does anyone know if the this year's international escrima arnis kali tournament is occurring in Vegas or in Cebu

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I am hearing 2 things here?

I was in Mexico in 2010 when SGM Diony Canete sworn in the WEKAF International BoD & the current WEKAFUSA President. If all this was encuraged by SGM Canete then why did he approve the BoD in 2010????

watch the video..... 



June 6-10 the Cacoy Doce Pares World Championship in Cebu.

Hello Everyone, 

I haven't posted in a while, but I just got caught up with all the post.

My name is Francis Serrano a proud member of Visayan Legacy Association under Master Sonny Napial.  I was also the 2006-2008 WEKAF USA Marketing Director and a former member of Bandalan Doce Pares.  I was also there in the 2006, 2008 WEKAF INTERNATIONAL WORLD TOURNAMENT in Orlando Florida (06) and Cebu City, Philippines (08).  And being the marketing director I attended ALL director conference calls and or face to face meetings.  

In 2006, Grandmaster Tom Sipin step down as WEKAF USA President and voted unanimously Master Sonny Napial as the NEW WEKAF USA President.  And in 2008, under the office of Master Sonny Napial we hosted the 2008 WEKAF USA National Tournament.  At that tournament the Board of Directors met and unanimously voted that all member votes should be counted including the ones not in attendance to the WORLD TOURNAMENT.  Prior to 2008, the only people who voted of the next WEKAF USA President were WEKAF USA members who happen to have attended the WORLD TOURNAMENT.  The director thought this to be unfair to those members that could not go the world tournament.  Plus with email it was easy to tally up votes anonymously.  So it was put into motion by a regional director, seconded by another regional director. Voted and Passed effective immediately that the next election was going to be done electronically instead of by show of hands.  Two candidates were nominated, Master Gabe Rafael of Upakan Bara Bara from Northern California and a Master from New Jersey.  After the election was over Master Gabe Rafael was the NEW WEKAF USA President.  The other camp was demanding that there be a re-count and that all the people that voted names be turned over.  Master Sonny declined the request in an effort to protect the voters anonymity and also protect them to "possible" retaliation.  Members of that group was then upset and demanded that Master Sonny turned over the names.  And again Master Sonny declined for it was his duty to protect the Members.  That is when the campaign to discredit Master Sonny began.  And now in 2008, GM Bandalan incorporates WEKAF USA Inc., and claims that his WEKAF USA is the sanctioned one.  Well just by the rule of fair elections Bandalan and his group did not win by election but instead staged a coup and elected themselves and their group as board of directors.  

Well what now?  Well is hosting a world championship in Las Vegas, NV on July 16-20 at the Riviera Hotel/Casino.  WEKAF USA Inc., is hosting a world championship in Cebu Philippines on July 16-20 as well.  I think in my humble opinion that after the tournament in JULY, that both group have a tournament and finally decide who has claim to the name WEKAF USA.  

I think we should settle this as close to the way our founding fathers did.  Face to Face and in a ring.  The best in both groups meet up and settle this in true FMA fashion.

Francis Serrano

Hello Everyone,

I would like to respond to this letter by Francis Serrrano. First let me start by saying that I know Francis very well.  And yet I find it quite interesting that you Francis, claim to know what happened during the duration of 2006-2008. Yet, you fail to mention the many things that had transpired during this time. Be it through ingnorance, or lack wanting the truth to come out. This is something I can not answer.

You see, Francis was once a student of mine and the late Joe Napial (who died in 2004, from a heart attack while surfing). And Joe Napial was my student and Head Instructor for my BDP school in Southern, CA....  I believe that Joe must be turning in his grave, knowing the disrespect that has been given to the senior grandmasters here in the US and the Philipinnes. Joe was a great man, who did alot for the FMA. He held extreme loyalty and humbleness, towards his Superiors. He followed the traditions that have been passed down for hundreds of years in the martial arts world. With one of them being, that you follow the instructions given to you by your  superiors, be it your Masters, Grandmasters, and Supreme Grandmasters. Joe would not have challenged a Supperior and or Grandmaster when he was instructed to do something. As Joe would have followed the instructions to the tee.

