Our History, Instructors and Style
Our history, instructors and style can be found here. The Bushido School of Karate™ was co-founded in 1998 by Shihan Shahin Mehrkar and Sensei Cheryl Werdal. Originally located in Thornwood, N.Y. we moved to White Plains, N.Y. in 2008.
The Bushido School of Karate™ is a hybrid style of traditional kyokushin karate, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and weapons training. We provide a curriculum that progresses belt by belt and is proven to be practical and effective. The program begins with the basics and moves students towards tangible goals in small and achievable steps. Our extensively trained owners and instructors believe in traditional, disciplined training and help students build their minds and bodies through months and years of practice.
Shihan S. Mehrkar, Master Instructor
Shihan Shahin Mehrkar began his own martial arts training in 1979 first with the Oyama family and then with the United American Karate organization. United American Karate became TSK . Shihan Mehrkar managed his own TSK school from 1989 to 1998 ultimately earning his 4th Degree Black.
Prior to his career in the martial arts Shihan Mehrkar earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College. He was a live-in assistant at Camp Venture in Rockland County, a home for mentally challenged adults. He was truly beloved for his compassion and patience with residents and his fun sense of humor with co-workers.
Shihan Mehrkar is known in the community as a skilled teacher and true martial artist . He guides his students to reach their highest potential and gives them the training required to achieve a black belt. Many of his students have trained under his direction for more than 25 years and have achieved ranks as high as fourth-degree black belt. Whether Shihan Mehrkar chose the career or the career chose him, this is what he does and who he is. He has made martial arts his livelihood and his students his priority.
The consummate martial artist, in 2013 Shihan Mehrkar earned his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy® Blue Belt . In 2016 he picked up his BJJ training again, this time at NitroBJJ in Brewster, N.Y. Beginning as a white belt, Shihan Mehrkar earned Purple Belt in August 2017. He continued training until March 2020 when COVID prevented in-person BJJ classes. When it was once safe again to train in-person Shihan re-booted his training at Evolution Grappling Academy in Beacon, N.Y. In December 2021 he earned his brown belt from Coach Mike Paladino.
Sensei C. Werdal
Sensei Cheryl Werdal began her Karate training in 1991 in the TSK organization earning her 1st Degree Black Belt in August 1994. In 1998 she and Shihan Mehrkar joined forces to open The Bushido School of Karate.
Becoming an instructor in 1998, Sensei Werdal has advanced to 4th Degree Black Belt. Earning her Personal Trainer Certification in 2001 gave her a further understanding of why Bushido Karate’s classes and curriculum produce tone and fit bodies in addition to teaching powerful self-defense. Developing curriculum from a woman’s point of view remains an important aspect of Sensei Werdal’s role as co-owner. Historically a male dominated field, it is essential that girls and women are able to realize their strengths for effective self-defense.
Growing up in Mamaroneck, N.Y., attending Good Counsel Academy in White Plains, N.Y. and St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. and ultimately co-owning this business in White Plains makes Sensei Werdal a proud native New Yorker. Finding martial arts as her passion gave her the confidence to also make it her full-time career. In her spare time she is a volunteer EMT with the Union Vale Fire Department in Dutchess County, N.Y. Giving back to the community at work and at home is always her priority. Check out Sensei Werdal’s CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR BODY Martial Arts Fitness by BUSHIDO KARATE series of videos!
Sensei E. Schwartz
Sensei Evelyn Schwartz has been an invaluable employee for over two decades at The Bushido School of Karate. Her development of Little Eagles® Martial Arts classes has become a nationwide program for preschoolers, licensed by martial arts schools and individuals.
Sensei Schwartz is a 3rd Degree Black Belt who began her training in 1994 under the direction of Shihan Mehrkar. At Bushido Karate she is well-loved by parents and students alike. Her loyalty to the Bushido Karate family of students is unsurpassed and is evident in the effort she puts in to making all our events (Movie Nights, Dodgeball, Carnivals, Halloween, etc) over-the-top spectacular!
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