Innovator · Teacher · Fighter

Supreme Grandmaster (SGM) Cacoy Canete was born August 8, 1919 and died Feb. 5, 2016 at age 96, six months short of his 97th birthday. He was the youngest and the last surviving founding member of the oldest Eskrima organization, Doce Pares, which was founded in 1932 and headed by his older brother, the late Eulogio Canete, as president.SGM Cacoy Canete started training in the old Doce Pares style of Eskrima at age 7 under the tutelage of his older brother Momoy Canete. He became an Amateur Boxer in his early teens and had extensive training in Juijitsu before WWII broke out. He was trained extensively and rigorously by Kodokan Judo Japanese Master Yuichi Hirose after the war and he was one of the “selected few” to become a pioneer in Kodokan Judo in the Philippines. He continued to pursue rigid training in Wrestling, Aikido, Shotokan, Shorin Ryu and Kungfu.Ultimately, after aquiring vast knowledge and mastering skills in different martial arts to the highest degree, he revolutionized the traditional Doce Pares system of Eskrima and invented Eskrido.

Innovator · Teacher · Fighter

Supreme Grandmaster (SGM) Cacoy Canete was born August 8, 1919 and died Feb. 5, 2016 at age 96, six months short of his 97th birthday. He was the youngest and the last surviving founding member of the oldest Eskrima organization, Doce Pares, which was founded in 1932 and headed by his older brother, the late Eulogio Canete, as president.SGM Cacoy Canete started training in the old Doce Pares style of Eskrima at age 7 under the tutelage of his older brother Momoy Canete. He became an Amateur Boxer in his early teens and had extensive training in Juijitsu before WWII broke out. He was trained extensively and rigorously by Kodokan Judo Japanese Master Yuichi Hirose after the war and he was one of the “selected few” to become a pioneer in Kodokan Judo in the Philippines. He continued to pursue rigid training in Wrestling, Aikido, Shotokan, Shorin Ryu and Kungfu.Ultimately, after aquiring vast knowledge and mastering skills in different martial arts to the highest degree, he revolutionized the traditional Doce Pares system of Eskrima and invented Eskrido.

SGM Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete

Innovator – Teacher – Fighter
1919 – 2016

The youngest of eight brothers and four sisters, Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete y de la Cuesta was born in August 1919 in San Fernando, Cebu Philippines. He moved with the family to Cebu City while still at the tender age of less than one year, not long after his mother’s death.

The seven elder Cañete brothers learned the basics of Eskrima from their father, Gregorio, and uncles Gavino and Pedro (their father’s brothers), and Juancho de la Cuesta (their mother’s brother).

Cacoy, on the other hand, was introduced to boxing at age five, and to Eskrima two years later by his elder brother Filemon, nicknamed Momoy.

Eskrima is a family affair for the siblings. The brothers (from eldest to youngest)- Florentino (Tinong), Eulogio (Yoling), Filemon (Momoy), Silvester (Eti), Tirso (Eso), Rufino (Pining), Andres (Dading) and the author ably assisted in the creation of Doce Pares Association in 1932,under the strong leadership of Grandmaster Lorenzo “GM Tatang Insong” Saavedra. He was capably supported by his nephews, Teodoro and Federico, along with other masters. Elder brother Yoling was elected as its first and lifetime president, holding office until he died in June,1988. Cacoy succeeded him as the second president of the organization up to his demise on February 5, 2016.

After having learned the rudiments of boxing, Cacoy climbed the ring as member of the Cebu City public secondary schools boxing team in 1939-40. Feeling proficient in Eskrima, Cacoy began to study Jiu-jitsu, Pangamot and other related arts of self-defense in 1933, at the tender age of 14.

Cacoy also trained in free-style wrestling in Cebu City in 1940, learned much of it in 1957, and also much more under the top Manila instructors (Olympic players) of the Philippine National Wrestling Association in 1963. He studied the much gentler art of Japanese Kodokan Judo (for tournaments) in March 1956. Owing to his extensive experience, he quickly earned the rank of 1st Dan, after hurdling a rigid examination conducted jointly by Mr. Yuichi Hirose (6th Dan), and Sumiyuki Kotani (8th Dan) in Cebu City in November 1957. He subsequently participated in regional and national judo tournaments in Cebu City and Manila from 1959 to 1965. He emerged as first runner-up during the Visayan (Central Philippines) Regional Judo Championship in Cebu City, in March 1959.

