Doce Pares Lineage.

Discussion in 'Doce Pares' started by arnisador, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm getting the impression that there really is a great diversity in Doce Pares styles, and that that was true from the beginning!
  2. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    This sounds pretty consistent with the info from Warrior Arts of the Phillipines(Galang):

    One of the first major Eskrima schools in Cebu was the ‘Labangon Fencing Club’ of the 1920s. The
    Saavedra family, specifically Lorenzo Saavedra, his nephews, Teodoro and Frederico Saavedra, and the
    older Cañete brothers were the main influence and force behind it. Venancio Bacon was one of the
    Saavedras’ students and a close family friend. Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra is credited with the
    organization of the Labangon Fencing Club.
    The Labangon Fencing Club was originally composed of six different groups from different styles of
    Eskrima. In the late 1920s, due supposedly to political infighting between members and the indifferent
    attitude of other members, the Labangon club floundered. There was a lot of disagreement and
    contention between these diverse groups. Eventually, to avoid conflict between the disparate groups,
    a strict schedule in order to separate the groups was kept and adhered to.
    Later in 1932, the Saavedras and Cañetes became founding members of another Eskrima club, the
    now famous, ‘Doce Pares’. The new club, composed of some of the old Labangon club members,
    wanted to create a new identity and to de-localize the name of their new club by avoiding the old
    name of ‘Labangon’, this being the name of a suburb of Cebu. The members wanted to give the club
    a more dramatic and easily recognizable name. Some older Eskrimadors from Cebu believe the older
    club simply evolved and adopted the new name ‘Doce Pares’. Others claim that this name came about
    because of the number of participants present during the initial meeting.

    Looks like the 'contentions' followed the L.Fencing members to the Doce Pares club.

    Also explains how so many groups claim roots at the Doce Pares club yet have so many different Lineage threads. Note the Saavedra/Bacon connection. I am sure that these people did cross train (an not just scrap with each other) and influenced each other too, though.​
  3. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    I never said that Bacon never trained with Saavedra. I never said, that he did not gain knowledge from his training with others.

    What I said was that GM Bacon modified and optimized his training for stick fighting, and he never knew a sinawali, or other twirls. So even though he may have been influenced, this does not mean that he took that influence into his system of Self Defense, that became known as Balintawak. He would look at it to know how to counter it, but did not necessarily put a specific technique into his bag of tricks.

    Confused by your point here.
  4. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    I was making a point about how different looking styles, instructors and lineages could all claim connection to Doce Pares.

    The idea that there were different factions and that they all didn't necessarily train together or even at the same time, though they shared the same building.

    The Saveedra/Bacon lineage was an example of how that thread of connection does not seem to include the Canetes even though they are credited as founders of the L.Fencing and the Doce Pares clubs.

    Hope that clarifies the use of details for you.
  5. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Saavedra/Bacon Connection

    I made a post on a while ago that addresses this point. I've ammended it to make it clearer:

    "...For example, a friend of mine asked me recently why I thought that Momoy Canete's San Miguel Eskrima and Bacon's Balintawak looked so different, in spite of the fact that they trained together and both learned from the Saavedras. One thing that came to mind was that Momoy's art...remained anchored in a sword-duelist's mentality, while Bacon's art was forged through stick fights in the halls and streets of Cebu...

    ...There is also the factor that in Filipino martial arts the type of "duel" that took place during the last century or so (with many exceptions) in the Philippines was done with hardwood sticks instead of blades. A reliance on powerful strikes with the end of a hardwood stick to bony targets is obviously going to change the kinds of techniques that are utilized in Filipino arts [that favor bladed weapons]...


    Steve Lamade
  6. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    I have heard stories of cheating (at least by our standards) in these duels too. People that brought guns and knives to stick duels or ambushed each other by tieing a knife to a shaft to turn it into a spear and stabbing someone while standing on a roof....

    The thing to remember is that these people were not angels or 'warriors' in the sense that they were living a warriors code/soldiers code. They were dueling each other and hiring out to bust strikes or protect striking workers, they were hiring out to do dock security, and they were not wealthy. Using these arts was a different matter for them than 'combative' arts might have been. Surviving their world or supplementing a substandard income/unemployment created a different set of social rules for them. It also created a serious gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' where the 'haves' would associate FMA with thugs and hoodlums. THat is what GM Presas is given credit for changing later in history.

    Again, I am not saying this in judgement or to dishonor these people as artists or men. I am making these observations because these things impacted the arts as much as any clinical systematic development.

    Even the prison term that V.Bacon served could have had a philosophical impact on Balintawak and therefore impacted the training. From what I see all over the internet and from Ted Buot's students as well as my contact with Bobby Taboada, Balintawak is now promoted as "Defense" art. Systematically that makes sense to teach, but it could have become even more important to make philosophically clear after V.Bacon served a prison term. Much like the local Buffalo lawyers are all advertising with "Integrity" ads after Cellino of Cellino and Barnes had his law license suspended for improper practices. Promote the good things to improve the image and avoid future problems by changing the curricular objectives.

