Sofia Amarante wrote on her donations page, “I have a great chance to become the First American Female to win the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship as a black belt.” It is 2013 and there has never been an American to win gold in the Female black belt division?
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship came to the US from Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2007. This move helped make the sport much more accessible to American athletes male and female. In 2007, Emily Kwok won the middle weight black belt division. Emily, “Japan, to be more specific I was born in Aomori, Japan.” She is the first Canadian to win the worlds and one of the first non-Brazilians. “I was 19 when I moved to the US. We immigrated to Canada when I was one and a half years old and I was raised speaking Japanese only until I went to elementary. My father is Chinese from Hong Kong and tri-lingual.” She continues, “Try Penny Thomas or Laurence Cousins.”