View Full Version : My final word to e-budoists

Russell McCartney
19th February 2001, 19:59
My limited experience with e-budo has been interesting. The when where or how I do what I do at IYR has been run through your mill seemingly to the exclusion of all else. In an odd sort of way you flatter us though I don't think of what we do at IYR necessarily worth quite so much of your attentions. Still it has brought us to the awareness of many others with similar ideals and situations as ours, and for that I am grateful.

I have been continually miss quoted and taken out of context.
Still after all the comments and even threats which continue to come toward me and my organization, I will state some closing truth for the record:
1) If you want to know my position, read my posts or visit the IYR site.
2) If you want to know what we do, come by and see. Our doors are open for class visitation during regular hours and scheduled private meetings as well.
3) No one has ever come to our door asking for a specific style other than IYR. (believe it or not-it's true)
4) If you want to see the results of our training, go to tournaments, you will see us there.

I have very little time for emails in general yet further questions can be addressed to our site email and answered as time permits. Remember however I prefer 'live in person' inquiries.

Presently I have work to be done, training to do and the
"NON POLITICAL ADJENDA" of the NABA to 'help' up-hold.
Thankyou for all you input. Since this will be my last post, in closing I would like to leave you with these few words:
If you want to be part of a productive future, actively participate in it with all the vitality 'virtue' has to offer with the sword that 'gives life'.
Russell McCartney - IYR

20th February 2001, 23:03
Mr McCartney,

I understand and appreciate your reaction to the flood of controversary here on e-budo. I however would like to see you remain a poster here. I imagine you feel a bit overwhelmed by all this and I'm sure you feel some of your postings were greatly misinterpreted, but I think you bring a valuable angle of discussion to the forum.

Things did degenerate to some degree of snide bickering and that is usually unfortunate but I think it is healthy for the readers to have access to information, even information that to the status quo may be controversial or unorthodox.

The idea or concept of a western formulated martial art of Japanese origin is not going to go away despite grumblings on both sides of this debate. ( The Gracies stuffed this down the Japanese budo worlds throat sideways) The truth is that only through the dissimination of accurate information will the reader/student find what he or she is actually seeking. That is ultimately good for all of us.

As the student of a Japanese Sensei who had one foot in the Japanese past and one in the western present I know full well the difficulties associated with this tightrope walk. I have personally chosen the Japanese side of the fence as the direction I lean but I don't begrudge you the choice to lean the other direction entirely. That is your choice to make. As long as your students and teachings reflect ideals found honorable and of value to your students it's really none of our business what you do.

If I understand correctly, you are not claiming that some unnamed Japanese laundry man / sword master made you the M R bitchin of a hitherto unknown koryu. You are also not claiming (as some koryu do) that a mountain goblin taught you your sword style. You have simply had the audacity to say , hey, this is my deal and I'm going with it. Time will ultimately tell whether you were right in doing so or not.


As I said earlier, despite my misgivings about your definition of "soke", I wish you all the best and hope you are successful in pursuing that which you and your students desire. Also don't be too distracted by the ministrations of some of us "elitists" If we fly to far from the ground our wax will melt and we too will fall crashing to the ground. That is as it should be in budo.


21st February 2001, 03:13
I too would be very dissapointed if you did not participate in the forum at times. It wouldn't do for everybody to all have the same feelings and ideas. Although the ways of Budo have been tested over many generations it still needs people to question these methods and ways to keep us all on our toes as we all still have a lot to learn.

Regards Colin Hyakutake Watkin

Joseph Svinth
21st February 2001, 05:24
I was curious -- is Ishi Yama Ryu's 18 hours to shodan, with financing up to the first $4,000, pretty standard in American versions of Japanese sword arts?

To wit:

"We guarantee that by the conclusion of this 18-hour intensive, you will have all the essentials to compete at Shodan level (1st degree black belt--equivalent to mid-level proficiency or better) in NABA national tournament competition for kata, test... We have acquired a special credit line which allows us to offer funding to approved individuals interested in committing to this program of achievement. 100% of all costs can be purchased through this credit program for all your training needs, even your swords. Yes, even your live blades and targets can go on your account up to $4,000.00."


21st February 2001, 05:52
Perhaps you should have included this part as well

A specialized program of Kata, Target Cutting Swordsmanship for 2nd degree black belts and above from all other martial arts.

Because Black belts already know how to learn, your progress will move along quickly. Yet, it is imperative that you remember . . . This is a totally separate art from your usual field of study. What you will bring to aide you in the learning process is determination, diligence and knowledge of your physical and mental processes. At the same time, you must not mix your years of muscle memory with this art form.