    In our current program, we vigorously reinforce local use of force/deadly force laws when we teach because it is a realistic consideration when you have to deal with the full spectrum of society and violence. In less 'civilized' times (Read "sue happy culture"), that may not have been such a big deal when you trained.

    The Saavedra prison term affected the art stylistically because of the interaction with a Euro/French Fencer and could have affected it administratively too. The process of taking on and training new students for instance.

    "Lorenzo Saavedra was considered the patriarch of Doce Pares Club which was then called the Labanongon Fencing Club. He was born around 1852, I'm not exactly sure of the date, but it's around middle of 19th century. He was incarcerated for rebellion by the Spanish colonial authorities. During his incarceration, he was taught stick fighting by a French man. Now, this story is rather ambiguous and was only handed down by word of mouth by the next generation of Saavedras." (email interview with Celestino Macachor of Cebu Eskrima Society, Cebu City, Phillipines).

    The idea that the "Master instructor" doesn't see a student without proper introductions from someone already 'in' the group, and the practice of junior instructors teaching students before they get to the Master instructor is very common in the Euro Fencing culture as well. I don't know if that was practiced in the same way in FMA's that don't have as much Euro/Christian influence. There is a book on Sicillian Knife fighting that talks about the 'introduction process' of training that is exactly the same as has been mentioned in some Euro/FMA influenced practices. I could see where similiarities could be coincident, but not to that level of exactness.

    The only thing I remember from Roberto Torres is that the FMA/Indo instructors (Kun Tao or other more Asian influenced arts) were usually in a village. You made introductions (sometimes through a common associate, sometimes not), brought a small gift of thanks and respect (usually an indulgence or even rice) to the prospective instructor, and made sure that you adhered to any gestures of respect. One thing that Roberto Torres mentioned was that showing the soles of your feet was considered bad form and could either get you kicked out or even stuck in a duel if the insult was interpretted harsh enough because of other slips.

    I imagine that each of the various Doce Pares instructor/student processes were as unique as the movement styles and lineages.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2005
  7. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    To raise a point made earlier, Lapunti has obviously been influenced by Doce Pares, as both Filimon's Canete and Caburnay were known to have trained together when they were under the same banner.
    I have been lucky in 1994 I had some brief lessons with the lat GM Momoy Canete and I have trained a lot with GM Ondo Caburnay, when you see both syles you can see the similarities as opposed to the differences.

    Now training with GM Diony he is one of those unique individuals who can show you the 12 styles that made up the Original Doce Pares club.

    I also think that were some confusion is comming from with referance to other DP clubs, you have to remember that they are in-fact the oldest club in the Philippines and the original members were also responsible for setting up the Labangon fencing club back in 1921. Over time people travel for many reasons, but mainly for economic reasons and many of these individuals would have set up satelite clubs where ever they decide to reside and obviously they would have used the name Doce Pares as that is what in fact they where.

    Yes there were individuals who claimed that the FMA was dead in the Philippines, but sure they made these calims for economic reason too and maybe a few did this so as not to arouse suspicion as to there background in the arts. Lets be honest even today we have individuals who claim to know the FMA just because the are Filipino when in truth they are looking for a fast buck, we have that in all arts. How many people do you know that naturally assume a Karate instructor must be good if he is Japanese. He could be like some Westerners just a con man.

    The one thing I have always noticed when training at the Doce Pares HQ in Cebu is just how varied the instruction is, each instructor has their own special flavour if you like, they like to specialise in a particular area and teach from that stand point, that is not to say they do not know or are not experts in the other areas, it is just that they prefer certain areas over others, this in turn will influence any students that they teach and in time each instructors student may well look as thogh they are doing different styles when in fact all they are doing is being influenced my one or two portions more thatn the other areas of the style if you like. But that I feel is what makes Doce Pares quite unique in it's self.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Best regards

  8. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Ondo Caburnay


    Just saw the following clips on youtube.

    The similarities between Momoy Canete's and Ondo Caburnay's styles are pretty clear. I would say that Ondo Cabernay is a more upright, corto/medio style fighter - but you can see the the lines of attack and the attitude are very similar.


    Steve Lamade
  9. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    Well It think the upright thing would have come when GM Filimon Caburnay left in 1972 to form Lapunti, he was a sparring partner of Momoy but also after 1972 he was close freinds with Jonny Chuiten and they exchanged ideas. So some Balintawak influence in his style, but then again all Doce Pares in one form or another.

    But yes the heavy influence of San Miguel is very clear, I was training with GM Kano this year and just some of the things he done made something finally click in my head, I knew I had seen a lot of the movement before, just a slightley different version.

    Best regards

  10. Its interesting that many of the top eskrima masters have in-fact trained at the Doce Pares Headquarters School in Cebu City at some time or another. (remember the school was founded in 1932) and was renowned as being the best of the best.

    I have had the privilage of viewing a large number of archive photos (not just from the Canete family but from other top Doce Pares players from previous generations (including the San Miguel faction) and I have seen many of these masters in the photos and on old celuloid film happily training.