His brother, Sonny, on the other hand, is a completely different person. Over the years it could be said that he Sonny Napial, is what, some may call a rebel. And he for many years was also one of my students. As he headed my BDP school in San Ramone, CA. That was until..., he was kicked out of my organization, stripped of his rank, and his title as Master. I believe Francis, that you have no knowledge as to what really happened regarding this whole situation..

 During the term of 2006-2008 I was the Advisor/Consultant for the WEKAF USA, Directors. And at this time, I continuously had to step in. To try and stop some of the unlawful acts that were being carried out. One of them being the handling of the money and finances for WEKAF USA. The other was that Sonny Napial, felt that he could over rule the WEKAF International Board of Directors, which consisted of the Masters, Grandmasters, & Supreme Grandmasters, in the Philippines. Which was one of the reasons why he was dismissed from my organization, Bandalan Doce Pares (BDP).

It was during the time (2008) when the WEKAF USA, hosted the National Tournament, that several of the directors felt that they wanted to make a change in the way that the voting would take place. But according to the WEKAF INTERNATIONAL, By-Laws, in the Philippines, which I might add, were the By-Laws that WAKAF USA, (due to the fact that it was NOT incorporated at the time), were under. The WEKAF USA, Directors, could not make any changes, unless they were FIRST Authorized and Sanctioned, by the Board of Directors, in the Philippinnes, which happened to be the Senior Grandmasters. And it was during this time, that the Senior Grandmasters / WEKAF International Board Of Directors, instructed Sonny Napial, to hold off on all elections until the WEKAF WORLD Tournament, that was going to take place in Cebu, Philippines. But Sonny Napial challenged and argued with his superiors. A matter of fact he completely disobeyed what it was that his Superiors including, SGM Diony Canete, and GM Dong Questa, had instructed to do. And then Sonny Napial, went ahead and followed through with his own actions.

There was never a campaign to discredit Sonny Napial. He did this on his own account, by his own actions. And it was due to his own actions, of complete disrespect, towards his own Instuctors and Grandmasters, and Supreme Grandmasters, that he was also kicked out of the DOCE PARES ORGANIZATION. Along with being banned from ever attending any event that pertained to the DOCE PARES ORGANIZATION, and or using their name again.

And in regards to the WORLD TOURNAMENT, SGM Diony Canete stated on January 2, 2012, that all fighters registered from both camps were to go to CEBU, PHILIPPINNES to fight  and compete in the WEKAF World Tournament. So who's idea may I ask was it to hold a Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the same time WEKAF WORLD TOURNAMENT is being held in CEBU, PHILIPINNES....? I ask, "is this an act of  ironic or malicous, behavior"...?????? 


GM Alfredo Bandalan







GM Bandalan, commented that the thing that discredited Master Sonny Napial was that he disobeyed the direct orders of his superiors.  Mainly you, and the other Grandmasters of the DOCE PARES organizations. Which I do agree sir, that you must always respect your teachers.  But there is obedience and blind obedience.

GM Bandalan said it himself, "The WEKAF USA, Directors, could not make any changes, unless they were FIRST Authorized and Sanctioned, by the Board of Directors, in the Philippinnes, which happened to be the Senior Grandmasters"

But WEKAF USA did have the authority to make changes within the voting process and was recognized by the WEKAF INTERNATIONAL board whom at that time was Sharon Burns.  Which is attached to this post.  This was what former WEKAF INTL President who presided at the time said about the process.

"To be more specific, in 2008, Sonny Napial had the sole responsibility and authority to oversee the selection of the new director. According to the rules of WEKAF USA, Non-Profit, the US regional Directors developed and agreed to a plan to vote for his successor. That plan was followed, and Gabriel Rafael won that election. At the request of Sonny Napial at the 2008 world congress, the process was reviewed and audited by Stephan Jerzenbeck, the outgoing president of the WEKAF International Board. He verified the findings by me as the incoming President. We confirmed that Sonny Napial acted within his authority, the process they used was fair and unbiased, the outcome was correct, and Gabriel Rafael was properly the Director for the US under the WEKAF International charter. There weren’t any complaints made to the International Board about this process or the outcome." 

