THE AUSTRALIAN TEAM
Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima World Federation's International Stickfighting Tournament
by Simon Harrison
It gives me great honour to write this article on behalf of Grand Master Vince Palumbo who is the coach/player for the Australian Stickfighting Team, and he is owner of the gym called International Combative Martial Arts Academy which is based at 96a Grange Rd, Welland in South Australia.
Other members of the Australian Team came from schools interstate, the stickfighters at Master Dominic Lavalle’s Reflex Center Martial Arts Academy in Wollongong, and there were also members from Master Craig Hayward’s school in Sydney, East Coast Doce Pares Eskrima Institute.
So the Australian team consisted of 24 stickfighters from these above mentioned 3 martial arts gyms.
The 24 stickfighters fought well in the demanding competition at Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima World Federation's International Stickfighting Tournament which was a full contact stickfighting event held at the Cebu Sports Centre in Cebu City, Philippines over the 24th, 25th and 26th April 2009.
The 24 Stickfighters from the 3 martial art schools mentioned above, all lead by Coach/Player Grand Master Vince Palumbo, and the Australian Stickfighting Team was Captained by the 52 year old stickfighter, Mr Vladimir Mihal of Adelaide.
The team of stickfighters represented Australia with fighting spirit, pride and honour, and all of the members gave a real sensational display of stickfighting over the 3 day tournament.
In total there were representatives from 7 countries including Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, England, America and Poland. (In total there were over 120 competitors!)
The 2009 World Stickfighting Championships opening speach was conducted by the great 90 year old legendary stickfighter of the Philippines, he's Supreme Grand Master Cacoy Canete.
The Supreme Grand Master is recognised all over the world, and by the world martial arts organisations, because in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s and in the 1970’s he fought in over 200 ‘no rules’ stickfights without any armour or impact protective equipment, and he won all of these brutal duels in his country.
And now he has adopted the main title as the real undisputed ‘King of the No-Rules Stickfighting Mountain!’
Grand Master Vince Palumbo was asked to be the speaker on behalf of the C.D.P.E.W.F. organisation, and then he read the player’s 'sport code of conduct' for the tournament.
GM Vince also was in charge of the referees and all judges for the tournament, and so he conducted a workshop for all the officials at the championships.
This was followed by the forms or katas category, and then this division was won by GMV as well, and so he gave a really spectacular display of skill and precision with his form.
The next two days consisted of many stickfights, so all in all there were 8 divisions with three sections which included the single stick fighting, and all the double stick fighting divisions (both of which were in the armour!), also there was ‘Kulata’ stick fighting which is done with minimal armour.
In total the Australian Stickfighting Team all came back with 12 Gold medals, 8 Silver medals and the 4 Bronze medals with a total of 24 fighters, this is an excellent result due to the real great effort put in by all the Australian stickfighters.
A special mention to Grand Master Vince Palumbo for the coaching, organisation and assitance prior and throughout the tournament to the Australian Team members, all of which helped lead to its fine overall success at the tournament.
Australia placed second in the medal count to the Philippines, and this is an excellent effort because the Filipino Team had over 60 fighters in it.
The Australian Stickfighting Team has been ranked in the top three Stickfighting Teams in the world since the first C.D.P.E.W.F. world tournament in 2005, and this is due to GMV’s absolute coaching specifics during the very rigorous preparation period.