On January 11, 1932 the most renowned eskrimadors, mainly from Cebu, spearheaded by Eulogio Canete, Lorenzo Saavedra and Teodoro Saavedra founded Doce Pares, as a society that would promote the only original native martial art of the Philippines, Eskrima.
Eulogio "Yoling" Canete was elected President, with Teodoro Saavedra as Vice President.
During the fiesta in the Southern town of Cebu in September, an eskrima tournament without protective gear, was held featuring Master Teodoro Saavedra against a Master of San Fernando , Cebu . In spite of a vaunted amulet worn by Saavedra's opponent, Teodoro somehow managed to outthink, outhit and outdo said opponent in two exciting rounds.
Saavedra's amazing performance and victory in said fight, made Doce Pares popular and became a by-word.
While serving the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and later the resistance forces, which fought underground the Japanese occupation army during World War II, Teodoro Saavedra, Vice President and chief instructor of Doce Pares (DP) was captured and subsequently executed by the Japanese soldiers. The following year, his uncle, Lorenzo "Tatang Ensong" Saavedra died of old age. He was over 90 years old.
Cacoy Cañete started to develop the art of Eskrima with Jujutsu-style locks and throws called "Eskrido". He revolutionized the Filipino Martial Art in such amazing way that the unified system, incorporated some striking techniques, namely, slashes (linear, curving, semi-circular and circular), thrusts, hooks & butts, in combination with throws and takedowns, using the olisi.
After the War, the prominent Doce Pares Eskrimadors regrouped and held several meetings regarding the resumption of the program for the promotion of the Filipino martial art. The most active members were the Cañete brothers headed by Eulogio as Club President. His brother, Ciriaco "Cacoy" Cañete, also a resistance fighter emerged as Doce Pares most skillful fighter and innovator.
One of the top Masters, with some of his loyalists seceded from Doce Pares and formed another Eskrima Club.
After the split, The Cañete brothers: Filemon (Momoy), Silvestre, Tirso, Rufino and Ciriaco (Cacoy), took full control of Doce Pares.
To counteract the belligerence of the break-away group, Cacoy Cañete immediately organized the Cebu Mutual Security Association and became its leader. This elite group was composed of Doce Pares Eskrimadors personally trained by Cacoy.
The National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL) was organized. It was headed by Romeo Mascardo of Bacoor, Cavite , it had as its President, General Fabian Ver, Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos. Doce Pares became a member of the association.
A committee composed of top Instructors and Masters was formed, tasked to formulate and draft the governing rules of Eskrima tournaments. When the group failed to come up with the draft within the specified time, Eulogio's youngest son Dionisio "Diony" Cañete, volunteered to do the job and, within a couple of weeks, he submitted the proposed rules which were subsequently accepted and approved "en toto" by the NARAPHIL.
NARAPHIL conducted the First Open Arnis Tournament on March 24, 1979, in Cebu City and the First national Invitational Arnis Tournament on August 19, 1979, in Manila. In both tournaments, Cacoy Cañete, emerged as Champion in the Masters Division.
Doce Pares celebrated its 50th Anniversary. British Broadcasting Corporation took some footages of the event and featured those in their documentary Film, "Way of the Warrior". This documentary made Doce Pares known globally.
One of the Masters from another Eskrima Club, challenged Cacoy Cañete to an Eskrima fight. Cacoy accepted.
When the fight took place in September 17, 1983, the challenger did not want to position at the middle of the ring, because he knew that Cacoy is an expert in close quarter fighting. He chose to stay in a safer distance from Cacoy.
Facing hundreds of spectators, and waiting impatiently for his opponent to position at the middle, Cacoy hurriedly went close to the challenger and delivered a series of lightning strikes to his head. Suffering from near blackout, the challenger dived to grasp Cacoy's right leg, exerting efforts to shove Cacoy down. But, Cacoy countered by executing a left arm headlock as he controlled his oppnent's left arm with his right arm and at the same time, maintaining his balance. Then referee Luciano Babiera shouted, "Break, Break". He declared that each fighter committed a foul. He, then, ordered the duo to continue the fight. But, the challenger hastily walked down the stage, ignoring the referee's order to resume the fight. For this reason, referee Babiera without hesitation, raised Cacoy's right hand and declared him as the winner.
A rematch was scheduled at the huge Cebu Coliseum that could accommodate 10,000 people. Before the fight, bothe protagonists were examined by the official doctor of the rematch. The doctor later gave Cacoy a clean bill of health and said he's fit to fight, but the doctor declared that Cacoy's challenger was suffering from high-blood pressure making him unfit to fight. Because of this, the fight was called off. This really angered the crowd who started throwing coins and empty water bottles to the challenger.
A National Arnis Tournament was held on March 16, 1985. The Doce Pares contestants made a clean sweep of all the championship awards in all categories - Openweight, Heavyweight, Middleweight and Lightweight. Most runner-up awards also went to the Doce Pares players. Such was the reputation of invincibility of Doce Pares contestants that in the following National Arnis Tournament in Bacolod City, Doce Pares officers and members were invited, but only as observers and officials - not as contestants.
Eulogio Cañete held on to the presidency of Doce Pares until his passing away in June. His younger brother, Cacoy succeeded him as President of the Club up to the present.
Due to different views on the future of the organization, a handful of the Doce Pares members and officers decided to form their own club but still used the name but, this time, with a different intepretation of the Art.
The Doce Pares Club became Doce Pares Federation with a modified logo where the symbols of Eskrido and Pangamot were integrated with the original insignia. This is due to the increasing number of its international members and of foreign schools adopting the system of GM Cacoy, the Corto Kurabada Eskrima, Eskrido and the Pangamot.
To give it a distinction from among the other groups using the name Doce Pares, the Doce Pares Federation was renamed to that of Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation, as proposed by its Senior Masters and Grandmasters.
The first-ever Doce Pares Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held in Cebu City. SGM Cacoy Canete, his brothers: the late Grandmasters Eulogio and Filemon was awarded the title, The Doce Pares Legends.