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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has earned his black belt in martial arts.

Lott received the belt Friday during a ceremony at Lake Carolina Elementary School.

The black belt in martial arts is commonly the highest ranking belt color, and it demonstrates a high level of expertise and skill.

"[This] stands for what I believe in: discipline of the mind and the body," Lott said. "That's what a black belt is all about. It's not about hurting people, it's about being able to control yourself, your environment, and everything around you."

Sheriff Lott has been training with Genova Karate, owned by Mike Genova, a well-known Midlands martial artist.

"Hopefully with myself and him [Genova] being role models, setting good examples for these young people, that you can be physically fit but you also have to get a great education," Lott said. "Hopefully they'll take something away from that and try to do the same thing that we've done in our lives."

The sheriff didn't just get the belt, however. He also received a samurai sword and an autographed poster from actor Chuck Norris.

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