Dionisio Canete
Dionisio "Diony" Canete, who had been the senior living member of famed Canete family of Filipino martial arts practitioners, passed away Sunday in the Philippines at the age of 83 from COVID-19. He was the youngest son of Eulogio Canete, the original organizer of the doce pares system, one of the world's most popular styles of Filipino stickfighting.

Dionisio Canete was an instrumental figure in the popularization of stickfighting, or arnis, as a competitive sport helping to formulate rules and develop safety equipment for the earliest tournaments in the 1970s and 1980s. He was named as the charter president of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) on its founding in 1989. A lawyer in the Philippines, in 2017 he took the unusual step of asking the country's Supreme Court to delist him from the Attorney's Rolls over what he said was his disgust with corruption in the judiciary system. In 2019 he was arrested for "cyber libel" which, at the time, Canete said he believed stemmed from a Facebook post he made accusing several prosecutors of corruption.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

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