Grand Master Gregory Washington
Born in Rochester New York 1956
Grand Master Washington's dream was to be a Teacher and Coach. He Opened the Door's to USA Olympic Martial Arts Academy in Lockport in 2000. (Renamed USA Spirit Martial Arts Academy)
Having a tremendous Love for Life and The Art, Master Greg Always wants his students to be connected to their Inner Spirit.
"Touch people with your Spirit not your feet or Hands".
Let your Love/Kindness and TaeKwonDo Spirit, have a positive effect on everyone you interact with.
Live your life Respectfully, Loving/Giving,and Always showing people "The Way".
This helps you to receive Favor from that Supreme Spirit that Loves/Protects us and wants us to have an Abundant Life.
Remember being a Champion or a Winner is the "Process" that brought you there.
"The Elevator to success is Broken; You have to take The Stairs One Step at a Time"
Brief Biography of Master Gregory Washington:
1974 Graduate of Oviedo HighSchool in Central Florida,HighSchool All-American in Football,All State Honors in Football/Track.
1974-1979 Indiana State University (B.S.in Health and Human Performance)
Football Team Captain 1976, Defensive Back MVP,Playing Position was Quarterback and Defensive Safety.
Met his Former wife at ISU (Linda Donald) married in 1977.
1979-1983 Employed at the Kennedy Space center for NASA as a production Scheduler for the first eight launches of the Space Shuttle (Columbia & Challenger).
1981-First Child Born Bianca Marie Washington (Feb. 3rd).
1979-1981 Member of the Florida Football League Orlando Cyclones (State Champions1981, League MVP 1981).
1982 - Invited to NFL Miami Dolphins as a free Agent.
1983 - Second Child Born Devon Vernita Washington (Feb 3rd).
1983 - Member of the Orlando Americans of the AFA (American Football Association).
1984-2000 Employed at The Will County Health Department as Investigator,Epidemiologist,Manager,and Project Director.
1984-87 Member of the Blue Island Cardinals of the Metro Football League.
1986-87 Asst. Football Coach Joliet Jr. College.
1988-2002 Basketball and Football Games Play by Play Announcer Joliet Jr. College.
1988 Member Joliet Chiefs AAA Pro Football Team (Retired with all league Honor's at Quarterback.
Last game Played VS The St Louis Gamblers for The AAA Championship at Cardinal Stadium St. Louis.
Owner of Greg's Cleaning Service 1988-2002.
1993-2003, and 12 Time Illinois State Taekwondo Champion.
Certified member of the WTF Kukkiwon Certified. (World Taekwondo Federation)
1996-1999 A.O. Marshall Elementary School Basketball Coach (Joliet).
1997 Pan Am Cup International Taekwondo Gold Medalist. (Olympic Style Sparring)
1997 United Way Volunteer of the Year Award.
1998 Opened Club KTA (Martial Arts Club at A.O Marshall Elementary School and Gomper's Jr High School Joliet,Illinois.
1999 Pro TKD Champion Chicago
2000 Indy Cup Gold Medalist. (Indianapolis,Indiana)
2000 Gomper's Jr Highschool BasketBall Coach (Joliet).
2000 Certified Member of The World Haidong Gumdo Federation. (Swordsmanship)
1996-2001 YMCA Instructor.
2000 Opened USA Olympic Martial Arts Academy lockport.
2001,2003,2004 Illinois Jr Olympic State Taekwondo Team Coach (Tampa,Orlando,and Atlanta USA Jr Olympics).
2001 AAU Central American Taekwondo Champion.
2002 Bronze Medalist USTU Nationals Detroit Mich.
2002 Elected to Florida Highschool Hall of Fame (Oviedo High).
2004 Appointed by State TKD President Grand Master Bill Cho as Co-Director of Illinois state Taekwondo events.
2004 USA Olympic Martial Arts Academy receives the Illinois State " School of The Year Award".
4 Time National Champion in TKD Circuit. (Competed in Local,State,Regional,International Competitons1988-2004)
2004 Inducted into the Illinois State Combat Karate Organization Hall of Fame (Springfield Ill.)
2004 Inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Milwaukee Wisc.).
2004 Opened 2nd Location at Lifetime Fitness Center in Burr Ridge,Ill.
2004 Opened 3rd Location at Lifetime Fitness in Orland Park Ill.
2004 Cast in the Miramax Movie "Derailed " with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen.
2004 Cast in the Fox production "Prison Break" T.V. Pilot due out Fall of 2005.
2004 Elected as Vice President of the Lockport Kiwanis Group.
USA TKD Member,Referee,Coach,Competitor.
