Genova Karate hosts women’s self-defense seminar

Sheriff Leon Lott attends as special guest speaker

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Legendary Midlands-area karate instructor and nationally acclaimed tournament fighter Mike Genova hosted an hour-long women’s self-defense seminar at Genova Family Karate Studio in Elgin, Monday, Feb. 27.

Not the first such seminar that has been held at Genova Karate since the martial arts studio first opened its doors nearly 50 years ago, this year’s first instruction and hands-on training event was attended by approximately 75 adult students and family members.
Among Genova’s guests was Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott who addressed the participants and answered questions related to women’s safety and how best to protect oneself if threatened or attacked.

“Mike is doing a great, necessary job every day in terms of sound martial arts instruction for children and adults in Columbia, Elgin, Pontiac and surrounding areas,” said Sheriff Lott, who was awarded an honorary black belt in 2012 as well as a samurai sword by Genova. “Classes like this focused on teaching women, specifically, best-practices in response to any physical threat was and is no exception.”

In addition to a crash course in the fundamentals of unarmed hand-to-hand combat techniques specifically geared for adult females defending themselves against larger, stronger opponents, Genova’s seminar included a basic self-defense presentation related to safety at home and in public, as well as a “Stranger Danger” lesson for child safety.

“I am so excited that this many people cared enough about their safety and their family’s safety that they would take the time to attend our Women’s Self Defense Seminar,” said Genova. “We will host another this summer.”

Genova is an inductee and the current president of the S.C. Black Belt Hall of Fame.

For more information about Genova Family Karate, please visit –

[Pictured are Sheriff Leon Lott and Mike Genova]

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