In his intense desire to raise his level of skills in mixed martial arts, Cacoy also practiced Shorin Ryu Karate, Aikido and Kung Fu, snippets of Chinese Martial Arts. Presently, his ranks in mixed martial arts are, as follows:

1. Eskrima- 12th Dan………………………Dec. 1988

2. Eskrido- 12th Dan ………………………Dec. 1988

3. Pangamot- 12th Dan ………………….Dec. 1989

4. Karate- 6th Dan (USMA)…………….. Jan. 2006

5. Aikido- 6th Dan (USMA) …………….. Jan. 2006

6. Juijitsu- 8th Dan (USMA)……………..Feb. 2006

7. Judo- 8th Dan (USMA) ……………….Feb. 2006

WORLD WAR II ERA

When World War II broke out in early December 1941, Cacoy who was an ROTC Company Commander, Southern College (later known as University of Southern Philippines) found himself inducted into the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) in March 1942. He was assigned to the Visayan Signal Company based in Camp 7, Cebu. Although, the Allied forces met their defeat in the Philippines, he refused to surrender to the Japanese, and instead, joined the Cebu Guerilla Movement in Carcar, Southern Sector, in September 1942. He saw action in that year, and more of it, when he was reassigned to the Central Sector in Cebu City, in early 1944.

He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in July 1944 and served as Combat Intelligence Officer (Assistant Regimental S-2), under Major Maximo Albinda, Commander, 86th Infantry Regiment, Cebu Area Command. In June 1945, he became Platoon Commander, 38th Military Police Company, and was tasked to serve as defense tactics instructor during the training of 38th and 39th MP companies in Dumanjug, Cebu from June to August, 1945. Later, he served as Detachment Commander, covering the Cebu northwestern towns of Tuburan, Asturias and Balamban Cebu. He solely represented Cebu province when he attended Provost Marshal School (for officers) in Bamban, Tarlac from June to August 1946.

He resumed his post at the Tuburan Detachment, until he returned to civilian life in February, 1947. After undergoing annual active duty training in Cebu City in 1951, he was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. And after another training in 1969, he got promoted to the rank of Captain, Reserve Force, Armed Forces of the Philippines.

CAREER AND MARTIAL ARTS

A mentor to the very core, Cacoy, first and foremost, is a teacher. He served as a Japanese Kodokan Judo instructor at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City from 1962 to 1968. He was a mixed martial arts instructor, College of Criminology, University of the Visayas from 1964 up to late November, 1991. He was also Eskrima teacher at the Cebu Central Colleges (later named, University of Cebu) from 1971 up to 1984.

Incidentally, Cacoy holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Southern Philippines, Cebu City, where he graduated in June 1950. Grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete, who was to turn 60 on August 8,1979 received the Presidential Trophy, after he emerged champion in the First National Open Eskrima (Arnis) Championships (Masters Division) in Cebu City, on March 24, 1979. He also got another Presidential Trophy, when he became champion in the National Invitational Eskrima (Arnis) Championships (Masters Division) in Manila, on August 19, 1979.

He headed the Doce Pares Team that joined the National Arnis of the Philippines (NARAPHIL) Manila group on April 24, 1981, for a six-month tour in some big cities in the United States. This was in response to a U.S. invitation for Eskrima (Arnis) seminars, workshops and training.

Inside and outside Philippine universities, GM. Cacoy, together with Masters Amorito Cañete, Nonito Limchua and Primo Albaño –taught stick-fighting in military camps in Cebu City, Metro Manila and, inside MalacañangPalace, 1977.

Undefeated in more than 100 death matches, Cacoy was the only Filipino martial artist who was invited to join other martial artists from China, Japan, Russia, Korea and other Asian countries in the World Ancient Martial Arts Festival in Adelaide, South Australia in August, 1988.

He was featured in the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) 1982 TV Documentary “Way of the Warrior” as well as in the book of the same title published in London in 1982..

While actively pursuing his passion in mastering the different forms of Martial Arts, especially Eskrima, he was also employed at the Cebu Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant from June 1949 to August 1974. And from 1963 through 1973, he had a stint as President of the Pepsi Cola United Workers Union. Nevertheless, from 1973 up to the time he retired in 1974, he served as Plant Safety and Security Officer of the company.

Cacoy authored the following books: Basic Doce Pares Eskrima in 1988; Pangamot (Bare-handed Defense System) in 2002; Eskrido (Eskrima, Jujitsu & Judo Integrated) in 2004; Eskrima-Arnis Techniques in 2009; and Olisi-Baraw in 2014. His two biography books entiltled “The Fastest Olisi Fighter in 1999” and “The Challnge Fights of Grandmaster Ciriaco Cacoy Canete” in 2014 were written by Atty Jun canizares and Grandmaster Tom Meadows respectively.

