In loving memory of
Master Greg Deep
February 17th, 1962 – August 9th, 2005
Posted on Wed, Aug. 10, 2005
Accident kills martial artist
By Liz Fabian TELEGRAPH STAFF WRITER
Martial artist Greg Deep taught thousands of children tae kwon do, but learning to grieve his death could be their hardest lesson.
Deep, 43, was killed Tuesday morning on his way to work at Ahn’s Fitness Center on Vineville Avenue.
He was riding his bicycle as he often did during the summer months, his friends said, when he was hit by a Ford Contour around 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Roff Avenue and Clisby Place, police said.
The driver of the car, Pamela Cummings, 34, had made a complete stop at the stop sign before entering the intersection and hitting Deep, who was not wearing a helmet, Macon police spokeswoman Melanie Hofmann said. He died of massive head injuries at 11:29 a.m. at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.
No charges are expected in the accident, Hofmann said.
At the fitness center where Deep has been studying and teaching since 1980, the phone kept ringing as people learned of his death.
“Tell your children Mr. Greg would expect them to keep coming,” Janet Battcher said into the phone.
Battcher, principal of Howard Middle School, taught youngsters alongside Deep.
“I just loved him,” said Battcher, who credits Deep for rekindling her passion for teaching after spending years as an administrator.
She saw the patience he had as he tried to teach the discipline of tae kwon do to children as young as 3 years old.
“They adored him,” Battcher said. “They looked up to him because he could be firm and kind at the same time.”
Deep’s friends fought back tears as they remembered the man who had mastered the sixth degree black belt and became a master instructor in November.
Although he reached the level of master, he didn’t aspire to teach adults but preferred working with youngsters, they said.
Terry Jump can still picture Deep taking aside students who failed in their first attempt at breaking a board with a flying side kick, Deep’s trademark.
“He’d talk them into it. He could will them through it,” Jump said.
His interest in the kids went beyond his classroom to their work in school and the way they obeyed their parents, said Debbie McMahon.
“The kids would listen to him in a way they would never listen to their parents,” McMahon said.
Marla Potts is just one midstate parent who is trying to find the words to explain Deep’s death to her young son, Zachary, one of Deep’s students.
“He has just impacted people very strongly,” Potts said.
A grief counselor visited the fitness center Tuesday and helped the staff plan a balloon launch next week to help the youngsters cope with Deep’s death.
Tuesday night, about a dozen black belts banded together trying to cope with the loss of their friend.
Libby Jones smiled as she remembered Deep’s signature sign-off as students headed home.
“No matter what you’d done, even if you’d done something wrong, at the end of the day he’d always say, ‘Appreciate ya,’” Jones said.
Deep graduated from high school from Mount De Sales Academy and earned a history degree at Mercer University, his friends said.
He was an avid Bible reader who had a copy of the New Testament on his desk and a CD of the Old Testament in his compact disc player at the office where he served as general manager and head instructor.
About 40 plaques and awards lined the wall of the cubbyhole office where he insisted on working at the Grand Master’s old desk, Johnny Ahn said.
Ahn, whose father Grand Master Eung Choon Ahn founded the school, remembers meeting Deep when he was just 8 years old.
Ahn looked up to Deep, who was 10 years and 5 months older, he said.
“We’re a family,” Ahn said. “We’ll grieve together. Right now, we’re all lost.”
To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 or e-mail email@example.com
© 2005 Macon Telegraph and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.macon.com
AHN’S TAE KWON DO
March 4, 1974 – March 4, 2004
Ahn’s Fitness Center celebrates its 30th Anniversary on March 4, 2004. The origin of Ahn’s fitness center is historical, interesting and inspiring. Grandmaster Eung Choon Ahn is to be commended and respected for his determination in making his life long dream to open a martial arts school a reality.
E. C. Ahn was among the group of master instructors selected by General Choi Hong Hi to spread tae kwon do throughout the world. He was allowed to immigrate to the United Sates due to his credentials as a tae kwon do instructor. In 1973, he came to the United States where he traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago with aspirations of opening a tae kwon do studio. Not long after arriving, however, he discovered Chicago already had numerous karate schools. Taking a friend’s advice, he moved south where martial arts had not yet made an impact.
Looking at the United States map, he chose a city located in the middle of the state of Georgia with access to a major interstate. Fortunately for Middle Georgia, that city was Macon. He opened his first martial arts school on Second Street, March 4, 1974 as Ahn & Song. His first students were high school senior, Steve Sapp and his two brothers. In 1976, Grand Master Ahn relocated his school to Pio Nono Avenue where it was renamed Macon Karate Academy. Two years later he moved to a location on Eisenhower Parkway. In 1982, his operation moved to its present location on Vineville Avenue where he renamed the school, Ahn’s Fitness Center.
Since opening on Vineville, Grandmaster Ahn earned numerous distinctions and awards. In 1981, Bibb County Sheriff, Ray Wilkes, bestowed Grandmaster with rank of Honorary Deputy Sheriff. In 1985, he formed the Hae San Martial Arts Association with its national headquarters in Macon. He received the pinnacle rank in tae kwon do of 9th degree black belt in 1993. Nineteen ninety- seven afforded him several recognitions. He completed a goal of running 25, 000 miles, equivalent to the circumference of the earth and the city of Macon honored him by declaring a designated Tae Kwon Do Day. In 1999, Grandmaster Ahn’s first student, Steve Sapp, became the first American born and trained 6th degree black belt in Georgia. Grandmaster Ahn has since trained five male masters Two thousand three marked his 50th year of continuous training and service to tae kwon do. He now celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Ahn’s Fitness Center, March 4, 2004 and will add to his resume’ his first female 6th degree masters in Georgia in 2005.
Because of his life long dream, numerous generations of families and individuals have been positively impacted over the past thirty years. Thank you Grandmaster Ahn for unselfishly sharing you wisdom, knowledge, and expertise hundreds of former and current students.