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Doce Pares:

Doce Pares

Doce Pares was founded on January 11, 1932 by a small group of Eskrima Masters spearheaded by Eulogio Canete, Lorenzo Saavedra and Teodoro Saavedra. Twelve of them originally conceptualized it but shortly after its inauguration January 21 that year, the membership rose to twenty four. Eulogio Canete and Teodoro Saavedra were elected as President and Vice President respectively. Other elected officers and original members were, Fortunato Penalosa (secretary), Marcelo Verano, Deogracias Nadela, Strong Tupas, Rodolfo Quijano, Pio Deiparine, Florentino Canete, Felimon Canete, Juanito Lauron, Federico Saavedra, Cecilio Dela Victoria, Lorenzo Saavedra, Margarito Revilles and Anastacio Deiparine.

The name Doce Pares was adopted in reference to the famous twelve bodyguards of Emperor Charlemagne of France (AD 768-814).  These twelve people all top swordsmen were known to have fought and killed hundreds of enemies in battles. Doce Pares which means "Twelve pairs" in Spanish was meant also to honor the twelve people who originally planned to form the organization, and when the membership rose to twenty four at the time of the inauguration, it indeed became more significantly fitting

Eulogio Canete held on the presidency of Doce Pares until his death in June, 1988. His second eldest son Eulogio, jr. succeeded him as president up to the present. his youngest son, Grandmaster Diony is the Executive Director and Chairman of Doce Pares Council of Masters.

(None of the founding members are alive today, the last one GM Felimon Canete died in 1995 at 91 years of age).  Subsequently, the organization became Doce Pares, Incorporated when it was registered as non-stock, non-profit corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission which issued certificate of registration no. 1373.

Circa Canete, or 'Cacoy' as he is known by his Filipino nickname, was born in August 1919 in San Fernando approximately 30 kilometers south of Cebu City, on Cebu Island, in the Visayas region of The Philippines. He was the youngest of twelve children. At the early age of seven he was initiated into Eskrima, learning from his brother Filemon or "Momoy" who had in turn learned Eskrima from his father Gregorio and uncles Gavino, Pedro (from his fathers family) and Juancho (from his mothers family). Because of his open mindedness and desire for knowledge, he has trained in many different styles of Martial Arts.

Some of the styles he has learnt include Ju Jitsu, Boxing, Kodokan Judo, free style wrestling, Shorin Karate and Aikido. With his acknowledged spectrum of skills through his lifetime of training, he has gained a deep insight and a broad understanding, with mastery of the concepts of self defence and combat. The culmination of years of learning fused into the style that he teaches which is called 'Eskrido'. This style combines the refined essential elements of every martial art he has learned through his life.

Ciriaco Canete's Eskrido Doce Pares Syllabus:
Single stick
double stick
stick/dagger single person patterns or katas
Ammara/ Pinki
Pinki double stick training routines (drills sometimes called Sinawali in the northern regions of the Philippines)
breakfalls and throws
Stick and dagger defence
locks and throws
Semi free sparring in close, medium and long range with single stick and stick and dagger Disarms are a main emphasis

Cacoy's Twelve Basic Strikes:

top of head,

right temple

left temple

right ribs

left ribs

right waist

left waist

right knee

left knee

right cheek thrust

left cheek thrust

stomach thrust.

Doce Pares: 'Doce Pares' is an Eskrima/Arnis Martial Arts Club that was founded in Cebu City in January 12, 1932. Originally it was a breakaway group of students and instructors from the 'Labangon Fencing Club' of the 1920's which was influenced heavily by the Saavedra and Canete families. The original instructors of the Doce Pares taught their own particular families, islands or regions styles of Eskrima and their particular interpretation of their own styles. The Doce Pares was made famous in the international scene during the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's by the Canete family, especially Ciriaco 'Cacoy' Canete. The term 'Doce Pares' is a Spanish term translated into English to mean 'Twelve Pairs'. This term the 'Twelve Pairs' has been given several meanings to it.

One refers to the twelve basic strikes that are common to most Eskrima styles and schools and their twelve basic block and counters to these strikes. Another more romantic explanation is of the reference to the twelve pairs of 'Compadres', the bodyguards for the King Charlemagne and how the club should emulate the friendship of these warriors. The final explanation is that supposedly there were twelve original master members of the Club. There are no Grandmasters alive from the original founding members of the Doce Pares. However there are several senior instructors or Grandmasters of the second generation of Eskrimadors/Arnisadors still alive that teach their own interpretation or styles of Eskrima/Arnis within the club the Doce Pares.

