On one fine day, decades ago, Supreme Grandmaster Diony Cañete decided to give up lawyering to teach eskrima.
It was a decision he will never regret.
At a time when everybody's idea of a martial art was often the stiff -- if not downright comical kicks and punches shown in the movies -- SGM Cañete decided to teach the Filipino Martial Art.
Decades later, a new generation of fight fans would be introduced to this concept by the fastest growing sport in the US -- and perhaps the world -- Mixed Martial Arts.
Adopting a wholistic and comprehensive approach to fighting not seen in the other fighting techniques, SGM Cañete introduced Eskrima which is a fighting technique that includes knife fighting, single, double stick fighting, and espada y daga. It also teaches grappling, boxing and locks all before the triangle choke became vogue with Royce Gracie's move on Dan Severn.
While MMA features complete fighters who learn almost all the martial arts, it doesn't feature "complete fighting."
Which is understandable since it would be shut down completely if someone brings a knife to the fight.
Eskrima is knife-fighting and more.
And the various units who deal with life-and-death situations who have sought to learn it validate Eskrima's value.
From going all over the world to teach Eskrima, fighters of all sorts -- military and civilian, teachers and students, men and women -- now come to SGM Cañete to learn Eskrima.
Non-fight fans, too, get introduced to the many aspects of Eskrima through popular culture, movies that strive to feature realistic fighting, MMA events that feature an almost real-life fighting, and the various documentaries and educational shows that feature eskrima at its best, with knives, sticks and even without them.
When SGM Cañete explored the world to teach Eskrima, no one had an idea what it was about.
Now, the martial arts world is no longer the same.
Source: Doce Pares 2011, the official publication for the Doce Pares World Championships held on July 2011 in Cebu, Philippines