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#41 Emily Kwok

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Emily Kwok was not allowed to play combat sports growing up. So, once she became an adult she dove in. First trying Boxing which she didn't enjoy. Then Sambo, where she was disappointed new students, were not allowed to spar. Emily's next choice was

Jiu Jitsu and once she saw that the new students could spar she was hooked.

Emily grew into a fierce competitor over the next several years. She did this training at a time where there were very few female training partners, and in environments that often were brutal both physically and mentally. In spite of those obstacles, she became a pioneer in the sport, a huge ambassador for women in Jiu Jitsu, and created amazing instructional videos. Not to mention a multi-time world champion.

However, those negative training environments took their toll on Emily. She found herself breaking down mentally, questioning her self-worth, and needed to change her circumstances. Around 2009 Emily had a burgeoning friendship with Tatiana Garcia wife of the legendary BJJ champion Marcelo Garcia. Tatiana had been inviting Emily to train with them for years and Emily decided in order for her to continue training she needed to leave her team. Emily found herself in a new, more positive environment, one she described as a breath of fresh air, focused on loving Jiu Jitsu.

Also while at Marcelo's academy Emily became friends with its cofounder Joshua Waitzkin. know as the "Chess Guy" and the subject of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer. Joshua introduced Emily to Peak Performace and after working closely with Joshua, Emily began to transform her life. Rediscovering her love of Jiu Jitsu and more importantly finding peace in herself.

Emily is now raising three young children, training, instructing, running multiple businesses, and owning Princeton BJJ in Princeton New Jersey. Through all her struggles and successes Emily has found a balance in her life and is still inspiring, pioneering, and empowering others through Jiu Jitsu.


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