CAREER AND MARTIAL ARTS

SGM Cacoy was inducted into the Hall of Fame, to wit:
1. Cebu City Sports Hall of Fame, February 1977
2. Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame, El Paso Texas, July 2000
3. Blackbelt Hall of Fame (Weapons Instructor of the year), Los Angeles, CA, December 2000
4. Most Distinguished Grandmaster of the Year, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2003
5. World Martial Arts, Columbus, Ohio, July 2003
6. Philippine Martial Arts Legend, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2004
7. World Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame, Los Angeles, CA, June 2005
8. Martial Arts History Museum, Los Angeles, CA, October 16, 2006
9. Supreme Grandmaster of the Year, Pakistan, 2007
10. Doce Pares Legend, Cebu City, March 8, 2008
11. US Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Living Legend, August 2009
12. United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame “Certificate of membership”, St. Louis, Missouri, July 31, 2010
13. Second Doce Pares Hall of Fame “Martial Arts Icon Award”, November 13, 2010
14. 3rd Doce Pares Hall of Fame “Filipino Martial Arts Legend Award”, June 9, 2012
15. British Council of Kali, Eskrima, Arnis Instructor Hall of Fame (Lifetime Achievement Award), June 3, 2013
16. Comite Behoud Martial Erfgoed, First National Dutch Hall of Fame Award, July 7, 2013
17. 4th Doce Pares Hall of Fame “International Martial Arts Legend”, August 2014
18. 3rd Philippine Martial Arts Hall of Fame “Living Legend Award”, April 2015
19. 5th Doce Pares Hall of Fame “Filipino Martial Arts Icon” (Posthumous Award), September 2016

SPECIAL AWARDS

1. Plaque of Recognition as the Most Outstanding Athlete in 1979 by the Cebu Queen City Lions Club, Cebu City, June 14, 1980.
2. Certificate of Recognition for “Outstanding Achievement” in the fields of sports by the the Cebu News Correspondents Club, Inc., in the Cebu City, on February 5, 1982.
3. Became second President of Doce Pares when his elder brother Eulogio (Yoling), its first President since January 1932, died in June 1988.
4. One of the “Most Notable Cebuanos of the Century” from the Cebuano Study Center and Historical Association in Cebu City, in January 2000.
5. “One of the Four Outstanding Individuals” of Cebu City by the Cebu Historical Center in February, 2000.
6. Plaque of Recognition as Outstanding Individual for his dedicated service and invaluable support to the City of Cebu and its people in the field of sports given on February 24, 2000 by Hon. Mayor Alvin B. Garcia.
7. 27th All Cebu Sports Awards for excellence in ARNIS and in contributing to the professionalization of the Sport given on February 18, 2000 by Sportswriters Association of Cebu and San Miguel Brewery Inc.
8. Plaque of Recognition for his dedication to martial arts by Korean General Choi Hong III, President of the International Taekwondo in Connecticut, USA in 2000.
9. Charter member of the Council of Grandmasters, United States Martial Arts Association, in Missouri, July, 2003.
10. Life Membership Award from the United States Martial Arts Association in Missouri, USA in November, 2006.
11. Spokeship Council World Head of Family Award from the Australian Masters during the World Eskrima Championships in Cebu City, in November, 2006.
12. Plaque of Appreciation in recognition of his invaluable efforts for the development of Martial Arts Eskrima, Eskrido and Pangamot given on February 12, 2006 by Hon. Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña.
13. Plaque of Recognition in recognition of his exceptional talent in the field of Martial Arts given on March 15, 2008 by Dr. Jose R. Gullas, Founder and President of Tipiganan Sa Mga Handumanan Sa Kinaiyang Sugbuanon Foundation, Inc.
14. USA International Bak Fu Martial Arts Association, Pioneer Award to GM Cacoy Cañete, April 2009.
15. USA Kung Fu Kali Association, Certificate of Merit to GM Cacoy Cañete, Survival Arts of the Philippine Islands, April, 2009.
16. USA Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu Appreciation Certificate Award to GM Cacoy Cañete, April, 2009.
17. USA Sokeship International Rank Certificate, Supreme Grandmaster Award, August,2009.
8. International Martial Arts Council of America Award- as member, August 2010.
19. Plaque of Distinction to Cañete Clan in recognition of their invaluable service and contribution to the growth of Cebu City, and as tribute to the family legacy that they leave to the Cebuano community given on February 24, 2012 by Cebu City Mayor, Hon. Mayor Michael L. Rama.
20. Certificate of Recognition to Cañete Clan for the invaluable contributions to the history, culture, and development of the Cebuano community as a sterling epitome of love, service, and solidarity in keeping with the finest Cebuano traditions given on August 17, 2012 by Rev. Fr. Enrico Peter A. Silab, OAR.
21. Plaque of Distinction given to Cañete Clan for having contributed to the development of Cebu City in the areas of economics, spiritual, sports, professions, governance, media, culture and arts, military service, the environment and the other related worthwhile endeavors over the years up to the present given on February 24, 2013 by Cebu City Mayor, Hon. Michael L. Rama.
22. Plaque of Recognition for Valuable Conribution (Posthumous Award) – Cebu City Government 2016

THE CACOY CANETE LEGACY

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