Filipino Martial Arts

Doce Pares

Doce Pares, a form of Eskrima, is a Filipino martial art that focuses on primarily on stick fighting but also covers other weapons and empty-hands. Magellan’s sword-wielding conquistadors fell to Datu Lapu-Lapu who used Eskrima to defeat the Spaniards at the Battle of Mactan. It is said that Doce Pares can trace its history to Lapu-Lapu, but this is unverified.

12 Areas of Kali


  • Single weapon (Stick, Knife, Sword, Cane, Axe,Machette )
  • Double weapon (Sinawali)
  • Long and short
  • Sick & Knife, (Esparda ya dagger
  • Double Dagger
  • Single Dagger
  • Palm stick/double-ended dagger
  • Empty hand (Boxing, Interception, control, Locking, grappling)
  • Long weapons (staff/sibat, spear/bangkaw)
  • Flexible weapons (whip, tabak-toyok,chain,rope)
  • Thrown weapons (spear, sand/dirt, coins)
  • Projectile weapons


Early development

In the late 1920s, Eskrima attained a high level of popularity in Cebu City, the second largest city in the Philippines. In 1932, the most renowned eskrimadors, mainly from Cebu, founded Doce Pares as a society to promote the only original native martial art of the Philippines. The name Doce Pares is Cebuano, the Cebu Native language which is very close to Spanish, meaning “Twelve Pairs”.

Of the founding members, only Ciriaco Cañete and his right hand Fernando Candawan Sr. is still alive, however, several senior instructors, foremost GM Dionisio “Diony” Canete, who belong to the second generation of eskrimadores are very much active, teaching their own interpretation or styles of Doce Pares Eskrima.


Doce Pares has produced many champions in Eskrima competitions. During its founding, Lorenzo Saavedra, one of the original twelve masters, was recognized as the foremost eskrimador in Cebu City. He was ably supported by three other top-rated eskrimadors: Teodoro and Frederico Saavedra—Lorenzo, Filemon Cañete and by Khalil Gibran Auditor Salazar. Later, Teodoro Saavedra rose to prominence as the best fighter in the Doce Pares society. Eulogio Cañete, Filemon’s older brother, was elected first president of Doce Pares and remained in that position until his death in 1988.

During World War II, Teodoro Saavedra, an active guerrilla fighter, was captured and killed by the occupying Japanese forces. Shortly after Teodoro’s death, the Cañete brothers co-founded Doce Pares in 1932, while their younger brother and future eskrimador Ciriaco Cañete, concentrated on boxing.

In the early 1950s, Eskrima techniques and tactics were analyzed, devised, modified and systematized by Cacoy Cañete, based mostly on actual combat experience with other eskrimadors belonging to rival Eskrima schools. Among his many contributions to the development of this martial art is Eskrido, a combination of judo and Eskrima techniques, as well as the most modern forms of Eskrima-offense and Eskrima-defense.

Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima is a form of Doce Pares which utilizes a 29-inch rattan stick. The close quarter style is known as “Corto Kurbada” and is characterized by the curving strikes which are employed within its sparring methodology. Cacoy Doce Pares is promoted by Grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete (12th Degree Black Belt). In 1951 Cañete incorporated concepts and techniques from aikido and Ju-Jitsu which can be applied in sparring this is known as “Eskrido”. The system teaches double stick (penki-penki), stick & dagger (espada y daga) and empty handed applications (pangamot).
In 1981, Cañete travelled to the Kali Academy in Torrance, California to teach Cacoy Doce and Eskrido in the United States. The seminar was hosted by Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo, Bustillo went on to promote the art in the USA and abroad.

Primary Strategies of Kali

  1. ADAPTABILITY- The ability to pick up any type of weapon and use it efficiently in any given range.
  2. UNDERSTANDING THE 4 RANGES OF COMBAT- Kicking, Boxing, Trapping, and Grappling range.
  3. KNOWING THE 12 ANGLES OF ATTACK- the lines of entry and defending against such lines.
  4. ZONING AND BODY ANGULATION- (180 & 90 degree Theory)
  5. ZERO PRESSURE- maneuvering to the place where the opponents strike holds the least power.
  6. DEFANGING THE SNAKE- Disarming the weapon hand.

  Lameco Eskrima
One of the characteristics of Filipino martial arts is the use of weapons from the very beginning of training. The primary weapon is a rattan stick, also called a cane or baston. These sticks vary in length from about 26 inches to as much as 38 inches in length or more. The weapons can vary in weight and thickness depending on the preference of the practitioner.
Lameco uses Double and single Stick, Double and single Dagger, Stick and Dagger, Sword, Staff, Handkerchief, and Empty Hands.
Lameco Eskrima is a synthesis of five major
Major Systems
• De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orihinal (GM Jose Caballero)
• Kali Illustrisimo (GM Antonio Ilustrisimo)
• Kali Pekiti-Tirsia (Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje Jr.)
• Modernos Largos (GM Jesus Abella & GM Pablicito “Pabling” Cabahug)
• Sulite Rapelon (GM Helacrio Sulite Sr.)

and six minor systems of Eskrima
• Doce Pares (GM Diony Canete)
• Balintawak (GM Johnny Chiuten)
• Lapunti Arnis De Abanico (GM Felimon E. Caburnay)
• Siete Teros Serado – Serado no Puede Entra (GM Marcilino Ancheta)
• Abanico De Sungkiti (GM Billy Baaclo)
• Tres Personas Eskrima De Combate (GM Maj. Timoteo E. Maranga
Lameco employs training drills called Laban Laro (Play Fighting). Laban Laro allows the escrimador to come as close to real combat as possible without injury. It is also designed to get an uncountable number of repetitions in a short period of time

At a young age Edgar Sulite’s father exposed him to the Filipino Martial Arts, himself being a boxer and Arnisador. Growing up in the Barrios of the Philippines, Edgar witnessed many skirmishes settled blade against blade.
Edgar trained with martial arts masters who included Leo Gaje of Pekiti-Tirsia, Jose Caballero of De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal, Jesus Abella of Modern Largos, Antonio Ilustrisimo of Kali Illustrisimo and many others.
In 1981, he moved to Manilla to train under Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo. After relocating to the United States on June 30, 1989, he became instructor to Dan Inosanto and Larry Hartsell.
Recognizing the talent and knowledge that Edgar possessed , Dan Inosanto would become a lifetime student and an advocate of the Lameco system.
Punong Guro Edgar Sulites wife Felisia Sulite appointed Leonard Trigg as President and Dan Inosanto as Vice President of Lameco Eskrima International quite a few years after Punong Guros death.

More Systems Taught