Contemporary Martial Arts, Inc.
Chuck & Carolina Cawthon

Our History

Chuck and Carolina opened Contemporary Martial Arts, Inc. in 1996. Along with Carolina’s 2 children, Dave Martin and Tanya Martin(now Mrs. Tanya Hudson!), Chuck and Carolina laid down the foundation for what is now considered one of the best, most complete martial arts’ curriculum for kids/adults in the Southeast. Competing in sport karate, grappling and full contact kickboxing tournaments, CMA was raising eyebrows from their very first tournament! While competing in the SC Sport Karate Circuit, CMA students won over DOZENS SC STATE TITLES in EVERY DIVISION FROM WHITE BELT TO BLACK BELT before the SC Sport Karate Circuit faded away. CMA students won STATE TITLES in: freestyle forms, traditional forms, musical forms, weapon forms, musical weapon forms, and point sparring! It only took 3 short years for Contemporary Martial Arts, Inc.(CMA) to be ranked by NBL/SKIL as one of the TOP 25 SPORT KARATE SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD, coming in at #15! The next 4 years CMA was ranked in the TOP 25 SPORT KARATE SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD as well, and the last year CMA competed in sport karate, we were ranked #12! During the short time CMA competed in sport karate, we produced well OVER A DOZEN WORLD CHAMPIONS in freestyle forms, traditional forms, musical forms, weapon forms, musical weapon forms, and point sparring.

CMA specializes in child behavior, development, self discipline, self control, confidence, teamwork, health and fitness, respect, and self defense. Martial arts builds self-confidence and teaches discipline which will provide a solid foundation from which your children will develop strong character. While studying the martial arts is fun, your children will be learning important lessons in values and respect that will shape how they view the world around them. And even though we teach to avoid confrontations, if the need arises, your children can be secure in their knowledge of how to defend them from physical harm. This is the power derived from the martial arts.

Even though CMA specializes in children’s development, we also have the best adult fitness, self defense and sport classes around!

Chuck received his black belt under David “Chip” Prather, in 1993. Mr. Prather, is a living legend in the karate world of northeast Georgia, and has been teaching karate since the early 70’s! Without Mr. Prather, Contemporary Martial Arts would not exist. Mr. Prather has since promoted Chuck to 2nd degree black belt.

Since 2006, CMA has had fighters, youth and adult, in the ring competing in Kickboxing, Modified Muay Thai, Muay Thai, and MMA. In just under 7 years of competing with the top fighters in the south and the WORLD, CMA has had fighters win the following:

  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS CRITIC’S CHOICE TRAINER OF THE YEAR 2015
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS PEOPLE’S CHOICE GYM OF THE YEAR 2014
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS PEOPLE’S CHOICE TRAINER OF THE YEAR 2014
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS CRITIC’S CHOICE TRAINER OF THE YEAR 2014
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS PEOPLE’S CHOICE MALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2014
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS PEOPLE’S CHOICE BREAKTHROUGH FIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2014
  • GEORGIA FIGHTERS CRITIC”S CHOICE BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR 2014
  • US SE ISKA LIGHTWEIGHT MMA CHAMPION
  • US ISKA WELTERWEIGHT MUAY THAI CHAMPION
  • US ISKA LIGHTWEIGHT KICKBOXING CHAMPION
  • ISKA GEORGIA STATE WOMEN’S KICKBOXING CHAMPION
  • IKF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF MEN’S WELTERWEIGHT MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR GIRL’S MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR BOY’S MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR BOY’S MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR BOY’S NOVICE MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR BOY’S NOVICE MUAY THAI WORLD CHAMPION
  • IKF JUNIOR BOY’S NOVICE INTERNATIONAL RULES WORLD CHAMPION
  • WKA JUNIOR GIRL’S K-1 CHAMPION
  • WKA JUNIOR BOY’S K-1 CHAMPION
  • WKA JUNIOR BOY’S GLORY RULES CHAMPION
  • USMTA FEATHERWEIGHT FULL RULES MUAY THAI CHAMPION
  • USMTA LIGHT WEIGHT MUAY THAI TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
  • USMTA FEATHERWEIGHT MUAY THAI TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
  • GFC FLYWEIGHT(125 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • GFC BANTAMWEIGHT(135 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • GFC LIGHTWEIGHT(155 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • GFC MIDDLEWEIGHT(185 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • GFC LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT(205 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • IT FIGHT SERIES(CHICAGO) LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT (205 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • VALOR FIGHTS FLYWEIGHT (125 LBS) MMA CHAMPION
  • VALOR FIGHTS PRO FIGHTER OF THE YEAR(CEEJAY HAMILTON)
  • USFFC FEATHERWEIGHT (145 LBS) MMA CHAMPION