However, from your other posts it's already become painfully obvious that your preference is to misreprenent rather than inform.

Rob Lowry

Joseph Svinth
21st February 2001, 08:22
All I have said all along is that you need to see what is out there and then decide what is right for you. Since I don't do swordsmanship, my opinion is probably irrelevant. But, just for the record, it is my belief that if you live in Seattle and want to learn swordsmanship, then you train with the kendo federation. On the other hand, if you want to dress in Halloween costumes and cut wet floor mats with a sword, then you train at Russ's. What's so difficult about that?

Meanwhile, as long as we are listing all the small print, how about this one, describing the value you get for your 18 hours of instruction:

"Note for Comparison: 2-year degree at community college level requires 93+ hours. Further study for a bachelor degree is four years/180credits. To obtain a teaching certificate one must study an additional year or more, law degree three more years, medical degree four more years, masters degree add 1 to 2 more years and a Ph.D. would be 6 more years. State colleges 'tuition run approximately $5,000 per year and private institutions $25,000per year. Flight school requires 50-65 hours of flight time which runs a minimum of $55.00 per hour, ($3,575).

For the wealth and volume of information within this course study, no other endeavor compares."

Is the course VA-approved? If not, then is this a diploma mill, or just potentially deceptive advertising? After all, a reasonable and prudent person might also read the previous paragraph: (All caps in original.)


21st February 2001, 09:06
Yes, sure, but this is guarteed which means you get your money back if you don't make it, right? Right.

Just ask O'Phil about O'Russ.

Scott Irey
21st February 2001, 10:29
Mr. Svinth,

For somebody who is a self proclaimed non-swordsperson, you certainly seem to have a great interest in trying to shoot Mr. McCartney down. You have made some pretty outlandish claims about his tournaments (in particular your post about some ninja being the second all around best swordsperson at his last tournament... a flat out fabrication. You have as yet failed to respond to my inquiry as to where you gathered that information) And now when some people are starting to cut him some slack and are even going so far as to state that maybe they were a bit harsh with him and his budo, you choose another angle of attack by slamming his business in two different threads (neither of said threads were discussing his business, but you seem to feel that if even semi-positive things are being said about the man it is your duty to redirect the conversation with some irrelevant slander)

Now I do not feel it is my duty to defend Mr. McCartney. But I do feel I have an obligation to question and bring to task a person, especially one who openly admits to having nothing to do with the swordarts, who for no apparent reason begins to make slanderous insinuations about a member of the sword community. Your actions would seem to indicate that you are working on some sort of agenda, an agenda that appears to me at least to be bent on character assassination of an individual you seem to only know through a web-site.

Now, when I have brought you to task in the past on a somewhat different topic you faded into the word work , failing to answer any of my questions when you started voicing opinions on MJER and it's lineage. I certainly hope that you will not back out of this one. I for one hope you will tell us in great detail why it is your duty to try and undermine Mr. McCartneys reputation and character here on E-budo. What exactly is your agenda sir?

Joseph Svinth
21st February 2001, 12:14
My only agenda is this: Don't trust what you read or hear. Trust no one, including (especially?) me, as I'm as opinionated and bullheaded as anybody, and Meik Skoss and Dave Lowry have already told you what bullheaded opinions are worth. Instead, go to see the elephant for yourself. Then trust your heart and strive to do your utmost.

As for the ninja statement, where I heard it was at an Ishi Yama Ryu taikai held at a community center in Renton, Washington, on October 14, 2000. The time was between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. The occasion was the 1-2 dan kata performance. A fellow sitting behind me in the stands announced in a loud voice that the individual coming out next was a ninja, and as it was said in a loud voice while R. McC. was standing nearby and no one made any objections, I assumed that the fellow making the pronouncement knew what he was talking about. I guess I have just had another lesson in why one should not assume, but should instead always ask for written documentation. So if anyone was offended by my suggesting that ninjas were in attendance, I offer my sincere apologies.

(Edited for spelling.)

21st February 2001, 14:09

Just a hint. If they were real ninja's, you couldn't see them...... right?


21st February 2001, 14:13
As quoted by Joseph Svinth from the Ishiyama Ryu website
Flight school requires 50-65 hours of flight time which runs a minimum of $55.00 per hour, ($3,575).

