A shy lady, Emma Markwell is one of Europe’s most successful Kyokushin competitors.
Emma Markwell was born in Crawley, England on 18 July 1989. Around the age of 9, she started attending Kyokushin classes with her stepdad, Les Spall. He was already a student of Steve Arneil, training at his IFK (International Federation Karate) Wimbledon dojo. Spall had a big influence on her training. She was soon training with Arneil twice a week. She eventually started training with David Pickthall at his IFK Crawley dojo. Pickthall would go on to guide her through her many tournament successes.
By 2005 Markwell has started competing in junior tournaments. She began competing mainly in kata events. By her own admission, she struggled in kata, although she eventually became a British Kata champion.
Markwell was soon attending junior squad training events run by Andy Turner. He recognised her talent and in time he started taking her to compete in international tournaments, where she competed in kumite events.
In 2007 Markwell graduated from Cheam High School.
Markwell continued her training with Arneil. In 2008 she had her first major tournament success at the International Federation of Karate (IFK) British Open, where she finished first. In 2009 she was selected to be a member of the IFK international team.
Through the years Markwell continued to have a very successful tournament career. Her major tournament successes include:
- Kyokushin-Kan World Weight Championship (Kumite) – 3rd place (2009)
- IFK World Tournament (Kumite) – 3rd place (2013)
- KWF World Championship (Kumite)-1st place (2021)
- KWU World Tournament (Kumite) – 1st place (2019)
- KWU World Tournament (Kumite) – 2nd place (2013, 2015, 2017)
- IFK European Championship (Kumite)-1st place (2014)
- IFK European Championship (Kumite)-2nd place (2018)
- KWF European Championship (Kumite)-2nd place (2016)
- KWU European Championship (Kumite)-3rd place (2018)
- Rengokai European Championship (Kumite) – 1st place (2014, 2019)
- Shinkyokushin Diamond Cut (Kumite) – 1st place (2014)
- IFK British Open (Kumite) – 1st place (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- IFK British Open (Kumite) – 2nd place (2009, 2010)
Emma Markwell is currently ranked as a 4th Dan and as a member of the IFK teaches on courses and training camps around Europe.
Away from Karate, Markwell runs Markwell Fitness, where she provides various services as a personal trainer.