Inaugural WTC Grading Ceremony for Krav Maga Cape Town

The End-of-Year club function turned into a celebration for more reasons than one, as the Krav Maga Cape Town club celebrated its one-year anniversary and the inaugural grading ceremony was held. This was an occasion for the club students, who have worked hard throughout the year dedicating their weekends, to share their accomplishment with their friends and family as they received their certification. The following club students received their Practitioner Level 1 (P1) certification.
• Edwin Nel
• Dylan Whittaker
• Vito Paparella
• Frank Ruggiero
• Mo Adams
• Marc Waller

Krav Maga Students lined up and readyLined up and ready!

Marc Waller being awarded his P1 certificate

Rank patches being presented
Following the awarding of certificates, rank patches were ceremoniously presented

Special Connection with Guest Speaker from SAS MENDI
The Guest Speaker for the grading ceremony was South African Navy Commander Leon van Zyl, Second-in Command SAS MENDI, who shared his experience in military operations and leadership, being a strong advocate of transformational leadership. Currently the 2IC of a frigate, where he is responsible for training and discipline, his views were exceptionally well received by the WTC club.

Guest Speaker: SA Navy’s Commander Leon van Zyl with WTC’s Claudio Chiste

The SAS MENDI is named after the SS MENDI, which sunk over a hundred years ago, in what still today South Africa’s worst maritime disaster with the death of 616 Southern Africans (607 of them black troops) and 30 crew. The significance of this tragedy is easy to fathom when we consider that the date of the sinking has been chosen as the official Armed Forces Day of the national defence force. To coincide with the 100-year anniversary, on 8th August 2017, the WTC Chief Instructor, Claudio Chiste, who was then England chairman for South African military veterans, lead a dive team to gently place a commemorative granite dedication -at the wreck site. The dive is not an easy dive as the wreck lies 10 nautical miles out at sea from the Isle of Wight, lying at the bottom of the ocean, which is turbulent most of the time. The plaque contains a dedication to those that perished on that fateful day for the memory of our brothers to live on. For Further reading on this dive, also see:

https://www.salegion.org.uk/plaque-placed-on-ss-mendi/
https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/daily-dispatch/20170828/281668255107137
https://samilhistory.com/2017/02/12/let-us-die-like-brothers-the-silent-voices-of-the-ss-mendi-finally-heard/south-african-legion-mendi-plaque-moments-before-the-dive/

SS Mendi today - aeria view and Rev Isaac Williams Wauchope DyobhaSS Mendi Today (aerial view): See insert photo for our hero, Rev. Isaac Williams Wauchope Dyobha (1852-1917), who called all to the death dance

Isaac Dyobha, who had previously served as a Minister in the Congregational Native Church of Fort Beaufort and Blinkwater, is reported to have calmed the panicked men by raising his arms aloft and crying out in a loud voice:
“Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do…you are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill. I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers…Swazis, Pondos, Basotho…so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war-cries, brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais in the kraal, our voices are left with our bodies.”

Moments before the commemorative dive - 20 Kg plaque ready for dedication to our heroesMoments before the commemorative dive: 20kg plaque ready for dedication to our heroes

SS Mendi today - close up - with plaque placed gently on the site of wreck
SS Mendi today (close-up): With plaque placed gently on site of wreck – see insert picture

Honour - Commander Leon van Zyl presenting Claudio Chiste with the Ship
Honour: Commander Leon van Zyl presenting Claudio Chiste with the Ship’s Badge of the SAS MENDI

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