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History of DOCE PARES
In early 1920, the Cañetes joined the Saavedras when the latter founded Labangon Fencing Club, the first-ever Eskrima organization in the Philippines. (The group used the word “fencing” because of the influence of the Americans who referred the art as such, being similar to the European sport or art of fighting with the use of saber, foil or epee. The American influence would later become more apparent when Doce Pares used and adopted more English words to identify and describe techniques or forms. “Tatang Ensong” as Lorenzo was fondly called, and Teodoro, nicknamed “Doring”, guided and helped the Cañetes in their ardent desire to expand their understanding and knowledge by teaching them advanced techniques of Espada y Daga and close quarter style of fighting (corto). The close association and friendship of the Saavedras and the Cañetes further strengthened even after the dissolution of the Labangon Fencing Club in 1931.
On January 11, 1932, Eulogio Canete, Lorenzo Saavedra, Teodoro Saavedra, together with the most renowned eskrimadors, mainly from Cebu, decided to form another goup, Doce Pares. A society formed to promote the only original native martial art of the Philippines, Eskrima.
Doce Pares is a Spanish term that means Twelve Pairs. However, the term has been given several meanings. One, refers to the twelve basic strikes that are common in most Eskrima styles and schools and their twelve basic block and counters to these strikes. Another explanation is that it was meant to honor the twelve Masters, who originally formed the organization. And when the membership rose to twenty four at the time of the inauguration, the term Doce Pares, became more significantly fitting, indeed.
Eulogio “Yoling” Cañete emerged as President and Teodoro Saavedra, as Vice President. Other officers were Fortunato Penalosa (Secretary), Marcelo Verano, Diogracias Nadela, Filemon Cañete, Federico Saavedra, Strong Tupas, Rodolfo Quijano, Venancio Bacon, Florentino Cañete, Juanito Lauron and Magdaleno Cabasan. Composing the advisory board were Lorenzo Saavedra, Lawyer Cecilio dela Victoria , Margarito Revilles and Dr. Anastacio Deiparine. (During the next 55 years, Eulogio was reelected 55 more times as President and served the position until his demise on June 26, 1988 at the age of 87)
A couple of years later, more prominent masters joined the group. Among them were Jesus Cui, Felipe Villaro, Claudio Kalinawan, Victorino Dilao, Rosalio Gonzales, Jose Garcia, Pastor Villagracia, Pio Deiparine, Basilio Tumulak and Francisco Roncesvalle.
During World War II, from 1941 to 1945, several of the Doce Pares officers and masters, joined the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), and later the resistance forces, and fought underground the Japanese occupation army. Sometime in 1943, Teodoro Saavedra, its Vice President and chief instructor was captured and subsequently executed by the Japanese soldiers. Since the founding of Doce Pares up to the time of his death, he was an undisputed kingpin of Eskrima. A year later, his uncle Lorenzo Tatang Ensong Saavedra died of old age. He was over 90 years old.
After the War, the prominent Doce Pares Eskrimadors regrouped and held several meetings regarding the resumption of the program for the promotion of the Filipino martial art. The most active members were the Cañete brothers headed by Eulogio as Club President. His brother, Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete, also a resistance fighter emerged as Doce Pares most skillful fighter and innovator.
And, when one of the top Masters of Doce Pares, with some of his loyalists seceded from the Doce Pares a few years later to form another Eskrima Club, Pres. Eulogio Cañete and his brothers, Filemon, Silvestre, Tirso, Rufino and Ciriaco (Cacoy) took full control of Doce Pares.
In its new set-up, Momoy Canete became Chief Instructor in Espada y Daga or Olisi ug Baraw. On the other hand, Cacoy Cañete was Chief Instructor in Single Olisi Eskrima, Eskrido and Pangamot.
After the split, Doce Pares had been a recipient of many challenges from other clubs. To counteract these belligerence, Cacoy immediately organized the Cebu Mutual Security Association (CEMUSA) in 1954, and became its leader. This elite group was composed of Doce Pares Eskrimadors who trained hard under the watchful eyes of Cacoy.
But when the Doce Pares President, Eulogio Cañete died in 1988, Cacoy succeeded him up to the present, and CEMUSA was dissolved.
Timeline of History
On January 11, 1932 the most renowned eskrimadors, mainly from Cebu, spearheaded by Eulogio Canete, Lorenzo Saavedra and Teodoro Saavedra founded Doce Pares, as a society that would promote the only original native martial art of the Philippines, Eskrima.
