GM Diony and Alex

GM Diony and Alex
GM Diony, UK 2007

SGM Dionisio 'Diony' Cañete - Works

In 1974, he wrote the original 5-year Training Curriculum of the Doce Pares “Multi-style” System.

In the same year, he organised and founded Cebu Eskrima (Arnis) Association; was elected as Charter President, where the 14 Eskrima clubs in Cebu and all the top masters were members.

In 1975, he initiated the formation of the Cebu Eskrima (Arnis) Association. All major Arnis clubs in Cebu banded together for the first time. In succeeding to organise and band together all the top Arnisadors. Diony, in effect, sort of "civilised" the fighting-oriented Masters and curbed them to learn to co-exist for the sake of the Filipino Art.

In the same year, he was invited to the US, and became the first Filipino Eskrima instructor to travel to the US to conduct seminar-workshops, which were hosted in Los Angeles by Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo both known partners of Bruce Lee, and by Grandmaster Fred Bandalan in San Jose, California.

GM Diony was then appointed Commissioner and Executive Officer of the National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL) by Gen. Fabian Ver, the President of the organization.

1976 – Formulated and wrote the tournament governing rules of Eskrima competitions which is now in force in tournament competitions in more than 30 countries.

In the same year, to complement the rules, designed and fabricated the tournament or sparring gears such as headgear, Body protector, Gloves, Arm pad and Thigh pad. These were subsequently registered with the Bureau of Patent (Intellectual Property Office).

NOTE: The adoption of the tournament rules virtually ended the era of “death matches” or “Juego todo” fights, the bloody “duel” among Eskrimadors.

The tournament rules and the sparring protective gears led to the staging of formal tournament competitions, thus evolving Eskrima contests from a “brutal” fight into a popular spectators’ sporting event.

In 1979, he organised the “historic” First National Eskrima Arnis Championship on March 24, 1979 at the Cebu Coliseum, Cebu City.

From 1986 to 1991, he was elected as President of the National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL).

On August 4-7, 1987, he organised the First World Eskrima-Arnis Instructors in Cebu City where 17 top masters from 7 countries participated.

On October 15, 1988, with Arnulfo “Dong” Cuesta and Fred Bandalan (now both Grandmasters), he organised the First USA National Eskrima Kali Arnis Championship in San Jose, California. The event was made more significant as it was the first time that the 3 US top Grandmasters at the time appeared together in one function. They were GM Ben Largusa, GM Leo Giron and GM Angel Caballes, who all agreed to set aside their differences to meet Diony and support the tournament.

On August 11-13, 1989, he organised the First World Eskrima Kali Arnis Championship held at the University of the Visayas Gym in Cebu City.

During the Championship on August 11th he organised and founded the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) and was elected Charter President. It had original 10 member countries and 75 foreign delegates who attended the 1st World Congress.

A non-stock, non-profit corporation, WEKAF is the sole international governing body in the practice, study and promotion of the Filipino Martial Arts. It has now 35 member countries. Since 1989, WEKAF has organized and held nine (9) World Championships in the Philippines, USA and England.

In April 2008, in recognition and as tribute to his unparallel efforts to promote the indigenous Filipino martial arts, was bestowed, baptized and granted the title “DATU PANAGSULAT” by the indigenous Higaonon Tribe of Mindanao.

Founded and established the Academy of Eskrima Martial Arts, Incorporated in December 2007. The government thru Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on June 26, 2008 approved its Application for Registration, becoming the first ever school of Martial Arts in the Philippines.

He wrote and authored the curriculum for the three (3) Program Courses which are now implemented and taught at the ACADEMY;

Basic Eskrima
Intermediate Eskrima
Advance Eskrima

The courses cover all the seven (7) major component fighting arts of the Filipino Martial Art: Single stick, Double stick, Long Stick (Bangkaw), Espada y Daga, Baraw (Knife), Sundang (Long Blade) and Empty Hands (Mano-Mano). As well as its sub-system varied styles: Larga Mano, Media Largo and the 3 general types of CORTO: Corto Linyar, Corto Kurbada and Corto Orihinal otherwise known as San Miguel Eskrima.

He was mainly responsible in creating and formulationg all the Doce Pares forms (sayaw) on Single Stick, Double Stick, Espada y Daga, Mano-Mano and Bangkaw (Long Stick).

Was featured in five (5) documentary films

BBC TV (2 times) 1982 & 2004

Has conducted over 500 seminar-workshops on Eskrima in more than 20 countries.

Wrote 3 books and several manuals on Eskrima Kali Arnis which are now standard reading and reference materials about the Filipino Martial Arts.

Diony has pruned down his active participation in various activities related to Arnis. His private gym in Cebu, however, remains a popular training place for students and instructors, especially those coming from other countries. He sees to it that the visitors are well attended to and are assured of learning what they want to know about the art. He still makes himself always available to render service to WEKAF and NARAPHIL.