The origins of Miyama Ryu combat jujutsu stretch back over half a century. In 1942 Antonio Pereira, a young American soldier, was participating in a hand-to-hand demonstration. When ordered to punch one of the instructors in the face, he complied, only to find himself whipped around into a chokehold.
During World War II, Pereira learned as much as he could about specialized combat methods. He continued to experiment and practice with the techniques, refining them sometimes under life and death situations.
After the war, his warrior's quest for additional knowledge took him to many schools in search of martial prowess. In 1950 he began a formal study of judo with the Lefcoker brothers. He began to research how victims of crime were attacked and devise methods of practical defense.
In 1960 he opened a martial arts school on Tremont Avenue, in the South Bronx, New York. He called his rough-and-tumble method of fighting Combato. But the puzzle was still not complete.
In 1962 he embarked on a journey to Japan. His plan was to study from the source, and perhaps to gain a better sense of the martial principles.
As he observed the practice at the Aiki Kai (Aikido school), Pereira recognized similarities to what he had been doing all along. Pereira set out to learn the more refined methods.
His fierce resolve and dedication won him many honors. Among them were a teaching certificate from then-Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba (son of the founder of Aikido), and a Ni dan in Judo from the Kodokan (the birth place of Judo).
Pereira returned to the United States and resumed teaching at the Tremont School. Periera would later earn a San Mokuroku in Sosuishitsu Ryu Jujutsu, a Koryu (Jujutsu), from the then current Headmaster Professor Shitama.
Knowing that the Western life style and philosophy differs from the Eastern, he adapted the physical techniques and mind set of the Samurai Warrior to the culture of the dangerous streets of the modern, urban South Bronx.
In effect, he created one of the few combat methods suited for today's streets. He combined elements of Judo, Aikido, Koryu Jujutsu, Karate, Boxing, and the less organized, but no less effective element of Western street-style fighting.
In 1964 he formalized the name of his eclectic method Miyama Ryu Jujutsu, which means School of the Three Mountains in English, or Tremont in French. This was the avenue on which the school was located.
In 1973 Pereira researched the classical ranking system of Japanese systems. He decided to use the ranking structure and nomenclature of the Japanese martial arts, both classical and modern. He took the title of Shinan.
Shinan Pereira died in 1999 and with him the era of Tremont as the center of Miyama Ryu came to an end. Miyama Ryu Combat Jujutsu has branched out from the tough streets of the South Bronx to several countries on several continents.
Not only is Miyama Ryu Combat Jujutsu taught to civilians, but it has been used in the design of courses for United States Federal agents, taught at police and law enforcement academies across the world and is still being refined today by two Dai-Shihans, D'Arcy Rahming and Dr. William Duke, and an international Executive Committee led by Shihan Robert Aviles Sr.