Doce Pares is a style of Eskrima, originating from Cebu City in the Philippines. Doce Pares means ‘twelve pairs’ and comes from the idea of the original Masters and their training partners. It can also mean twelve strikes and twelve counters. Originally the group was called the ‘Doce Pares Club’, but lter lost it’s last word. It’s beginnings had been in the Labangon Fencing Club which had been formed in the 1920’s. When it folded due to ‘creative differences’ the Eskrima scene went quiet for a while.
During late 1931 members of the club decided that they had had a good thing going and decided to reform, this time with the new name and Doce Pares was formed in January 1932. The only surviving member of this group is Grandmaster Cacoy Canete (pronounced ‘Can-yeti’). During the 1930’s the main teacher was Lorenzo Saavedra (pronounced ‘Sa-bedra’); with his nephew Teodoro the acknowledged champion fighter.
GM Cacoy describes Teodoro as ‘my hero’. With the invasion of the Philippines in 1942 by the Japanese many Eskrimadors joined the guerilla forces. During this time Teodoro Saavedra was captured by the Japanese and executed. It fell to Cacoy to step into his shoes as the new champion of Doce Pares; this was to be role he fulfilled for many years. After the war one of the leading lights of Doce Pares, Anciong Bacon, left to form the ‘Balintawak’ system.
This led to a thrity year feud between Doce Pares and Balintawak which finally came to a head in 1983 when Cacoy fought Ising Attilo. Cacoy won this fight easily and a proposed rematch was cancelled due to Attilo’s ill health. These days Cacoy and Attilo are friendly towards each other. Doce Pares first came to England at the invitation of Bob Breen, when he brought GM Diony Canete to his Academy in 1990. I was fortunate enough to be at this seminar. The following year Pep Padavano, richard hudson and Tony Jones travelled to the Philippines to study, but the major growth of Doce pares began in 1995. Danny Guba and Percival Pableo taught their first seminar here in November 1995, another event I attended.
The following year they returned with Danny staying on
. For four years Danny and I were seminar partners taking Doce Pares all over Britain. I also taught in Rome, the Frenc Alps, Denmark and Germany. In 1999 the Doce Pares Conference was held in Rushden, Northants when over 100 people attended to be taught by GM Cacoy, GM Richard Bustillo, Danny and myself. Danny now teaches at different locations and I continue to promote Danny’s and GM Cacoy’s Doce Pares methods.
The Doce Pares system that we teach in the UK is a blend of the original 1932 system and GM Cacoy’s modifications to the original system, principally in sparring, knife and the Eskrido and Pangamot.
Danny Guba has trained with many different Doce Pares instructors such as Inting Karin, Bonafacio ‘Loloy’ Uy, Momoy Canete (Cacoy’s elder brother) and Diony Canete (Cacoy’s nephew). This experience has given us, in the UK, a unique approach that, although we cover the traditional areas, always keeps an eye on the practical. Areas covered Training covers single stick, double stick, stick and dagger, knife defence and knife fighting, empty hands (to weapons and without) and flexible weapons. The component parts are broken down as below.
Basics Angles of attack : 1932 original system (for medium range)
1952 modified system (for close range – Cacoy system)
Blocking and follow-ups (Abecedario)
Stances, grips and background history
Pingki-pingki (stick striking drills – various counts; single and double stick)
Disarming (medium and close range)
Forms Up to 1st Grade Black Belt – Forms 1 to 11
Single stick forms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 & 10
Double stick forms: 6 Stick and dagger forms: 6 (a), 7 and 11
Form 11 is the original ‘San Miguel’ form as taught by Momoy Canete Form 10 is Inting Karin’s form Sparring Amarra – fighting sequences i.e. combinations Drills – to improve co-ordination and alive hand Sparring practice (without armour) – with a person of a higher skill as often as possible Sparring practice (with armour) – headgear & body protector, multi-range and close range range specificailly.
This is also know as ‘Arnis’ Knife Empty hand to knife – techniques and drills Knife to knife – techniques and drills Stick to knife – techniques and drills Sparring Empty hands Sinumbugay – boxing methods – also known as Panantukan (Tagalog).
Sukmag patid – street fighting Sikaran – low line kicking
Layog Dumog – grappling (also known as Dumog)
Pangamot – empty hand to weapons disarming