Along with countless winners/competitors at grappling tournaments, including NAGA, CMA has proven that we create champions in ALL areas of ringed combat & self-defense.



Chuck has trained with some of the best fighters and top submission artists in the world. They include:
Marty Knight: Chuck has a 4th Degree black belt under Marty. Within one year of training in the Atlanta school, Marty was voted as one of the “Top Twenty Black Belt Fighters in the Nation” ranked by Karate Illustrated Magazine. He has since gone on to win or place in every national tournament. He has amassed three national championship and two world titles. Marty is one of the few people to win national titles in all three organizations; the Professional Karate League; the National Black Belt League; and NASKA. At one point in his career, he won over 120 tournaments in a row. During this time in Marty’s career, he was brought to the attention of the Chuck Norris Karate team and was asked to be a member of this team to compete in Russia. Marty was voted “Most Valuable” member of the karate team by the Russian fighters and was awarded the “Key to the City” of Tashkent, the last city on the Russian tour. Two years later, he traveled again with the Chuck Norris team to China where he was undefeated on the tour. After deciding to pursue an International career, he has competed and won gold medals in: Dublin, Ireland; Athens, Greece; Mexico City, Mexico; Vancouver, British Columbia; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cancun, Mexico; Honolulu, Hawaii and Trinidad, Central America. Because of the success that Marty has had in karate, he has received numerous recognitions from people outside of the Martial Arts such as being named “2003 Man of the Year” by WCCP Clemson FM radio (aka Living Legend Award – 104.9 Sports Radio). Upon winning his last gold medal in the World Martial Games in Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico, he was awarded his tenth degree Black Belt by the US Karate Alliance (2002).

  • Adam Singer: Trainer of both Forrest Griffin and his brother Rory from “The Ultimate Fighter Season 3” on SPIKE TV. THE best trainer in the world for stand-up, submission grappling, or MMA…period!
  • Rory Singer: Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter that was in “The Ultimate Fighter Season 3” contest on SPIKE TV.
  • Forrest Griffin: Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter that WON “The Ultimate Fighter Season 1” contest on SPIKE TV.
  • Jimmy Fowler: Brazlian Jiu Jitsu black belt, coach to many past and current fighters in the UFC.

Special Thank You!

  • Carolina Cawthon: for believing in me, supporting me, and being my best friend. Without you, there would be no CMA.
  • Jake “J.B.” Cawthon: for adopting me and accepting me for your own, taking me to and from Emory/Egleston for treatments, signing me up for and driving me to Tae Kwon Do practice and MUCH MUCH more. You are still an inspiration to me. I am truly lucky to have had you for my Dad.
  • John F. Cleveland: for introducing me to the world of martial arts through Tae Kwon Do. You were, and forever will be, a great mentor and father figure to me. Had it not been for you, I would not be doing what I love for a living. You changed my life forever. R.I.P. Coach.
  • David “Chip” Prather : for putting up with me during my teenage years, all the problems that I caused that you had to fix, and most importantly for being a friend and mentor. I hope that you are just as proud that I’m one of your black belts as I am that you are my instructor.
  • Adam and Rory Singer: for giving me the tools I needed to start a full contact program, and allowing CMA to be an associate school of The HardCore Gym. You guys have been there for me whenever I needed advice or help. I’m proud to be one of your blue belts.

Contemporary Martial Arts Mini Documentary

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