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October 16, 2015

NAGA New England Fall 2015: Ravenous heads East

Visit NAGA by clicking the poster above.
Sponsorship information used to fund raise for this event.

Proof of the t-shirts we'll be wearing at NAGA.

North American Grappling Assoc.
Is holding the Fall New England Championship event on Oct. 17th in Providence, R.I.. 

     In attendance will be a group of Western Mass grapplers from Ravenous MMA.  The Greenfield based fight team will enter it's first youth competitor, Erik Leet.  The 12yr old has been interested in extreme sports for a good portion of his childhood now.  No wilting flower either,  His desire to push his limits has brought him his share of pain and frustration.  Erik has logged nearly 60 hours on the mats since he began earlier this year in June.  His primary training partner is a lanky 15yr old who gives up 15 lbs and has about a 6" reach advantage.  Aaron Laudieri is a HS freshmen at Franklin County Technical School where he has begun a study of computer programming and graphic design.  The very definition of a nerd, Aaron, is quick with a smile and eager to train.  With nearly an identical amount of mat time these two friends give each other the edge over the independent competitors they'll encounter on Saturday morning.  
     Aaron is joined in the Teen No-gi division by Jordan Bashaw also attending FCTS.  Jordan studies Machining Tech as a Junior.  He will skip over the Teen Novice No-gi division despite his limited attendance record at Ravenous's Studio for the simple fact that he is a competitive HS wrestler. Recently Jordan has been getting a boost to his mat time with the aid of our newest member, 24yr old, Nick Peduzzi of Northfield, MA.  Nick and Jordan match up well in both drive and ambition. Being nearly the same weight has it's advantages as well.  Nick has to contend with a significant knowledge gap he's hoping his HS wrestling experience will reduce or eliminate.  He'll have to compete in the Beginner Men's No-gi with men who've logged close to 100 hrs or better and or have wrestling backgrounds.  With around 20hrs on the Ravenous mats we're very excited to see what has already stuck and what will be the next step in training afterwards.  
     Returning to NAGA in his second run at a podium spot will be Blaze Robinson, of Whately. Blaze is our most experienced grappler competing this time.  With close to 550 hrs of mat time and first hand experience in the cage and on the tournament floor behind him the pressures of the unknown won't hinder his performance.  We are all looking forward to being mat-side as he maneuvers and attacks his opposition.  
     We'll have an opportunity to earn points in the over forty Men's Novice division thanks to Jim Leet, Erik's father, who's been racking up the hours on the mat over the last 6 months as well.  What started as a personal challenge between friends has grown into a desire to improve his fitness, but also to act as an anchor in the turbulent sea of parenthood bonding both father and son in a meaningful way.  Jim gives his all on the mats and at nearly 300lbs it'll be tough for anyone to control during the tournament.  At 6'2" the burly Scotsmen is head and shoulders above his team mates aside from one.  Scott "Big Skeet" Stacy has a few inches on Jim in both height and reach.  Scott is a veteran grappler with roughly 1500 hrs on the mats over 6 yrs.  He's been instrumental during this three month period that we've been working toward the New England NAGA.  Scott, Gary Emond, and myself have been working together over the last 6 years under the Ravenous banner doing our part to help each other understand and perform the style of Mixed Martial Arts used in competitive events.  We have become instructors under Jeremy Reipold the founder of Ravenous MMA Fight Team.  It has been a shared duty among the four of us to get the team ready for this event.  It's been very rewarding and exciting.  I personally love to see the changes in a person as they find out what they believe to be true about themselves and what is actually true.  
     We would like to thank our sponsors and we will in a special way after the tournament.  Each of the companies represented on our jersey have added many things to the team over the years and continue to.  For that we are grateful.    
Be sure to check out the results for each competitor on Sunday...