On Saturday, about 82 karate students graduated in a ceremony held at Zolani Centre in Nyanga. The event was organised by Goju Ryu- Kuyukai Western Cape. It was their first event since their establishment in January. About 25 students graduated from white belt to yellow belt, 13 students from yellow belt to orange belt, 14 from orange belt to green belt, 10 from green belt to blue belt, 12 from blue belt to purple and eight purple belt to brown belt. West Cape Chief Instructor for the association Emmanuel Dyantyi said they will have a graduation ceremony twice a year. “Today we are holding a graduation to elevate them to the next level. We intend to do this twice a year in April and November,” he said. Dyantyi said their aim is to take children away from the streets and make them better citizens. “We teach them discipline and defence skills to protect themselves. Which also help them boost their self-esteem,” said Dyantyi. “Our instructors have not only been thoroughly trained in the art of karate but also in the skill of teaching. They give their best and are dedicated to the progress and growth of their students,” he said. He said they defected from South Africa Gajukai in Mowbray last year and formed their branch early this year. “We established our association in January. We have several dojo (braches) where our members train in areas like Khayelitsha (Tusong), Site B (Nonqubela Community Hall), F-Section (Eyethu Multi-purpose), Nyanga (Zolani Centre), Philippi East (Vuyiseka Sport Complex), Ny 74 (Lukhanyisweni Community Centre), Delft (The Hague), Langa (Monwabisi Community Hall),” he counted adding that the joining fee is R100. “We are under Cape Town Unicity karate, Western Cape Karate and Karate South Africa so wherever there is a tournament our students do partake. Even next month (May) will be going to Witbank in Mpumalanga to participate in tournament,” he said. Dyantyi urged business people to support them with sponsors. Qhamani Mnyana,9,one of the students who progressed from white to yellow belt said she only joined last year. “I was recruited by my father to join the gym because he is also one of the instructors in Zolani Centre. I enjoy the training because it teaches us discipline and self defence,” said Mnyana.