Filipino Martial Arts Academy

Doce Pares West Coast Head Quarters

Doce Pares refers to a Martial Arts organization founded in 1932 Cebu, Philippines. The term "Multi-Style" system refers to an assemblage of various styles of Eskrima, Kali, Arnis that were introduced into the organization by the founding masters. These various styles of Eskrima were gradually incorporated into one training method in which we find what is presently known as the Doce Pares "Multi-Style" System of Eskrima

Eskrima (Arnis) is the only Filipino traditional martial art considered complete and most comprehensive as it covers all forms of open hands and all ranges of weapon fighting which also includes Espada Y Daga (sword & dagger) and Blade Techniques.

Supreme Grand Master Dionisio Cañete

Dionisio belongs to the second generation of the  famous Martial Art advocates, the Cañete brothers of Cebu City, Philippines. He is the youngest son of GM Eulogio (Ylong) Cañete, the principal organizer of Doce Pares, who headed the organization since its founding in 1932 until his death in June 1988.

Dionisio began his lessons in the Filipino Art in 1946 at the age of eight from his father and brother Iluminado, the eldest of the five children (4 sons and a daughter) of Eulogio and Irenea Aventurado.

He studied under GM Felimon "Momoy" Cañete and later with GM Ciriaco "Cacoy" Cañete, both brother of his father. He also trained with GM Vicenter Carin and Maximo Cañete.

In 1950, during the Golden age of Boxing in Cebu, he was attracted to the sport and for five years regularly sparred and trained with several good amateur and professional boxers at that time.

In 1957, together with his brothers, Diony was introduced to Kodokan Judo.

In 1960, immediately upon his election as one of the officers of Doce Pares, rules on the acceptance of students and membership were liberalized. They started to promote and develop Arnis to a wholesome spectator's sporting event.

In 1969 at the age of 22, he passed the Bar Examinations and became a fully-fledged Lawyer.

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 organize and band together all the top Arnisadors, Diony, in effect, sort of "Civilized" the fighting-oriented Masters and curbed them to learn to co-exist for the sake of the Filipino Art.

Events he helped organize/Events he participated:

March 6-7,1976

First National Arnis Festival

University of San Carlos Gym

Cebu City, Philippines

by National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL)

March 24, 1979

First National Arnis Open Championship

Cebu Coliseum

Cebu City, Philippines

August 19, 1979

First National Invitational Tournament

Philippine National College Gymnasium

Manila, Philippines

October 15, 1988

First National USA Eskrima Kali Arnis Championships

San Jose, California

First Eastern USA Arnis Championships

Jersey City, NJ


The two tournaments were made possible through the all-out assistance & initiative of Arnulfo Cuesta, Fred Bandalan, Edward Abinsay, and Leo Fernandez

August 11-13, 1989

First World Eskrima Kali Arnis Championships

Cebu City, Philippines

It was during this tournament that the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) was organized and he was elected Charter President. During these tournaments he prepared the tournament rules and designed the  appropriate protective gear.


He was selected as Sportsman of the Year

by the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC)

January 25-27, 1992

2nd World Championships & Congress

Manila, Philippines

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.

Founder of FMAA Master  Leonilo "Nilo" Baron

8th Grade Black Belt

Master Leonilo Baron a personal protégé of GM Diony Cañete, has received all of his training for over 10 years at the World Headquarters before his departure for the U.S. in 1996. Training with all the top masters at the headquarters highly benefited him as he learned all the component styles which comprise the entire Doce Pares System. His exceptional talent was clearly acknowledged when he was commissioned in 1993 as one of the regular instructors of the World Headquarters, and thus was authorized to teach Espada y Daga, Largo Mano, Media Largo, the three styles of "corto" (close range) Baraw, Mano-Mano as well as the twelve (12) forms (sayaw) and the sophisticated technique of Tapi-Tapi (sticky hand) Because of his training background, here at the FMA the students learn not only to execute and perform but also to understand the various theories, principles and philosophies on which the techniques were derived or anchored upon. It has become one policy to teach the students to both learn the techniques and understand well the concept so that by themselves they can create and develop their own.

Some of Master Nilo Baron accomplishments are:

•1990, 91 - Member of the 5 man Doce Pares team which captured the Philippine National team championships.

•1990, 93, 94 - Philippine National Champion.

•1991 - Became one of the youngest Master instructors of Doce Pares Multi-Style System.

•1992, 94 - Member of the 5 man Doce Pares team which captured the Philippine National team championships.

•Several times Cebu Champion in Sparring and forms.

Master Nilo Baron is the founder and chief instructor of the Filipino Martial Academy located in Sacramento, California. If you would like more information on Eskrima classes, Please contact Master Baron, or feel free to stop by one of our schools at any time. Also available for private group lessons.