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Kwan Lee - School Founder and Lead Instructor

Kwan has studied extensively with Vladimir Vasiliev in Toronto and with Col. Mikhail Ryabko and Maj. Konstantin Komarov in Moscow and is the Founder and Director of Russian Martial Art Washington (Sound Systema). Kwan started his martial arts training at the age of 6 in Shotokan Karate and later studied Chinese Gung Fu, Indonesian Pencak Silat, and Philipino Martial Arts as a "closed-door" student.

In 2001, Kwan became certified to teach Systema by the founders Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko and is considered by them as "one of the top instructors of Systema" in the US.

Kwan has trained extensively in urban and rural survival, specializing in evasion methods. He was an advisor in the creation and evaluation of the ACE (Avoid-Counter-Escape) Course at G4S-ITI and is a graduate of their Protective Service Operations (PSO) Course. He has also trained in combat tracking with the Tyr Group.

Additionally, Kwan is a structural engineer for commercial and military aerospace, with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. He is currently teaching private and group classes in Seattle, Washington and seminars around the world. His students comprise of current and former law enforcement officers / military personnel and the general public.

Art Cuellar - Assistant Instructor
A lifelong student of the martial arts, Art began studying Isshinryu Karate at the age of 7 and entered the tournament circuit in his early 20s. In 1996, he became one of the first Russian Martial Arts students in the Seattle area, learning from a former student of Master Mikhail Ryabko. In late 2011, Art began studying with Kwan Lee and found his home & heart in Systema.

Art is a full instructor for Vladimir Vasiliev and offers his unique approach and mindful instruction through group and private lessons at our school.

In addition to his vast knowledge of body mechanics, strength training, and plyometrics, Art is a gifted mountaineer and offers a wealth of knowledge in the area of regional trails and mountain treks.


Vladimir Vasiliev - Director and Chief Instructor of the Toronto School of Russian Martial Art
Born in Tver, Russia, Vladimir studied at the Moscow Spetsinstitute and received intense training from Mikhail Ryabko. Vladimir's work spans across 10 years of extensive military service with the Special Operations Units, including regular high-risk covert assignments and missions. He also served as trainer for paratroopers, swat teams, and elite bodyguards. Vladimir moved to Canada, and in 1993 opened the first school of Russian Martial Art in North America.

Mikhail Ryabko - Founder of Modern Systema and Advisor to the Minister of Justice of Russia
Trained since the age of five by one of Stalin's personal bodyguards, Mikhail was enlisted to the ranks of Spetsnaz at the age of 15. A Colonel within the Special Operations Units and Chief Instructor of tactical training for the Emergency Response Team of MVD, he has served as a tactical commander of hostage-rescue teams, counter-terrorist operations, and armed criminal neutralization. Mikhail is also the author of several publications as well as a textbook on Tactics of Spets Operations.

From the Founders of Systema Regarding Kwan

"I can say that Kwan Lee is a real man and a true warrior. He knows how to be a loyal and generous friend and instructor. We are thankful to him for that."

"Могу сказать, что Квон Лии настоящий мужчина и истинный воин. Он знает как быть верным и щедрым другом и инструктором. И за это мы ему благодарны."

- Col. Mikhail Ryabko (Distinguished Veteran of High-Risk Special Operations Units of Spetsnaz and Founder of Systema)

"Certainly one of the top and most experienced Systema Instructors, Mr. Kwan Lee has exceptional skills in Systema. Kwan moves in a true Systema style, smooth and precise, his understanding of every aspect of Systema is deep and profound. Kwan's fundamental personal integrity, strength and talent make him an outstanding instructor. I know that training with Kwan will make students competent in self defense as well as more healthy and solid individuals."
- Vladimir Vasiliev (Distinguished Veteran of High-Risk Special Operations Units of Spetsnaz and Founder of Systema)

"Kwan Lee is one of the most "senior" and most experienced Systema Instructors, who with great enthusiasm and selflessness has been bringing his understanding of Systema to people. Kwan's work stands out with its initiative, individuality, diligence and depth of insight into every topic of study. His methodical approach towards teaching Systema is independent, unique, clear and effective. Kwan's notable organizational abilities, high energy level and constant strive for knowledge make him a top notch specialist, capable of outstanding presentation of all key elements of Systema."

" Квон Лии является одним из <старейших> и опытнейших инструкторов, который вот уже много лет увлечённо и самоотверженно несёт людям своё понимание Системы. Работу Квона отличают инициативность, самобытность, старательность, глубина проникновения в каждый изучаемый вопрос. Его методический подход к преподаванию Системы самостоятелен, своеобразен, прост, доходчив и эффективен. Хорошие организаторские способности, высокая активность и постоянное стремление к познанию нового делают Квона Лии высококлассным специалистом, способным обучать основам Системы на высоком учебно-методическом уровне. "
- Major Konstantin Komarov (Distinguished Veteran of GRU, Protective Services Operator, and Master of Systema Small Arms Movement and Combat Psychology)

"An incredible and truly humbling experience." ~Travis Y. (Intel Scientist)
"Finally, a fighting system that I can grow old with." ~John H. (Former Cage Fighter)
"No rules. No belts. No nonsense. The System - a fighting art without all the needless baggage." ~Black Belt Magazine
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