Buzz Durkin – Headmaster
Mr. Durkin began his study of Uechi Ryu karate in 1966. In March of 1974 Mr. Durkin opened his school and began teaching.
Under his leadership the school has grown to be one of the largest and most successful traditional martial arts schools in the country, winning numerous national and international
Mr. Durkin has traveled to Asia many times to further his knowledge of Uechi style karate, including a Government sponsored trip to the People’s Republic of China. He currently holds the rank of tenth degree black belt and is a registered Hanshi or Master Instructor with the All Okinawan Karate Association. He is one of a select group of karate practitioners world wide to receive a special commendation for outstanding contributions to Uechi style karate. He is a charter inductee in the Uechi Ryu Hall of Fame, and a member of the World Martial Arts Federation Hall of Fame.
Mr. Durkin is considered one of the top instructors and consultants in the Martial Arts field today. He has been the keynote speaker at several national Martial Arts conventions and regularly addresses school owners, teachers and civic groups on the benefits of the Martial Arts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Martial Arts Association, which is the largest Martial Arts Association in the country.
Mr. Durkin is a Vietnam combat veteran who received both his Bachelor of Science degree and his M.B.A. from Boston College. He lives in Atkinson, NH with his wife of thirty-six years, Judy.
Marcus Traynor – Head Instructor
Mr. Marcus Traynor began his training with Mr. Durkin in 1990. In 1997, he was promoted to the position of Head Instructor.
Mr. Traynor currently holds the rank of seventh degree black belt and is a registered Shihan or Master Instructor with the Uechiryu Butokukai.
In 2007 and 2012, Mr. Traynor received “Most Inspiring Instructor” award at the International Martial Art Convention. He is also a certified MMA strength and conditioning coach. As Test Administrator, he is responsible for overseeing the promotions of more than two hundred Black Belt candidates annually.
Mr. Traynor is a member of the Atkinson Lions Club and currently lives in Auburn, N.H. with his wife Jessica, daughter Bella and son Henry.
Bill Leith – Chief Instructor
Mr. Leith began his training with Mr. Durkin in 1995. He currently holds the rank of fifth degree black belt.
In 2010, Mr. Leith received the “Most Inspiring Instructor” award at the EFC International Martial Arts Convention in Washington, DC. He is also the school’s chief weapons instructor and has knowledge of a myriad of Okinawan weapons.
Mr. Leith is an honors graduate of the University of New Hampshire.
Mr. Leith has also performed in a variety of stage demonstrations and independent films.
Sara Mersereau – Program Director
Sara Mersereau began training with Mr. Durkin in 2001. She received the rank of fourth degree black belt in 2017. During her time at BDKS, Sara has been part of the STORM program and has helped with various events including black belt testing, graduation ceremonies, and karate tournaments. Along with managing the dojo schedule, helping students and parents, and other tasks as Program Director, Sara enjoys teaching both children and adults.
In 2018, Sara graduated from University of Massachusetts – Lowell with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science. She is CPR, First-Aid, and Crowd Management certified.
Stephanie Rodenhiser – Instructor
Stephanie Rodenhiser is a fourth degree black belt. She has been training with Mr. Durkin for over a decade and currently works as an instructor for kids and adults. After training in the weapons program, she teaches how to use bo, sai, and tonfa. She has helped run events such as black belt testing, black belt graduations, karate tournaments, and various training seminars.
Stephanie currently studies at Northern Essex Community College as a psychology major. She is certified in CPR and Crowd Management.