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Club History

The martial art that came to be called Ju-Jutsu developed in the early feudal period in Japan (9-10th century) from atemiwaza (striking techniques) introduced from China and indigenous wrestling techniques.� During the course of Japanese history the art of Ju-Jutsu eventually included the art of atemiwaza, shimewaza (choking), kensetsuwaza (joint locking), nagewaza (throws) and wrestling or grappling techniques.� Ju-Jutsu was an integral part of the training received by the samurai (Japanese warriors) of feudal Japan.� Not until the 16th century is there mention of formal schools of Ju-Jutsu that taught only unarmed forms of combat.�

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Ju-Jutsu became an unarmed art of combat that was taught to Japanese soldiers and to soldiers and police officers in the British Empire.� During World War II� many American soldiers were first introduced to this style of unarmed combat.� Antonio Pereira was one of these American soldiers who was trained in Ju-Jutsu by Australian commandos.�

In 1960, Pereira opened the Tremont School of Judo and Ju-Jutsu in New York City and started training in a martial art he called Combato.� In 1961 Pereira attended the Kodokan (Japanese Judo Institute) in Tokyo where he was awarded a Nidan in Kodokan Judo and a teaching certificate in Aikido by Kisshomora Ueshiba.� Upon his return to the United States Pereira modified Combato based on his judo and aikido training and founded Miyama Ryu Ju-Jutsu.

In 1973, John Lewis, fresh from four years active duty with the U.S. Army Special Forces, started training with Antonio Pereira in Miyama Ryu Ju-Jutsu.� Based on his military� and previous judo training Lewis rapidly rose through the ranks to be awarded the rank of oku iri� (black belt) in the same year.�

In 1977, John Lewis founded the ParaCombatives Martial Arts Institute and started the Northwestern University Ju-Jutsu program in Evanston, Illinois.� During the ensuing nineteen years Lewis trained thousands of Northwestern students and graduated many black belt instructors in Miyama Ryu Ju-Jutsu and ParaCombatives Ju-Jutsu. Lewis is also noted for inventing and developing the Ju-jo and Ju-jo Magnum (Ju-Jutsu lanyardstick) while at Northwestern.

In 1996, John Lewis died after fighting cancer for several years. Lewis' legacy is carried on by the many students he trained.� A number of instructors from the ParaCombatives Institute have gone on to open their own schools both in the United States and overseas.� The instructors at the ParaCombatives Martial Arts Institute have dedicated themselves to passing on the art that they were taught and to keeping alive the knowledge that John Lewis spent so many years perfecting.