Please allow me to introduce myself to all of you, my name is Vince Palumbo, and I am ranked as a Grand Master 9th Degree Black Belt in the Filipino martial art style of Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima, which has its Headquarters in Cebu. I was born on the 4th of November in 1965, and I grew up in the city of Adelaide, South Australia, and I began my combat training at age 8, starting out in boxing and gymnastics, then by the time I was 10 years old, I made up my mind to go and start learning Judo and Jujitsu. When I was 15 years old, I then started training in the Freestyle Combat Karate, and I achieved the Black Belt level by my 18th birthday. At 21, I started fighting in the combat sports ring, and since my first full-contact fight, I have won a multiple of titles in many of the different combat sport disciplines that I have competed in. Just to name a few: • South Australian Full Contact Karate Champion • South Australian, Australian and World Champion in Full Contact Stickfighting. • South Australian Submission Grappling Champion • South Australian and Australian Shootboxing Champion • South Australian, South Pacific, World IKBBF Pro-Boxing Champion • Australian Full-Contact Kung Fu Champion • Australian Toughman Title I've had over 200 full-contact fights in the ring, and I am very keen to keep fighting up until I reach 50 years of age, this will make me really happy. My list of martial arts achievements are quite notable too! I was inducted into the Blitz Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame awards in 2003, and I went on to win the award as the “Best Freestyle Martial Arts Instructor in Australia.” I was named "Best Amateur Boxer in South Australia" in 1994, 1998, 1999 and 2000. I won the IKBBF Pro-Boxing Middleweight World Boxing Title in 2004, in a very tough title fight that went for the full 10x3 minute rounds, and I won the fight by a real fine TKO in the final round! (I was 38 years of age at the time!) I'm the Chief Instructor of the International Combative Martial Arts Academy, which is located at 96a Grange Road Welland, South Australia 5007. I am fortunate enough to be a long time student of Grandmaster Cacoy Canete the 12th Degree Black Belt of CACOY DOCE PARES ESKRIMA in Cebu of the Philippines, and he has been my Filipino Martial Arts Intsructor for over 20 years. I have attained the following levels in other martial arts- • 9th Degree Black Belt in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima • 8th Degree Black Belt in Arjukanpo Karate • 8th Degree Black Belt in Filipino Pangamot Jujitsu • 6th Dan Korean Karate • 5th Dan Combat Jujitsu I've also cultivated a bit of an acting career, and I have appeared in two martial arts movies ‘FINAL COMBAT’ and ‘CONFESSIONS OF A PIT FIGHTER.’ Probably the most influential teacher in my life, would have to be the legendary Grandmaster Cacoy Canete of Cebu City in the Philippines, he is the President of the CACOY DOCE PARES ESKRIMA WORLD FEDERATION. He has affiliate clubs teaching his FMA style of ESKRIMA all over the world now. I first met him 20 years ago, when I was already a 3rd Dan in the Freestyle Combat Karate, and we were introduced to each other in Alice Springs of the Northern Territory in Australia, while he was conducting a Doce Pares Eskrima seminar, and it was my instructor Master Martin Gardiner who introduced me to the great Grand Master Ciriaco ‘Cacoy’ Canete. The Grand Master and myself got on so well, he eventually invited me to go and train with him at his school headquarters in Cebu City, on the island of Cebu which is in the Philippines. So I went there in 1991 with Master Anthony Kleeman, and the two of us trained with the great Grandmaster Cacoy Canete and his students at the Headquarters of the Doce Pares Eskrima in Cebu, and we both trained for a period of two weeks. In the Philippines, there is no such thing as insurance or public liability in the martial arts gyms, and the training is very hard, hot, and always full contact with sticks! My very first experience in Eskrima was quite a wake-up call for me, and I thought to myself, “I'm gonna die, why the hell did I come here!" I remember watching all of the Filipino students just a standing around the two white guys, so they could have a turn at beating the living crap out of me and Anthony! Every session had sparring with no armor, and it was a very humbling experience to find out how painful it can be when you’re whacked with a rattan cane at three to five strikes per second. I had never experienced that kind of pain and humiliation, and I can remember going back to the hotel room and asking myself, "What the hell am I doing in this crazy place!" I can still remember the first week of sparring, where I got absolutely hammered by everyone, and my skull had so many bumps on it, it hurt to even rest my head on a pillow on the bed in my room. GM Cacoy watched every sparring sessions, and everytime I got whacked on the head and fell to the ground, he would laugh very loudly, and because of the fact that I felt somewhat humiliated, I mustered up enough courage to finally confront the Grandmaster and say to him very respectfully, "You must really be enjoying all this, and I'm glad you’re amused that I’m getting the absolute crap beaten out of me, but at least I don’t give up, no matter how stupid I must look!” Then, to my surprise, the Grandmaster Canete then said to me, "I am not laughing at you, but rather at what you will be doing to these guys next week, and how very surprised they are going to be with the final outcome of your sparring!" In the second week of training, I blitzed everyone that I sparred with, and I was overwhelmed with the rapid improvement that I had made in such a short period of time. (Actually, I just got sick of being hit all the time, so I went at it real hard!) So I went to Grandmaster Cacoy and asked him how he knew that I would be able to beat all the students before it was time for me to leave Cebu? Then the Grandmaster replied, "When I was learning the art as a young man, my brothers and the older eskrimadors would really beat up on me, and punish me with their sticks, but I never gave up or complained about the treatment that was being dealt to me at the time, and you reminded me of the way I used to be when I was learning the art!" Grandmaster knew that sooner or later, I would find the correct way to fight back, because of the absolute necessity and self-preservation! Grandmaster Cacoy went on to explain, "When you work out the correct way in which to spar with a stick, and after a while no one can hit you, because you develop your own way of how to counter them when you spar against them all!" "Pain is the best instructor one can have, because it will force us to find our way around it, because of the fact that it hurts physically, mentally and emotionally!" says GM Cacoy Canete. I am so grateful to this very special man! Because of the lessons that I have received from Grand Master Cacoy Canete, I have won 2 World Titles in 2005 at the Los Angeles World Championships, then another 3 World Titles in 2006 at the Cebu World Championships, and now at the 2007 World Full Contact Stickfighting Championships, I went on to win 9 Gold Medals, 2 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals, plus I was named fighter of the tournament by GM Cacoy Canete. After the tournament he promoted me to the prestigious rank of 'Grand Master' and to the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt. Grand Master Ciriaco ‘Cacoy’ Canete has been a wonderful teacher to me over the years, and he has taught me so much about the art of ESKRIMA, and I shall continue to teach his style of the Filipino/Cebuano Pangolisi Stickfighting called the CACOY DOCE PARES ESKRIMA, until the day I die, this is a promise! Salamat Po Manong Cacoy Canete, From your loyal student GM Vincent C. Palumbo 9th Degree Black Belt Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima AUSTRALIA.