I wonder, why do we, WEKAF USA need to get permission from WEKAF PHILIPPINES?  But it seems to me that although I agree that respect must be shown it does not mean by any standards that require anyone to be a blind follower.  Master Sonny and the rest of the board in 2008-2010 responsibilities were, and are still to the WEKAF USA members.  If the wishes and or desires of the WEKAF USA members are inconsistent with the wishes and desires of the GM and SGM, the wishes of the members takes precedent.  But what GM Bandalan is saying again I quote, "A matter of fact he completely disobeyed what it was that his Superiors including, SGM Diony Canete, and GM Dong Questa, had instructed to do." 

So it seems to me that the only people that had objection to this was the High Ranking Instructors of DOCE PARES not WEKAF International.  And since this is a WEKAF matter, the High Ranking instructors are of course respected, and advise is always welcome.  But at the end of the day the MEMBERS of WEKAF USA decide what and how our organization is ran.  

With Respect, 

Francis Serrano


@ Rey Aquino, here's an invitation to the Las Vegas, NV tournament.  Thank you for the inquiry.

Greetings to all FMAer's

First of all I need to make this clear. I am not taking sides but I wanted to put my own opinion. I have read both side of WEKAF USA and WEKAF USA, Inc and it is very interesting that each of the parties are claimng to be WEKAF and now that WEKAF USA has announce that they have there own world tournament and WEKAF USA, Inc is representing USA in Cebu, who is the true WEKAF representative. That is not the question or what matters at this time. What matter is that both organization is claiming to be be WEKAF and it really comes down to this. SGM Dionisio Canete is the founder of WEKAF, regardless if it's WEKAF USA, WEKAF USA, Inc, WEKAF Germany, WEKAF Europe, any WEKAF around the world. It was founded by SGM Dionisio Canete. Those who are claiming to be WEKAF has forgot where WEKAF has started. I feel both Organization is

disrespecting SGM and his organization that his family has built. I know there are other organization that has issue but this issue has become known throughout the community and world. This should have been taken care of in-house and have been solved some time ago.

Other organizations are looking at WEKAF as a joke and have been organizing there own tournament with success. Yes, there are issues but not as enormous as this issue. WEKAF is suppose to brign FMA together not split them apart. I have read the post from Franics Serrano which he has stated,

'I think we should settle this as close to the way our founding fathers did.  Face to Face and in a ring.  The best in both groups meet up and settle this in true FMA fashion.'

Well, that there is childish and the world tournament was to be the best fighters around the world. What I think what should happen is both WEKAF, 1st and 2nd place from each tournament should fight it out and that should determine who should represent USA in Cebu. As for Las Vegas World Tournament, WEKAF USA should not use the name WEKAF World Tournament. They should be calling it a different name not associating WEKAF. If you look at, it has stated from the founder that WEKAF World Tournament is being held there and not Las Vegas.  I am just stating the facts here and not taking anyside. As for myself, I don't really care if there was 4 world tournament, I believe in respecting the founder and if the founder said its being held in Cebu then thats is where the WORLD TOURNAMENT IS BEING HELD and that should not be at question.

Good luck to both groups and there should be some sort of compromise  because its the fighters that is suffering not the organization.


I completely agree that this issue has been going on for far too long and has grown into a cancer that effects ALL FMA groups.  But I am curious as to how was my recommendation differ from yours.  I stated that the best fighters from both camps meet up as EQUALS and whosever groups has more winners than the other becomes the representative of WEKAF USA to WEKAF Worlds. Now I know I didn't state this and for that I should have, but after that tournament they then merge again as ONE GROUP and shake hands and become a UNIFIED group once again.  I miss my friends who got caught in the middle like kids caught in a divorce.  I want to be one group again.  But I just feel that all these lawyering, and bickering and the pointing of fingers hurts as all. And as a sportsman, if I loose I will be the first one to go across the ring hug my brother in arms and congratulate him and thank him for honoring me with a match.  

