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From Childhood Struggles to Community Leader

Professor Raz Chan is a true hero and an inspiration to many, proving that with hard work, dedication, and the right mindset, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. In recognition of his achievements, Raz was voted one of Canada’s Top 50 Most Outstanding Canadians in 2017, and has appeared in major media outlets such as CTV, Vancouver Magazine, Gracie Magazine, and Canada’s Fashion Mag.

Raz’s journey has taken him from challenging childhood struggles to becoming a distinguished leader in his community. As a first-generation Chinese Canadian, Raz’s upbringing was full of difficulties in balancing his Chinese roots with fitting into Canadian life. His family’s pursuit of the Canadian dream of financial success was a difficult one, with stories of racism and intolerance passed down from his grandfather’s establishment of a Chinese restaurant in Winnipeg in the 1950s.

Video: Raz’s Story

Developing Resilience & Courage through Martial Arts

Raz’s proud father, a martial arts master, exposed him to martial arts at a young age and demonstrated to him how it could help people become stronger, better versions of themselves. As time went on, Raz’s commitment and diligence paid off, as he attained a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and found success as an entrepreneur.

Raz’s experiences as a child and young adult helped him to develop the resilience and courage that would later lead him to save a woman from an attempted carjacking in broad daylight, an act that made major news headlines in 2015.

“When Raz Chan tackled the carjacker at Main and Broadway, he didn’t pause to think. He heard a woman screaming, then an eerie silence fell over the normally busy corner, people frozen in the mid-afternoon sun. And then, suddenly, Chan had the guy pinned to the ground.He’d never done anything like this. It’s true he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, self-defence, kickboxing, and other martial arts, and he’s escorted a few unruly people out of classes. But now, all his training kicked in….”

“A novel Canadian study about who is more likely to show bravery indicates there’s a general attitude to life that prompts some to act. In most ways, they’re pretty much like everyone else. But in one area of personality testing, they display a difference: they have an unusual belief that they have the power to transform bad events into good ones…. ‘Heroes tended to take bad things and find something good in them.’ Raz Chan fits into many of the predictive categories.”

– Vancouver Magazine, “Will You Be Brave?”, April 2015

Business Owner, Speaker & Author

Today, Professor Raz Chan is the owner of Gracie Barra New Westminster, where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to law enforcement personnel, working professionals, and families. A renowned corporate speaker on cultural diversity and using the principles of martial arts to overcome obstacles to success in the business, Raz is also the author of several martial arts-based self-development books for adults and kids.