights Reserved