Umm.... being a student pilot I can tell you that the FAA minimums for flight instruction toward your Private Pilot's License is only 40 hours (20 hour minimum of dual instructor time), not 50-65. Also, the costs for flight instruction (and plane rental) vary greatly from place to place (I've seen as low as $20 an hour for the instructor and $48 an hour for a plane - wet).

A good rule of thumb is that getting your PPL is going to run you about $4000 - depending on what type of plane you are renting and how often you fly.


21st February 2001, 15:30
Having been at the Renton Tournament myself I’m finding Mr. Svinth’s interpretation of Ninja presence quite funny. There actually was a reference to Ninja’s announced. It was a statement thanking so and so for the Ninja demonstration that had just occurred. It got a good round of laughter as most people got the joke.
Of course, perhaps a good Ninja could place second without even the judges knowing of their presence. However, I know little about Ninja’s and would defer to a practitioner of that art to verify this possibility.
Personally, I’d love for a Ninja to enter the event. The coolest thing about these tournaments is the ‘gathering of the community’ effect they have. It’s just really fun to be able to watch people from the various sword arts perform their stuff. I’ve never seen a Ninja perform. But then again, public displays would perhaps be contrary to basic tenets of the art. -sigh-

21st February 2001, 16:45
Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
if you want to dress in Halloween costumes and cut wet floor mats with a sword, then you train at Russ's.

By halloween costumes I assume you are speaking of the tradditional hakama, gi and tabi his students wear - AND - by wet floor mats I'm assuming you are referring to the tradditional Tatame Omote used at his dojo?

Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
As for the ninja statement, where I heard it was at an Ishi Yama Ryu taikai held at a community center in Renton, Washington, on October 14, 2000. The time was between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. The occasion was the 1-2 dan kata performance. A fellow sitting behind me in the stands announced in a loud voice that the individual coming out next was a ninja, and as it was said in a loud voice while R. McC. was standing nearby and no one made any objections, I assumed that the fellow making the pronouncement knew what he was talking about. [/B]

And the fact that all participants announced the style they represented before starting each of their cutting and kata performances, and that NOBODY claimed affiliation with a Ninja clan seems to be missing from your detailed recollection of the event.

Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
Since I don't do swordsmanship, my opinion is probably irrelevant.[/B]

Anybody who goes back and reads the posts regarding Mr McCartney and the NABA, in their entirety, can see that you've done little more than type "FIRE" in a crowded chat room - which is far more dangerous to those seeking the truth for themselves than statements that are "probably irrelevant".

Rob Lowry

If you are not truthful or sincere in your thoughts, you are useless to society, and everything you do is vain. --- Huanchu Daoren, Vegetable Root Talks

Nathan Scott
21st February 2001, 19:48
Hello Patric,

Welcome to e-budo! Please post your real, full name on all posts per forum policy. This can be added to the "signature" option in your user profile if you like.


In regards to Mr. Svinth's choice to voice his observations about the sword college of IYR, based on information publicly posted on their home page, I don't see where he would need to be an expert in sword to have a valid comment.

Anyone with experience in Japanese Budo could have valid concerns or observations about situations in which black belts are being issued through a pre-paid course.

Some art's choose to "honor" ranks earned in other arts (more or less), and some art's prefer to start all student's at the beginning regardless of other ranks or experience. This may be a subject worthy of discussion.

However, I for one would prefer to see more or a Q&A type discussion than sharp accusations. Public boards like this are useful if they simply provide reliable information. Each person will still have to make up their own mind what to make of that information!


22nd February 2001, 02:53
I have a somewhat different interpretation of the McCartney program for those already nidan in other arts. I took it to say you could get 18 hours of instruction that would take you up to skill level equivalent to shodan. I did not read it to say you buy a shodan. Further, it seems that he $4,000 credit line is offered as a way for the trainee to spread out payments on whatever is spent-- to include the sword (which may cost more than $1,000, other training items apparel, cutting targets, other accessories, etc. I'm not clear on how much the training alone costs. That said,
I don't take this to be a buy your black belt program, nor do I view it as a scam as presented.

As a comparison, I offer the following:
In the field of anesthesiology, for example, you can take 16-24 hour advanced training courses to develop new skills that can then be taken back to the operating room to expand one's range of procedures they are competent to perform. Cost of these trainings are commonly $500 to $1,5000. You don't have the training material costs, but if you were to purchase the advanced equipment you were learning to operate, and take that back with you to you operating room, you could easily spend $5,000.

So is the McCartney program out of line? I haven't seen any evidence that it is so far.
However, I have not researched the topic beyond a reading of the website and the posts on ebudo.

Just my 2 cents on the topic