Steve Golden Student of Bruce Lee and Ed Parker

Where do I start?

Steve has been one of my main mentors my entire adult life. Seriously.

He has influenced the way I approach life, my entire martial arts perspective, and even my sense of humor. Steve was there when I got married, he was there for my daughter (he and Nancy are her godparents), and he and Nancy showed up unexpectedly when I had to bury my mother.

There are oodles and oodles of stories that I could tell about Steve. If you made me choose my favorite it would have to be …


The Bruce Lee First Memorial Seminar

It was by invitation only. Most of Bruce Lee’s original students, Linda Lee (Cadwell), and Bruce’s daughter were all present. Each of Bruce Lee’s students invited some of their best (or most cherished) students. This group made up a small convention in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

On the first full day, each of Bruce Lee’s students got up to share their vision of JKD. What it ended up was a story-fest. Each told personal anecdotes that involved Bruce Lee.

Don’t get me wrong, they were fascinating stories, but I think the attendees wanted to learn something.

It was late in the day, and finally it was time for Steve Golden to present. Everyone in the room was sitting or lying on the convention hall floor. All were tired.

Steve posed a very intelligent question to the audience. He reminded all that Bruce Lee said to move the weapon first. Then he demonstrated one of Bruce Lee’s favorite moves … a bong sao — lop sao combination from Wing Chun.

Steve innocently applied the principle to the move to show how Bruce Lee would’ve done it. He performed it on his volunteer, James Chandler.

All of a sudden, the room was alive with motion. Every scrambled for notebooks, cameras, and video recorders.

Someone from the audience requested that he do it again, slowly. Steve responded, “That was slow.”

Then he proceeded to teach the technique to all.


Note: A few months later, the move appeared in a few people’s classes, where the teacher took credit for inventing the move. I told Steve. He wasn’t mad. His response, “Maybe they don’t remember where they learned it, and actually believe they invented it. It’s okay; I don’t mind.”


The rest of the weekend was abuzz with talk of Steve Golden. Everyone was talking about how Steve had advanced JKD by either inventing or remembering the one move. I even heard someone say that this would be Steve Golden’s legacy to JKD.

I thought this to be hilarious. One move … they had barely seen the smallest tip of the iceberg. At the time, I had been learning from Steve for 17 years, and he still had new teachings to offer. Now, 38 years after my first lesson, he still has a lot to teach me. No kidding.