Filipino martial arts community mourns SGM ‘Diony’ Cañete’s passing

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 23,2021 - 03:46 PM

Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio "Diony" Cañete of the world-famous Doce Pares has passed on today, August 22. | Photo from Dionesio Cañete's FB page

Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio “Diony” Cañete of the world-famous Doce Pares has passed on today, August 22. | Photo from Dionesio Cañete’s FB page

CEBU CITY, Philippines— The entire Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) community is mourning the passing of one of the country’s martial arts icons, Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio “Diony” Cañete of the world-famous Doce Pares. 

SGM Diony, who conceptualized and originated the rules and regulations that turned Arnis and eskrima into a formal contact sport, was 83 years old at the time of his death. 

Also, his family has yet to release a statement about his passing as of this writing.

SGM Diony was the second generation of Cañetes who founded and advocated Arnis and eskrima in the Philippines. 

He was the son of one Doce Pares co-founder Eulogio 

“Yoling” Cañete, who also served as the first president of the club. He was also the nephew of the late SGM Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete, who was also one of the founding members of Doce Pares. 

SGM Diony, a lawyer, was a 12th-grade black belter, but he was popularly known to many as the one to introduce the genuine Cebuano martial arts to the World. 

Currently, Doce Pares has more than 50 headquarters around the world and more than a thousand members who congregate every year for the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) World Championships held in different host countries. 

In his Facebook post, Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Pekaf) chairman and president, said he was shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of SGM Diony, whom he considered as his mentor. 

“My dear Brothers and Sister’s of Arnis, it is with great sadness to announce the shocking and untimely passing of SGM Diony Cañete. Our deepest deepest condolences to the Cañete Family and the whole Doce Pares Family in the Philippines and all over the World. 

“He was the Dean of our Council of Elders and was the Founder and Chairman of the World Arnis Kali and Escrima Foundation/ WEKAF which is the International Federation of PEKAF. Personally to me, He was a Mentor, a Leader and most especially a dear dear Friend. 

“I am blessed to have last seen him in Cebu with his son and PEKAF EVP Gerald Cañete last July 30 2021. It was an Honor to have been his student and his Friend and I’m beyond words for the loss of such a Legend in the FMA community. 

“I would never have been a Champion without him and we would never have had such a successful SEA Games staging of Arnis without his full support. If there was one person who everybody loved and respected regardless of FMA politics it was SGM Diony Cañete…

“He will be sorely missed and I will truly miss him. May he be welcomed in Heaven by all our GrandMasters who went before Him… Rest Peace our dear Supreme Grandmaster and may the good Lord accept you in His loving arms. Pugay po!”

Doce Pares thanked everyone who sent their prayers and sympathy for SGM Diony’s passing through a Facebook post. The post also stated that his son, Pekaf Executive Vice President Gerald Cañete, apologized for not accommodating everyone’s messages at the moment. 

In 2018, SGM Diony was nominated as one of the National Artists of the Philippines for his great contribution to martial arts. No less than the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Central Visayas pushed for his nomination.


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