I also believe in respecting our Grandmasters and I still hold SGM Diony Cañete in the highest of regards.  But I also believe that SGM did start WEKAF not so he could control it, but so that each country can govern themselves.  I have no more rights to dictate what happens in the affairs of WEKAF Philippines and I respect them enough to let them lead their group into any direction they wish.  Is it too much to ask for the same thing? Remember this country was founded on the protest against oversees rulers dictating the way Americans should live.  Just like the Philippines did when the Spanish and Japanese did not that long ago.  Maybe I am over dramatizing this or blowing this out of proportion.  But the principles are the same, no other person shall govern how we run our organization when that other person is an ocean away, with no direct first hand account of knowing whats going on here in the USA.  

Thank you again Mark for your positive contribution and I hope have not offended you or any others in my reply to your post.


Francis Serrano


I didn't take it offended and I respect your thinking and 100% agree on have both WEKAF compete but instead of the most winners should represent. It should be the top 2 fighters for each division should represent. Having two WEKAF shouldn't be a problem, it's like have McDonalds. It's own by different owners but at the end its the same product. Customer will go to the McDonald's they choose to go. This is what I recommend.


Have National Tournament for WEKAF USA and WEKAF USA, Inc. The top two fighters of each group fights and the top two fighters that win represents USA in the World Tournnament. If it is two fighters in one organization then they represent but if its one from each organization then its one from each. The judges, refs, staffs will come from both sides. Imagine, when both organizations comes together, how many members will that be in one place. It will be like how it was before, ONE organization in one place showing UNITY. We both have friends in both WEKAF and its a shame, like you said, its like a divorce and its sad. Imagine how SGM, GM, Masters in Cebu feels. And what the two sides need to think about is how other groups and organization looking at WEKAF. It's not only WEKAF that they are looking at but Doce Pares too. When people talk about WEKAF they associate Doce Pares with it. Is that fair to Doce Pares when they have nothing to do with it. Plus, I see both side recruiting GM ans Masters on both sides and black balling other schools because they do not show support. It's not the support they are not showing, it's they do not want to be involve and would rather stay away from it all.

If you have any influence in talking to both WEKAF Presidents, I would highly recommend having both organization come together and having another tournament for the top 2 seeded fighters and fight for the spot for USA. And it's unfair for the other countries too, if you look at it, USA will have 4 fighters representing USA compared to 2 from other countries.

Hello Mark,

I ask that you please read The Truth and History of WEKAF that I have posted. And also the letter that SGM Diony Canete and Master Gerald Canete sent on January 2, 2012. I have posted both as discussions. Hopefully you will find that both of these will answer alot, as to the questions that you have spoken of. All along I have followed the instructions and only stated the facts under SGM Diony Canete. Which was the only reason for me incorporating WEKAF USA, Inc..

GM Alfredo Bandalan


Greetings to All,


GM Bandalan, I have read the post that you have posted several times and watched the video. It is not my place to tell you what is right or wrong. I am just expressing my opinion and how I feel about all this. I give lots of respect for higher ranking instructor and it is no place for me to tell you what to do. I know that you are one of the founders of WEKAF here in the United States therefore, you should be credited. That I know for a fact. But what ever had happen between both WEKAF is between both WEKAF and I have nothing to do with it. All I know is the founder of WEKAF, SGM has stated that the World Tournament will be held in Cebu which I see as the only WEKAF World Tournament. As for the other issues, that is between WEKAF USA and WEKAF USA, Inc. I really do not care which WEKAF represents USA, it is the students like myself that is suffering from all this. I have friends from both sides and support FMA tournaments. I wish that all this can be put on the side or find some type of compromise between the two organization. 

Wish the best of luck for the two organization and realize that this is spliting the organization apart and FMA friends apart.

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