Youtube ChannelFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook
American Black Belt Academy | 10 Huntington Road # B30 | Athens, GA 30606 | (706) 549 - 1671

our staff

Shihan Randy McElwee

Founder / Director / Chief Instructor

Master RandyRandy McElwee, is a retired Master Sergeant and decorated Special Forces combat veteran with 18 years Special Operations experience. Awarded the Legion of Merit for service that included action as the senior NCO responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of a Joint Chief of Staff directed special category classified project. He has been training and teaching Martial Arts for 16 years, his unique instructional experience includes; appearing as a featured author in Black Belt Magazine and featured Instructor in the Special Operations Combatives Instructional Video / DVD Series.

♦ 4TH Degree Black Belt Kama Bushi Kai Bujutsu
♦ 2nd Degree Black Belt Goshin Ryu Ju Jitsu
♦ 1ST Degree Black Belt Shotokan Karate'
♦ GRACIE Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt under Three-time Ultimate Fighting Champion Royce Gracie
♦ Currently pursuing a GRACIE Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Master Eddie Camden
♦ Recognized as an Endorsed Affiliate Team Tiger GRACIE Jiu Jitsu Instructor
♦ Certified American Council on Martial Arts Instructor
♦ Certified as an Armed Forces Combatives Instructor and Modern Army Combatives Level 1
♦ Certified Goshin Ryu Ju Jitsu Instructor
♦ Kama Bushi Kai Karate' Instuctor
♦ Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement (G.R.A.P.L.E.) Instructor
♦ Georgia Peace Officers Training Council Defensive Tactics Guest Instructor
♦ Founder of the Sexual Assault Fundamental Escapes (S-A-F-E) Women's Self Defense Program
♦ Founder of the Karate' Inspiring Confidence in Kids (K-I-C-K) Children's Martial Arts Program
♦ Member of the Northeast Georgia Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors
♦ Recognized as 2008 Educational Funding Company Most Inspiring Instructor

ErikaSensei Erika Lowe

Children's Program Director / Instructor

Erika Lowe is a 2008 University of Georgia Graduate with a BS in Biology / BS ED in Exercise & Sport Science. She has been training and teaching martial arts for 15 years and has worked directly with Shihan McElwee since 2002. As the Children’s Martial Arts Program Director she is recognized for her technical expertise and effectiveness as an instructor.

♦ 3rd Degree Black Belt Kama Bushi Kai Bujutsu
♦ 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
♦ Certified American Black Belt Academy Instructor
♦ Goshin Ryu Jiu-jitsu Brown Belt
♦ GRACIE Jiu-jitsu Blue Belt under Master Eddie Camden
♦ Certified Goshin Ryu Ju Jitsu Instructor
♦ Kama Bushi Kai Karate' Instuctor
♦ 2009 North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Women's US National Champion


Ms Melody McElwee

Student Services Manager

Melody, is a Graduate of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. For years she has worked with various government agencies, educational institutions, and independent corporations As the Student Services Manager she provides administrative assistance for all student training and extracurricular programs.
She consults with students, prospective students, and parents to ensure they receive the most from their training experience.

Matt Graham

Assistant Instructor

Matt is a 2010 Graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in sociology, a certified personal trainer and an Oconee County volunteer Fireman.

As an Assistant Martial Arts Instructor he is recognized for his impressive athleticism and detailed technique.Matt

♦ Brown Belt in Kama Bushi Kai Bujutsu
♦ Purple Belt in Goshin Ryu Jiu-jitsu
♦ GRACIE Jiu-jitsu Blue Belt under Master Eddie Camden
♦ 2008 North American Grappling Association (NAGA) US National Champion
♦ Level 2 Certified in American Escrima
♦ Special Team of Role Models (S-T-O-R-M) Team Member