By John Alford 

This was one of the most unforgettable martial arts seminars in memory, and everyone enjoyed it here in Adelaide, when Grandmaster Vince Palumbo from International Combative Martial Arts Academy in Welland of South Australia brought out Supreme Grandmaster Ciriaco ‘Cacoy’ Canete of the world famous Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima Club from Cebu City of the Philippines to conduct an Eskrima seminar on Friday the 30th April, 2010 at the Dom Kopernika Polish Centre in Athol Park.

The venue, which doubles as a social club and martial arts club, was very kindly made available by Grandmaster Christopher Nasilowski of the Millenium School of Martial Arts, and the energy and atmosphere was electrifying amongst the eighty plus crowd who were eagerly awaiting the arrival of SGM Cacoy.

As the seminar invitation was open to martial artists from all styles, there was definitely a mixture of students from the various clubs including GM Vince Palumbo, GM Nasilowski, Guro Nino Pilla, Master Kevin Seskis, Professor Leo Arruda, Shihan Dave Hussey, Master James Takacs, Guro John Lee, and members from the World Ju-Jitsu federation, just to name a few.

Within a short time SGM Cacoy made his entrance, assisted by GM Vince, to a thunderous applause from the seminar participants, and the 90 year old ‘young man’, SGM Cacoy understandably walked in with the aid of his walking cane, and so then after a very short introduction by GM Vince, the Cacoy Doce pares Eskrima seminar began.

SGM Cacoy began by teaching us pingki-pingki! (The two partner drills for developing flowing stick strikes).

Beginning with basics such as the five count, he quickly developed this flow right through to a twelve count, and as I looked around the club, I could see that all the participants were totally absorbed and thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

SGM Cacoy then showed us the basics of striking and blocking partner drills, and progressing this by adding in trapping techniques and triple counter strikes, and because there were a considerable number of participants with no experience in this art, but they all nevertheless quickly picked up the skills demonstrated by SGM Cacoy Canete.

During the course of the seminar lots of highly capable teachers were walking around assisting those who may have been having some minor difficulties understanding the techniques that were being demonstrated.

Stick disarms were next on the agenda, so SGM Cacoy demonstrated a few times all techniques he was teaching, this was followed up by GM Vince reinforcing the techniques to the participants.

SGM Cacoy showed how easy stick disarms become by opening the thumb of the opponent’s stick hand, and so in all, he showed four disarms.
(Of course there are many disarm techniques – too many to be shown in a three hour seminar).

SGM Cacoy demonstrated these disarms on GM Vince who repeatedly came out shaking his bruised and battered thumbs, then the participants we were taught more advanced stick trapping and hand locking, flowing into Eskrido (hand trapping followed by throws).

Once again, GM Vince was SGM Cacoy’s assistant and was thrown from pillar to post showing that SGM Cacoy is still a formidable force not to be reckoned with! (During demonstrations SGM Cacoy had no need of his walking cane).

It was a hard concrete floor but world renowned GM Vince Palumbo displayed his outstanding breakfalling skills after being flipped with the Eskrido techniques performed by the SGM Cacoy, then the SGM Cacoy demonstrated several Eskrido throws and each time the crowd applauded showing it’s appreciation of the awesome skills of a genuine world class Supreme Grand Master.

The fact that it was demonstrated by a man who for the most part was between thirty to sixty years older than the majority of us, made us all to feel very humbled in deed in his presence, but by age sixty unfortunately the majority of us in the western world are incapacitated in some fashion!

The session flowed nonstop from woe to go and SGM Cacoy was extremely generous, with the seminar going well over time, and before we knew it the seminar was finished, so upon closing we all showed our deep felt appreciation to a renowned world martial arts expert.

The fact that SGM Cacoy was, in addition, most gracious, humble and unassuming just cemented the high degree of respect that we had developed for him in that short seminar period, then on conclusion of the evening, GM Vince handed out seminar certificates personally autographed by SGM Cacoy to all participants, and in addition several students were awarded rank which were all personally certified by the Supreme Grandmaster.

We bowed out and SGM Cacoy was then besieged by participants wanting their photos taken with him (he showed incredible stamina and patience for a man of his age).

The seminar was followed with food available at a small price, and there were drinks at the bar.

The atmosphere was very warm and friendly with many participants who stayed on until SGM Cacoy had had something to eat and drink before departing with GM Vince.

We once again showed him our deep felt appreciation and are all eagerly awaiting his next visit to Adelaide.