Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has two more things he can add to his force's law-enforcement arsenal: a black belt in karate and a samurai's katana.
The sheriff was awarded the black belt and sword at an assembly Friday morning at Lake Carolina Elementary School. The assembly, led by Mike Genova of Genova karate, was aimed at showing children at the school some of the moves they can learn by practicing martial arts and focused on some of the character-building lessons ingrained in the Japanese fighting style's philosophy.
Lott, who said he took martial arts courses years ago, was awarded the belt and sword, along with a poster from the TV show "Walker: Texas Ranger" signed by Chuck Norris, the show's star. Lott, who also took time to take photos with the children involved in the assembly, and tried to keep up with one child who did 50 pushups at the assembly. He said he was happy to see so many children committed to physical and mental fitness.
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"Discipline and self control of the mind and the body is what I believe in and that's what a black belt is all about," Lott said.