Doce Pares Organizations:
Doce Pares is the worlds leading organization for the promotion and development of the traditional Philippine martial art known as Eskrima - stick fighting. Magellan's sword-wielding conquistadores fell to Maharaja Lapulapu who used Eskrima to defeat the Spanish at the battle of Mactan. Doce Pares traces its history to Lapulapu and today is the home of the most renown expert of this art, Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete.

Because the martial arts field is basically unregulated and depends greatly upon the integrity of instructors and practitioners to honestly represent their backgrounds and training, it is quite difficult for students to be assured of the quality of their teachers. This problem has become more severe as Eskrima and other martial arts have grown into popular and successful business enterprises. Unfortunately, along with the growth of the martial arts industry, there have been numerous examples of individuals taking advantage of the lack of regulation and organization to try to obtain commercial advantage by "self-promoting" themselves as Doce Pares "Masters" or even Doce Pares "Grand Masters". To bring some clarification and validation to the Eskrima ranking system, the Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation has developed a listing of all the Grand Masters and Masters it has officially recognized.

The titles of Doce Pares Grand Master and Master are highly regarded throughout the world and the individuals who have achieved these ranks through official recognition should be given great respect for their achievement. The Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation seeks to preserve the integrity and reputation of its official rankings through presentation of this accreditation list. The qualifications for these respected and advanced titles are based on the judgments of past and previous Grand Masters and include the following:

Tournament and combat records. Defense of titles. Actual combat bouts.

Demonstrated skill. For Masters, this includes total mastery of all existing Eskrima skills at the highest level of ability. For Grand Masters, it requires going beyond the total mastery of all known Eskrima skills to evolve and contribute new skills, styles, techniques and advances to the art.

Contributions to the art of Eskrima that promotes and advances its recognition as a unique martial ART throughout the world. Doce Pares does not consider purely commercial or business promotion as meeting this goal. The present and past Grand Masters and Masters have been recognized for the quality of the students whom they have produced to spread the art of Eskrima throughout the world and for their personal good-will ambassadorships achieved through world travels, seminars and so on.

Particularly for Grand Masters, a lifetime history of continued dedication to the art of Eskrima. For both Grand Masters and Masters, character and personality worthy of this high recognition as well as concern for students and skill in their martial arts training and education. Students should be wary of anyone claiming the title of Doce Pares Grand Master or Master whose name is not recorded here. In such cases, documentation of the title (signed, dated certification from Doce Pares Federation, Cebu City) should be requested. Final verification can be obtained directly from Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation by an e-mail inquiry.

Verification of lower rankings should be traceable back to Doce Pares World Federation and/or an officially recognized Grand Master or Master or Doce Pares Certified training facility. To ensure they are "getting what they pay for" students should ask for validation of this Doce Pares "ancestry" record before undertaking study of Doce Pares Eskrima from a particular individual or school.

Ciriaco Canete Biography

The legendary Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete of Cebu Philippines is a prominent, internationally known martial artist who travels the globe to share, teach and demonstrate his martial art skills to others. Currently the Grandmaster promotes his art for self-defense, sport and personal well-being. "Cacoy" Canete is the last surviving member and the only 12th degree black belt and the highest ranking member of the fame Doce Pares Eskrima Club. He started Eskrima at age 7 under the oldest of eight, brother "Momoy". Now 85 years old, Grandmaster Canete's list of achievements is extensive.

Cacoy Canete
He is today the best-known of the Canete brothers (Filemon, Eulogio, Tirso, Ciriaco, Rufino and Silvestre), prime movers in the preservation and promotion of the indigenous Filipino martial art of stick fighting (eskrima-arnis).

Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete was born in San Fernando, Cebu, in 1919, into a family for whom Eskrima was already a tradition. In his youth, Cacoy trained in boxing, wrestling and the Asian martial arts. In the 1920's his brothers were already involved in teaching stick fighting. Interest in Filipino martial arts led to the formation by Visayan martial arts practitioners of the Doce Pares Association in Cebu. In 1939, Cacoy's elder brother, Eulogio "Yoling" Canete became president of Doce Pares, the oldest and longest standing martial arts organization in the Philippines and a driving force behind the popularization of Filipino martial arts. Yoling was president of Doce Pares until his death in 1988.

Cacoy served with the USAFFE in the war years and stayed in the army service until 1947. He studied at the University of Southern Philippines and taught martial arts in various Cebu schools. In 1979 he was champion in both the First Open Arnis Tournament in Cebu City and the First National Invitational Arnis Tournament in Manila, both events sponsored by the National Arnis Association of the Philippines (Naraphil). Another Canete, Dionisio (Cacoy's nephew) served as president of both Naraphil and the World Kali-Eskrima Arnis Federation (Wekaf), an organization founded much later in the history of Doce Pares (1987). The remarkable Cacoy Canete has been active in organizing tournaments, exhibitions and training programs in eskrima-arnis in the Philippines and foreign countries. 



