Black Belt Test Weekend


The weekend of March 20-21, 2021 marked not only the welcome of spring but an accomplishment few attain but all admire a black belt.

Join us in congratulating TEN new shodans, first-degree black belts to US Budokai Karate!

Don Fawthrop, Ivan Stebletsov, Trent Bruce, Aidan Smith, Kayla Smith, Veronica Smith, Lily Heffernan, Marissa Guetti, Katerina Tsakaloyannis, and Jack Baker!

Of note in the shodan, group is The Smith Family – Congratulations on three family members making rank at the same time!!

Even fewer students move on to higher dan (level) rank so we are extremely proud of the FIVE new Nidans, second-degree black belts!

Haley Miller, Chris Guetti, Jordan Whelchel, Randy Mysliwiec, Taylor Lanier

Students must be at least 14 years old to test for Nidan so it is no small feat for a student who starts as a Tiny Tiger (4-6 years old) to continue to Nidan.  We are extremely proud to acknowledge the commitment of Haley Miller, Jordan Whelchel, and Taylor Lanier – all Tiny Tiger alumni!! Way to go!

Sensei Walter McKay

Sensei Walter McKay
Congratulations Sensei Walter McKay

It is a rare student who stays until making the rank of 4th-degree black belt and earns the title Sensei.   Join me in congratulating Sensei Walter McKay on this phenomenal accomplishment.  Sensei began training at US Budokai in 2006 and exemplifies the extraordinary (15YR!) dedication to this landmark achievement.  Of note, Sensei Walter joins his wife, Sensei Nicole McKay as a US Budokai yondan (Mr. and Mrs. Sensei!!). 

Hanshi Jarem put the students through kihon (karate basics), katas, and pre-arranged self-defenses.  No black belt exam would be complete without fighting!  These candidates had to fight their way through many rounds of bag work; tougher by some standards for sure but at least those bags weren’t hitting back!! The determination, conditioning, and spirit of these candidates were some of the best we’ve ever seen. All of these candidates stayed strong and committed to their training throughout COVID quarantine, training virtually, solo, and in the dojo.  By far they are each stronger inside and out having made this journey with US Budokai Karate.  CONGRATULATIONS FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU! OSU!








Russ Jarem

Hanshi Russ Jarem, 8th degree black belt

Susan Warzek

Kyoshi Susan Warzek, 7th degree black belt & US BUDOKAI KARATE of Clifton Park have been repeatedly selected as the communities’ #1 Martial Arts School!

Established in 1980 by Master Instructor, Hanshi Russ Jarem an 8th degree Black Belt, US Budokai Karate and for pre-school children ages 4-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the skills needed for a successful in school and later in life.

US Budokai Karate Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape) or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.  A place to develop mind, body and spirit.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours or the day, 7 days a week at or call directly at 518-383-0484. You can also visit our website at

The US Budokai Karate is centrally located in the Capital District Area in Saratoga County, New York at 215 Guideboard Road, Clifton Park, NY  12065.