USNTF Member /referee/Competitor
2005 Lifetime Member of the Illinois Combat Karate Org.
2005 Opened 4th Location at the newly Built LifeTime Fitness Center in Romeoville,Il
2005 Cast in The Movie "Stranger Than Fiction" with Will Ferrel, Dustin Hoffman,Queen Latifa Directed by Marc Foster.
2006 - Selected as a National Referee for the Jr Olympic TKD Championships in Atlanta Ga.
2006 Opened 5th Location in LaGrange Illinois
2007 Selected as "Master of the Year" by the Illinois Combat Karate Association. In a Ceremony Held in August in Springfield at the Hilton Hotel. Master Washington received a Hall of Fame Ring and Certificate from GrandMaster Carlos Diaz (President of The World Union of Sokes), GrandMaster Dr John Waldrop (Vice President of The World Union of Sokes, GrandMaster Darrell Cain and GrandMaster Bruce Gunderson.
2008- Awarded " Master of the Year" from the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Richmond Indiana on April 12th at the Holiday Inn.
2016 Certified 7th Dan Black Belt...
2019 Married Dr Joella Eaglin (Passed away 4-18-21)
2019 USA Spirit Lockport, Continues Classes at Strike N Spare Bowling Banquet Room.
Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity since 1975
May All of you Live a Blessed and Full life and don't be afraid to reach for your Dreams and enhance the lives of all whom your Spirit touch.
I Want to be remembered as a "Giver", Just as Jesus gave his life for all of us, I am here for
all of you, I give my Physical Life to all of you that choose the path of Righteousness/Kindness/ Love and Integrity.
Don't ever let a monetary situation keep you from your Dreams. We have programs to fit any financial situation, So I Challenge all of you to Reach and Believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"May Our Spirit Touch and have a Positive impact on Everyone ".
I Thank all of my loyal Students and Parents and may you live a Long, Loving, Peaceful Life Squeezing it for Every DROP!!! God Bless You and Peace/Love be with you and Yours Always...
During the Summer of 1976 my life forever Changed both Physical and Mental.
I was involved in a single car crash,leaving the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington.
I was the driver with four other fellow Indiana State University Students on our way back to Indiana State in Terre Haute.
My then Best Friend JAMES(Sanchez)WILLIS sat beside me as we traveled that early morning.
My last words with him early that morning was.
"Talk to me I'm getting sleepy"!
He was killed in the crash as I apparently fell asleep and veered off the road. To this day I
cannot remember what happened as I was told I was the first person out and flagged down someone to help.
Truly an Angel showed up to protect and help me. I remember doing none of this.
All I remember is being in the hospital and seeing James go by me on a stretcher.
(James and other Schoolmates had showed up at my apartment that morning at 6am), (I had just gone to sleep at 5am and was up all that Day and we decided to go to a Dance at I.U. that night.)
My College Coach, Tom Harp,picked me up from the Hospital in Brazil Indiana a few days later and told me James had died.
A part of me also Died with him he was my Best friend, Fraternity Brother,Martial Artist, I cooked him his last meal (A Broiled TBoneSteak). Physically and Mentally, I was never the same. I had injured my neck,chest and knee.
A few weeks after the accident an insurance investigator came by to see me and said he wanted to show me something. He showed me a picture of the car and I will never forget what I saw.
The entire front drivers side roof had been leveled to the height of the hood. He said how could the driver survive such a crash?
Then and he looked at me and couldn't believe I was standing in front of him, and he just walked away, and I never saw him again.
For years I suffered with thoughts of suicide and depression.
My NFL dreams were smashed as I had received numerous letters from NFL teams and Agents.
I chased that dream for many years finally retiring from football after the 1988 season with the AAA Pro football team, The Joliet Chiefs. I played every season between 1971 until 1988 missing only the 1978 season.
A person said to me recently that "wow you've done a lot with your life."
My reply was "I'm nobody", I have so much more to do so much more "GIVING to do.
I can never forget my friend JAMES "SANCHEZ" WILLIS
He is with me as I continue to live out our Martial Arts Dream and Finding Spiritual Freedom.
"NEVER GIVE UP" WE ALL HAVE A DIVINE PURPOSE" LIVE IT...
Strike N Spare Bowling Banquet Room
Lockport, IL 60441