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Founder and Chief Instructor


Russell McCartney Sensei has been in the martial arts for 33 years and is chief instructor of his own school of Japanese-style swordsmanship and aiki budō in Seattle. He has trained in Karate-dō, Wing Chun and Tai Chi Kung Fu styles, Aikidō, Nakamura-ryū, Aikijutsu, Ryuseiken, and Musō Shinden-ryū. His two world records -- the Guinness Book World Record "Senbongiri" in 2000 and the World Record Federation "Speed Cutting" in 2008 -- are still unmatched. 

Notable accomplishments:

  • Endorsed by the Seattle King County school systems health and P.E. department for his character development and personal safety courses for his KIDS at RISK Exercise program in 1994.

  • Chosen as one of the instructors for the 'West’s Best' teachers conference held by the Director of the National P.E. Workshop.

  • He has taught continuing education classes for the University of Washington Experimental College, Seattle Central and Seattle South Community Colleges for introductions to Japanese military history and swordsmanship.

  • Founded and was the Director of The Pacific Center for Cultural Arts, a multicultural facility promoting the diversity of traditions among all cultures and art forms.

  • Founded several specialty sword programs, functioning as the chief instructor of The College of Battodo Sword Instruction, an intensive special course study in the sword arts for second degree blackbelts and above from all martial forms. Graduates of this program have placed in both first and third place in U.S. National Sword Tournament events.

  • In 1998 he led his school to the position of number one school in the U.S. for the Ryuseiken style and recognized by its founder, one of the worlds leading target cutting swordsmen.

  • Participated in the World Kum-Do Target Cutting Championships in Korea in 1999, where he placed second to a Korean above 80 other swordsmen in the competition. For his demonstration before 1500 officers and enlisted men prior to that tournament, McCartney Sensei received a gold medal award from the commander and chief of the S. Korean Military Academy.

  • Also in 1999, under McCartney Sensei's leadership, Ishi Yama Battōjutsu along with other sponsors coordinated the first North American National Tournament of Swordsmanship, a challenge of target cutting, kata, and goshinken (freestyle point sparring with specially designed padded swords). An unprecedented nine different styles of sword arts were represented in this historic first-of-its-kind event.

  • At the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival in 2000, McCartney Sensei successfully broke the existing Guinness Book World Record for target test cutting. Using one sword, in one hour and ten minutes, he cut 1005 consecutive cuts without a single miss, a full twenty-six minutes under the previous record. He then went on to push that record up 175 more consecutive cuts to a total of 1181 consecutive target cuts without a single miss and still eleven minutes under the previous record. 

  • Between 1993 and 2005, McCartney Sensei coordinated over 48 district, regional, national and International martial art events and over 72 clinics, workshops and seminars across the globe for his martial arts and self-improvement programs.

  • In 2008, he set his second World Record for the "Fastest 4 cuts on one target" at 1.16 seconds.

  • Since 2001, McCartney Sensei has been honored to accept 8 Hall of Fame Inductions for "Founder," "Teacher," as well as "Innovator of the year" in multiple years and categories by The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame and is one of a small few "Life Time" members on the Grand Masters Council. He was also recognized in the position of Grand Master in the European Martial Arts Hall of Fame when he traveled to Serbia. 

  • McCartney Sensei has presented his sword arts as the feature for The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame three times, The European Martial Arts Hall of Fame twice, the United States World Sport Karate Championships and the U.S. Championships, as well as being the featured demonstrator at the Bob Wall Roast event in Studio City California and five World of Martial Arts events.


Instructor (5th Dan)


Baxter Sensei has been training in Ishi Yama Battōjutsu directly under the founder, Russell McCartney Sensei, since 2000. He earned his instructor license in 2007, and began teaching out of the Koei-kan in Bellevue, WA in 2007 and 2008. After relocating to Washington, DC in 2008, he continued teaching Ishi Yama Battōjutsu out of the Jhoon Rhee Institute until 2012. While in the DC area he also pursued training in several traditional Japanese martial arts including Yagyu Shinkage-ryū, Mugai-ryū, and Hontai Yōshin-ryū. In 2013 he returned to Seattle, WA to resume teaching out of the Pacific Northwest, and pursue training in other classic Japanese martial arts.

Additional martial arts background:
• Daitō-ryū Aikijūjutsu, 2012 - 2014
• Yagyū Shinkage-ryū Heiho, 2010 - 2012
• Hontai Yōshin-ryū Jūjutsu, 2011 - 2012
• Mugai-ryū Iaihyodō, Meishi-ha, 2008-2010
• Kendō, 2008

Notable accomplishments:
• 1st Place Chanbara - 2009 W.O.M.A.A "America Cup" Advanced Long sword Division
• 2nd Place Chanbara - 2009 W.O.M.A.A "America Cup" Advanced Two Sword Division


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