Local fighters take top spots

Nine grapplers from Mec’s Martial Arts in Fish Hoek took to the mats to take on the best grapplers from around the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa on Saturday 11 August at Canal Walk, to take part in the Cape Town leg of the International Submission Grappling Tournament.

Mec’s Martial Arts was founded in April 2015.

All nine entrants from Fish Hoek ended with a podium finish.

“We are conveniently located on Main Road in Fish Hoek and have approximately 90 members ranging from three years to 77 years.

“Our students include competitive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters and grapplers and children who need to improve their balance, fitness and discipline. Many adults and teens are members simply to want to get fit, have fun and learn how to defend themselves,” says Lyndall Sandenbergh, co-owner of the centre.

Together with Mec Crain they welcome students from all around the world and have had athletes from as far afield as Italy and Canada join them for training.

“Our regular students are from all over the Peninsula, from Kommetjie and Simon’s Town to Noordhoek and Lakeside, with the majority residing in Fish Hoek. We offer classes for children on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 16:00 and on Saturdays at 10:00.

“Our teen classes are Mondays to Fridays at 17:00 and our adult classes are from 18:00 to 21:00 Mondays to Fridays. We have sparring classes on a Saturday morning from 08:30 to 10:00,” Sandenbergh says.

For each student who joins them, their first week of training is free, so newbies are welcome to come in and try their classes with no strings attached and see if they enjoy the classes. Thereafter they charge R60 per day or R720 per month.

“To join our MMA family all you need to do is send Lyndall (Sandenbergh) a WhatsApp on 072 977 0234 to book your first free class. There are no contracts to sign and you don’t need to commit to training for any length of time,” says Crain.

Combat sports, particularly MMA and grappling, offer many benefits to participants including strength, fitness and co-ordination, he adds.

The centre’s results were as follows:

Raymond Shaw (gold) - Men’s Intermediate 70+kg; Tim Johnson (gold) - Boys 15-17 years under 80kg; Jessie Ace Brown (gold) - Girls 11-13 years under 50kg; Onias Baison (gold) - Men’s Novice under 60kg; Mec Crain (silver) - Masters Intermediate under 91kg (Crain was by far the smallest person in his division); Lyndall Sandenbergh (silver) - Women’s Intermediate 70kg+; Matthew van der Merwe (silver) - Boys 15-17 years under 55kg; Nadine Furst (16, bronze) - Women’s Novice under 63kg; Tyla Gill (bronze) - Women’s Intermediate over 70kg.

“As coaches it was a true privilege being able to stand beside our students for a change instead of behind them. The support from our students while we where grappling was overwhelming! We couldn’t be more proud of them in every respect!” Sandenbergh says.