Imagine an event where some of the greatest martial artists of the day could attend and not have to put on a seminar, supervise training, or exert any physical energy except to lift an arm for eating. Now imagine that if these martial artists could bring their families & close friends and enjoy themselves, meet new people (even those not in the martial arts community), feed their faces, feel safe and swap stories of yesteryear and today.
Well such an event does exist; it’s called “The Annual Gung Fu BBQ”, hosted by Sean Grant of Kirkland, Washington, USA. This event first started 3 years ago to replace one of our normal Saturday afternoon people watching after Saturday trainings at Jesse Glover’s (dungeon) workout place in China Town. Normally after workouts most of us including Jesse go to either an Asian food court to eat or to Tai Tung Restaurant and have a bite. However, one Saturday back in 2007, Sean (that’s me) asked, “Hey how would you all like to come over to my house for a BBQ?” That was all it took, and so the first Gung Fu BBQ was born. Truth be told, it was my son’s and my birthday that weekend as well, and that is how the date was established…Sorry no shame in my game (SMILE). So the second week in June every year is about when the BBQ takes place.
The BBQ continues to grow each year. For example the very first year we (My wife T & I) hosted about 20 people. That included people from my gung fu family and some of my son’s friends. I have to take my hat off to my wife seeing that she had no idea what was happening that first year. All she knew at the time was that we were having a few people over for a BBQ. Boy was she surprised!!! After that event, everyone told me what a good time they had and if I ever had another event like this they would definitely come.
So that is how the event of the summer was born. We had spent quite a bit of money hosting the first BBQ and that was a learning experience, so last year I decided to turn it into a pot luck type of event; people could bring their own comfort food or foods of their native origin. For example my wife is Filipino and some have never experienced Filipino food. Boy many were surprised after tasting something like this for the first time.
Do you know how you can tell if everyone is enjoying themselves? Just ask a question and if all you can hear is lips smacking and finger licking going on then you know…
There was a lot of that going on here. This is also a great time for those from both world’s gung fu and non gung fu to meet one another and make new friends. We had three generations of people here and it was truly amazing how everyone interacted.
We were Blessed with having great weather (which is sometimes hard to come by) in the Seattle area for this BBQ. So the turnout was very impressive. Although a number of people were unable to attend this year due to previous engagements, I’m sure after they see what they missed they will be sure to attend next year! I’m thinking that I may have to move it to the park down the street seeing that it grew to about 40 or so attendees this year. WOW! So everyone just to let you know I am putting the word out now that the 4th Annual Gung Fu BBQ will take place around the second week of June; so put that in your books to make it a date…
I would also like to thank those that brought all kinds of foods, salads, desserts and drinks over, it was a big help. And I would even like to thank those that stuck around to help clean up. Now that is what you call a family…When people are willing to assist with the clean up.
So as the afternoon went on and everyone began to settle in and enjoy one another’s company and took part in massive eating and entertaining. Some of the attendees included Jesse Glover, LeRoy Garcia and his lovely wife, Ted & Kim Hart (Son & Daughter of Ed Hart) Good friends and fellow students Chris Sutton Suki, Graham, Wes, Asa, Mike, Nick, Laura, Armand & dad Ramon, Paul and his dad Tim. And some students of Chris Sutton.
And now we get to the moment of truth…The last page of this story turns to the man of the hour that I wanted to feature at this year’s BBQ, even though I know he did not want to be singled out, but I felt it fitting to honor him with something from the heart. Sort of a small token from me personally to him for being my teacher, mentor, good friend & a second father figure for the past 20 plus years…I presented Jesse Glover with an 18”x24” hand penciled drawing (see below) featuring Bruce Lee in the upper left hand corner and Jesse Glover in the lower left hand corner with a collage of some of Jesse’s students (Ones that I know personally & myself)…An inscription in the picture says…”JFJKD to JGNCGF…From generations past…we create the Future” This picture was drawn by Kevin Hand from Illinois in the USA.
I presented Jesse with both the pencil drawing and a special t-shirt I had made especially for him. I’m sorry this shirt will not be available for open distribution. It will only be available to Jesse himself, direct students, and close friends of Jesse.
Once again…I would like to thank those that attended this most joyous event and I can’t wait until next year for the 4th Annual Gung Fu BBQ 2010…And as always. This will be a Non-Classical Event. Hope to see you then…
Sean Grant, Your Gung Fu Brother…