    It is unfortunate that many seem to have memory failure once they leave the Philippines and found their own styles/systems.
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    It's my understanding that a lot of major styles of FMA have their origins in Doce Pares.

    But, it's also my understanding that forming one's own art is not frowned upon, as long as one gives credit where credit is due!
  12. 408kali

    408kali Member

    From what I understand there is no direct relation between the aforementioned Doce Pares organizations, but if I may add what I have read/heard from various reliable sources, there actually was an older Doce Pares organization, the one which Dizon affiliated himself with. Again, no relation to what we now know as Doce Pares. We have been discussing this subject matter in the Eskrima Digest.
  13. I agree completely. Forming ones own style is part of the culture of FMA and many varied and interesting systems and styles have evolved over the generations as a result of that culture. But as you say, giving credit to those you have learnt from and spent time with is important.
  14. Master Vince

    Master Vince New Member

    Hi Guys, I have studied the Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima system under the very watchful eye of the great Grand Master Ciriaco 'Cacoy' Canete and I have been a student of his for over 20 years now, and the one way that I would like to describe HIS version of the Doce Pares Eskrima, is that he will really concentrate on the 'CORTO" range of sparring, which is very close, and Manong Cacoy teaches his students to manoevre their olisi with minimal space to move, and we also focus on parrying and trapping both the weapon hand and the alive empty hand, so we are trying to neutralise both weapons that another fighter may present, and once we've gained the rite control of their two limbs, then we produce a flurry of strikes all over their body that will render the person helpless, and then we perform a disarm, followed by a lock, and then we apply a nice take down technique, which is followed by a control technique using the olisi for leverage when an attacker is on the ground!(Its close combat style!)
  15. Master Vince

    Master Vince New Member

    Great call Bro, all the styles have evolved, and they are all very combative!
  16. Master Vince

    Master Vince New Member

    I definately think that there was some interaction between the eskrima clubs in Cebu at some stage in the 1930's, but then people went off a commenced their own clubs and organisations, this is human nature, but we have seen so many great styles come from it now!
  17. Master Vince

    Master Vince New Member

    My instructor is an 88 year old Supreme Grand Master of the 12th Dan rank, he lives in the city of Cebu which is in the Philippines, and he's world famous because of his 100 Death Matches in the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's!
    (He won all of the no-rules stickfights, and he never killed anyone!)

    The great BRUCE LEE even knew about this Filipino Stickfighting legend!

    My Grand Master is linked by blood lineage to Rajah Lapu Lapu, and the great Lapu Lapu is the man that killed Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan at the battle of Mactan Island in 1521, when the first fleet of Spanish tried to invade and conquer the Philippines, but it was because of the man Rajah Lapu Lapu and his many Filipino warriors that fought against the very first attempt of the Spanish to invade the Philippines.

    The Filipino men only had fire hardened rattan sticks, spears and hand made knives and swords to fight against the advanced weapons of the Spaniards which consisted of Cannons, Rifles, Pistols and Sabre swords.

    And yet the Filipino warriors won the first epic battle because of their shear spirit and determination.

    Rajah Lapu Lapu had the final showdown of that battle when he fought against the leader of that Spanish expedition, explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

    Rajah Lapu Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan fought eachother on the shores of the beach on the Island of Mactan, and it was there that Lapu Lapu killed Magellan, then he slashed at his enemy's head with his own hand made sword called a Filipino Kampilan, and it cut the explorer's head off, then the battle stopped momentarily as Lapu Lapu held up Magellan's head to his people as he yelled these words, "I bow before no Spanish King, my allegiance is only to my people!

    The crowd of warriors roared as the Spanish invaders fled back to their boats, and all left the Island!

    Lapu Lapu is described by a Spanish chronicle writer, Antonio Pigafetta, as using a superior form of stick and knife fighting that the natives called Pangolisi. (Filipino Stickfighting)

    Lapu Lapu was the first acknowledged Master of Filipino Stickfighting, and the art was passed down from father to son, from generation to generation, and the blood line went directly back to the great Lapu Lapu, because they were direct decendants of this great man!

    Grand Master Cacoy Canete was taught the Pangolisi by his father and uncles, and it was them who were taught by their father in turn, and so on rite back to the time of the Cebu Chieftain Lapu Lapu!

    When Grand Master Cacoy Canete walks down the street in his neighbourhood of San Nicholas, of Cebu City in the Philippines, the peasant people bow their heads to the great warrior icon, and the children all run up and kiss the
    'God Hand!'.

    They all believe that he has the blood of the great Lapu Lapu in his veins, and they worship the Filipino stickfighting hero of Cebu Island in the Philippines.

    When I received my title of 'Grand Master' from the great GM Cacoy Canete, it made me a part of the lineage that goes back to the Lapu Lapu time, and now I become one of very few Westeners to get that incredible status and priveledge!

    So it is with great honour and pride that carry the title of 'Grand Master' in the Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima style, and I shall endeavour to continue promoting this famous stickfighting style of the great Filipino warriors such as Lapu Lapu and Mano Cacoy Canete, this is my solemn promise to the art, and to the Canete Family in Cebu City of the Philippines.

Share This Page