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Catawba College President Receives Black Belt

August 19, 2005

Category: Faculty, Students

Honorary Black Belt ;

Catawba College President Dr. Robert Knott became a black belt in karate recently during a rare and special tribute paid to him August 13 by the grandmaster and founder of a Houston-based martial arts establishment. 

Grandmaster Kim, founder of Kim Soo Karate and Chayon Ryu Martial Arts, presented the honorary black belt to Knott in recognition of a 20-year collaboration between Catawba College and his business.  Knott was provost of Catawba in 1984 when the North Carolina branch of Kim Soo Karate officially began offering martial arts classes on the college campus.  Knott, who recognized how well the art and philosophy of Chayon Ryu blended with the educational mission of Catawba, assisted Master David Mitchell of Salisbury, a sixth degree black belt and now chief instructor of the local branch, in initiating the program. 

Honorary Black Belt ;

Knott’s honorary black belt was only the sixth to be awarded by Grandmaster Kim during the 37 years the Houston-based business has existed.  Knott returned the gesture by offering Kim a certificate of appreciation for the positive lessons and great wisdom his martial arts system’s teachings have shared with hundreds of students who have participated in the Chayon Ryu classes at Catawba. 

The presentations were made at the Salisbury Country Club as 15 of the highest-ranking Chayon Ryu black belts in N.C. looked on.  Those N.C.-based black belts included Knott’s son, Bobby, who was recently granted the title of Master of Chayon Ryu Martial Arts and attained his own fifth degree black belt after 28 years of dedicated practice and study.

Honorary Black BeltAdditional information on Grandmaster Kim Soo and his Chayon Ryu martial arts system can be found at

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