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Yonkers Youngster Wins Award At Grappling Tournament

WMAA grappling instructor Ron Barone and Alexa Grassi, of Yonkers, at the NAGA Tournament.
WMAA grappling instructor Ron Barone and Alexa Grassi, of Yonkers, at the NAGA Tournament. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers nine-year-old Alexa Grassi took home a first place award from the North American Championship Grappling Association Tournament.

Alexa competed in April at the NAGA tournament, the largest mixed grappling event of its kind in the U.S. for both children and adult competitors, according to a press release. Alexa has been training at the Eastchester-based Westchester Martial Arts Academy for the past two years, according to the release. She competed with a group of other mixed martial art students from WMAA.

The two-day No-Gi tournament, held in Morristown, N.J., included adult and teen competitions as well as an under-13 division. No-Gi refers to the sport of submission wrestling, otherwise known as submission grappling or sports grappling, according to the release.

"In the weeks leading up to the competition, WMAA grappling instructor Ron Barone, with assistance from WMAA student Aidan Connolly, coached Alexa and her fellow WMAA students on the techniques and skills needed to successfully compete at such an event, drawing attention to her weaknesses and her strengths," representatives said.

“I am proud of everyone who competed at NAGA, including Alexa,” said Barone. “It was a great learning experience regardless if they won or lost.”

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