Circa Cañete, 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 Cañete's Eskrido Doce Pares Syllabus:
stick/dagger single person patterns or katas
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 Cañete 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 Cañete family, especially Ciriaco 'Cacoy' Cañete. 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. Here are some of the highlights:
- Founding member of the fame Doce Pares Eskrima Club in 1932
- Amateur Boxer, Cebu City 1937-1939
- US Armed Force Guerilla 1942
- Retired Lieutenant, Military Police, Philippine Army 1947
- Teacher, St. Francis Academy, Balamban, Cebu 1948
- Bachelor of Science Ed., University of Southern Philippines, Cebu 1950
- Teacher, University of Visasays 1951
- Wrestler, Philippine National Wrestling Association 1957
- Teacher, University of San Carlos 1962-1968
- President, Labor Union, Pepsi Cola Company, Cebu 1963-1973
- University of Visayas, 1964-1991
- Black Belts: Shorin Ryu Karate 1964, Kodokan Judo 1957, Aikido 1972
- Retired Captain, Reserve Armed Forces of the Philippines 1970
- Cebu City Colleges (now University of Cebu) 1971 - 1984
- President Champion Trophy, 1st National Arnis Masters Open 3/24/79
- Champion, 1st National Arnis Invitational, 8/19/79
- Cebu Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Philippines 1997
- Sports Commissioner of Eskrima, Cebu City - Current
- Commissioner on Sports Cebu City, 1998 - 2002
- Teacher: University of San Carlos 1962 - 1968
- University of the Visayas 1964 - 1991
- Cebu City Colleges (now University of Cebu) 1971 - 1984
- Commissioner on Sports Cebu City 1998 - 2002A religious man, who has never challenged anyone, Cacoy never refused a good fight to protect his family's Doce Pares Club and good name. He is undefeated in no-holds-barred weapon fights. His goal in martial arts is to offer confidence to those with low self-esteem, courage to the intimidated, and nurture responsibility among citizens.
- 2003 USMA International Hall of Fame Inductees:
PHILIPPINES Ciriaco Canete Most Distinguished Grand Master of the Year
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.
Master Vincent Palumbo
8th Degree Black Belt in the Martial Arts.