Cambodian American Fighter-Artist Lives Strong Woman Ideal
Sovannahry Em’s superpower is her right hand. She uses it to knock out martial arts opponents and she uses it to punch above her weight as a multimedia graphic artist. The 27-year-old, Cambodian-American mixed martial artist is also an accomplished illustrator. She dedicates her fighting and art to promote the strong-woman ideal in Cambodia and around the world. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, the daughter of a Cambodian refugee discovered boxing in 2011 while pursuing a digital media degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Today Em focuses on furthering her current 3-1 fight record and taking her drawing skills to the next level. In September 2019, VOA’s Chetra Chap visited Em’s Los Angeles home to talk with her about her journey of navigating the two most demanding aspects of her life.