Students from the Eastchester-based Westchester Martial Arts Academy won seven gold medals at the Sparring/Grappling Tournament held at the Danbury Police Activities League Center last month.
Four silver and five bronze medals were among the other prizes the students took home. The competition was sponsored by the Danbury Academy of Mixed Martial Arts.
WMAA students, ranging in age from 8 to 13 years, were among several young competitors from martial arts schools in the region to participate.
The team trained for three months leading up to the event, and all of the students were encouraged to balance their martial arts training with school work and other activities, explained their instructors and owners of the academy, Chuck and Kara Giangreco.
Top row, from left: Edouard Khawley, Dylan Kipp, Ryan Martin; Middle row, from left, Kara Giangreco (instructor and co-owner), Bobby Martin, Kevin Hernandez and Chuck Giangrecco, (instructor and co-owner); and (bottom row, from left) Dan Rodriguez and Aidan Connolly. Photo courtesy of Collette Connolly.)
Not pictured: Trevor Frey, Matthew Kuo, Tommy Kuo and Zac Shearon,
.”We’re very proud of our team, all of whom learned to overcome the inherent fear and anxiety of facing an unknown opponent and still compete at a high level with excellent sportsmanship,” said the Giangrecos. “In martial arts competitions, the students train as a team, but unlike team-based sports, the athlete’s success or failure is based on their individual performance.”