Grandmaster Dionisio Canete  

 Dionisio Canete


Components of the "Multi-Style" Doce Pares system

For many years and even up to the present people are still confused about the real Doce Pares system.  This is only understandable because while the system is a conglomeration of various styles as introduced by the founding masters in 1932, there are many instructors and masters today who only teach a specific style of any one of the original masters.  All the founding masters had their own set of followers and the students who chose not to study and cross-train in other styles naturally learned only the particular style of his own teacher.

Doce Pares was a virtual supermarket of Eskrima styles, hence, there's the Larga Mano of Eulogio Canete; the Espada y Daga of Felimon Canete and Jesus Cui; the Corto Linear of Teodoro Saavedra and later on of Venancio Bacon, Delfin Lopez and Timoteo Maranga; the Corto Orihinal and Media Largo of Felimon and Iluminado Canete; the Hirada and Retirada of Vicente Carin and Ponciano Ybanez; the Mano-Mano and Baraw of Maximo Canete and Jesus Cui; the Corto Kurbada and Abaniko of Ciriaco and Felimon Canete respectively.

Thus there are many masters today who only teach and promote one particular style and yet can validly claim to belong to Doce Pares family.

It was in early 1970 when Diony was commissioned by his father Eulogio Canete, the President of Doce Pares to study, prepare and formulate a program of instruction that would cover and comprehend all the component styles. The specific objective was to come up with a training curriculum that would give equal treatment and prominence to all the original styles and by all means to afford due honors and recognition to all the founding advocates. Hence the birth of the "Multi-Style" system which very much set well with Grandmaster Diony as he and his three elder brothers were among the very few who were fortunate to have learned all the original styles as brought into and introduced by the founding masters when Doce Pares was formed in 1932.

The components styles of the "Multi-Style" are:
All the three styles of Corto (Close Range); to wit; Corto Linear (the traditional linear striking or a blade oriented type of striking) Corto Kurbada (the wrist-twisting or snap-wrist, curving strike) Corto Orihinal (featuring low, deep bent knee and wide stance which highly characterized the original Doce Pares close range style)

Media Largo (Medium Range)
Larga Mano (Long Range)
Espada y Daga (Short & Long Stick or Stick Dagger)
Baraw (Knife Fighting Techniques)
Mano-Mano (Open Hand Fighting)

a. Sumbag-Patid (Punch and Kick)
b. Lubag-Torsi (Locks and Immobilization)
c. Layog-Dumog (Takedown and Grappling)
d. Doble Olisi (Double Stick)

Specialized Subjects:
a. Eskrido
b. Sinawali
c. Tapi-Tapi (Alive Hand)
d. Sayaw/Karanza (Forms)

All the above subjects are incorporated under the comprehensive 5-year training curriculum of the Doce Pares "Multi-Style" system.


Grandmaster Dionisio "Diony" Canete

Dionisio belongs to the second generation of the famous Martial Art advocates, the Canete brothers of Cebu City, Philippines. He is the youngest son of GM Eulogio (Ylong) Canete, the principal organizer of Doce Pares, who headed the organization since its founding in 1932 until his death in June 1988.

Dionisio began his lessons in the Filipino Art in 1946 at the age of eight from his father and brother Iluminado, the eldest of the five children (4 sons and a daughter) of Eulogio and Irenea Aventurado.

He studied under GM Felimon "Momoy" Canete and later with GM Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete, both brother of his father. He also trained with GM Vicenter Carin and Maximo Canete.

In 1950, during the Golden age of Boxing in Cebu, he was attracted to the sport and for five years regularly sparred and trained with several good amateur and professional boxers at that time.

In 1957, together with his brothers, Diony was introduced to Kodokan Judo.

In 1960, immediately upon his election as one of the officers of Doce Pares, rules on the acceptance of students and membership were liberalized. They started to promote and develop Arnis to a wholesome spectator's sporting event.

In 1975, He initiated the formation of the Cebu Eskrima (Arnis) Association. All major Arnis clubs in Cebu banded together for the first time. In succeeding to organize and band together all the top Arnisadors, Diony, in effect, sort of "Civilized" the fighting-oriented Masters and curbed them to learn to co-exist for the sake of the Filipino Art.

In 1969 at the age of 22, he passed the Bar Examinations and became a fully-fledged Lawyer.

Diony has pruned down his active participation in various activities related to Arnis. His private gym in Cebu, however, remains a popular training place for students and
instructors, especially those coming from other countries. He sees to it that the visitors are well attended to and are assured of learning what they want to know about the art. He still makes himself always available to render service to WEKAF and NARAPHIL.

Cacoy Canete