Eulogio Yoling Canete was elected President, with Teodoro Saavedra as Vice President
During the fiesta in the Southern town of Cebu in September, an eskrima tournament without protective gear, was held featuring Master Teodoro Saavedra against a Master of San Fernando , Cebu . In spite of a vaunted amulet worn by Saavedra’s opponent, Teodoro somehow managed to outthink, outhit and outdo said opponent in two exciting rounds.
Saavedra’s amazing performance and victory in said fight, made Doce Pares popular and became a by-word.
While serving the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and later the resistance forces, which fought underground the Japanese occupation army during World War II, Teodoro Saavedra, Vice President and chief instructor of Doce Pares (DP) was captured and subsequently executed by the Japanese soldiers. The following year, his uncle, Lorenzo Tatang Ensong Saavedra died of old age. He was over 90 years old
Cacoy Cañete started to develop the art of Eskrima with Jujutsu-style locks and throws called Eskrido. He revolutionized the Filipino Martial Art in such amazing way that the unified system, incorporated some striking techniques, namely, slashes (linear, curving, semi-circular and circular), thrusts, hooks & butts, in combination with throws and takedowns, using the olisi.
THE RISE OF CACOY
After the War, the prominent Doce Pares Eskrimadors regrouped and held several meetings regarding the resumption of the program for the promotion of the Filipino martial art. The most active members were the Cañete brothers headed by Eulogio as Club President. His brother, Ciriaco Cacoy Cañete, also a resistance fighter emerged as Doce Pares most skillful fighter and innovator.
One of the top Masters, with some of his loyalists seceded from Doce Pares and formed another Eskrima Club.
After the split, The Cañete brothers: Filemon (Momoy), Silvestre, Tirso, Rufino and Ciriaco (Cacoy), took full control of Doce Pares.
Cacoy Cañete organized the Cebu Mutual Security Association and became its leader. This group was composed of Doce Pares Eskrimadors personally trained by Cacoy not only in his personal style, but also with other Martial Arts. Most of these members are well-rounded fighters, one of them is Cacoy’s son, Edgar.
The National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL) was organized and Doce Pares became a member of the association.
A committee composed of top Instructors and Masters was formed, tasked to formulate and draft the governing rules of Eskrima tournaments. And this is when Sports Eskrima was born.
NARAPHIL conducted the First Open Arnis Tournament on March 24, 1979, in Cebu City and the First national Invitational Arnis Tournament on August 19, 1979, in Manila. In both tournaments, Cacoy Cañete, emerged as Champion in the Masters Division.
Doce Pares celebrated its 50th Anniversary. British Broadcasting Corporation took some footages of the event and featured those in their documentary Film, Way of the Warrior. This documentary made Doce Pares known globally.
One of the Masters from another Eskrima Club, challenged Cacoy Cañete to an Eskrima fight.
When the fight took place in 1983, the challenger dived towards Cacoy to grasp his right leg after he was hit on the head, exerting efforts to shove Cacoy down. But, he was countered by a left arm headlock by Cacoy. Then the referee stopped the fight and declared that each fighter committed a foul. The referee, then, ordered the duo to continue, but, the challenger hastily walked down the stage, ignoring the referee’s order to resume the fight. For this reason, the referee without hesitation, raised Cacoy’s right hand and declared him,the winner.
A rematch was scheduled at a larger venue that could accommodate 10,000 people. When the official doctor examined both fighters before the fight, he declared that Cacoy’s challenger was suffering from high-blood pressure making him unfit to fight. Because of this, the fight was called off. This really angered the crowd, who started throwing coins and empty water bottles to the challenger.
THE CLEAN SWEEP
A National Arnis Tournament was held on March 16, 1985. The Doce Pares contestants made a clean sweep of all the championship awards in all categories – Openweight, Heavyweight, Middleweight and Lightweight. Most runner-up awards also went to the Doce Pares players.
THE NEW LEADERSHIP
Eulogio Cañete held on to the presidency of Doce Pares until his passing away in June. His younger brother, Cacoy succeeded him as President of the Club until his demise on Februry 5, 2016.
The Doce Pares Club became Doce Pares Federation with a modified logo where the symbols of Eskrido and Pangamot were integrated with the original insignia. This was due to the increasing number of its international members and of foreign schools adopting the system of GM Cacoy, the Corto Kurabada Eskrima, Eskrido and the Pangamot. And later became Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation to give it a distinction from among the other groups using the name Doce Pares
THE HALL OF FAME
The first-ever Doce Pares Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held in Cebu City. GM Cacoy Canete, his brothers: the late Grandmasters Eulogio and Filemon were awarded the title, The Doce Pares Legend
DOCE PARES TODAY
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