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Jesse Glover, the first student of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died on Wednesday at age 77 after a battle with cancer, according to close friend and past student Steve Smith.

Glover, a lifelong Seattlite, used what he learned from Lee and his days as a judo champion to become a prominent leader in the martial arts community himself. While developing a method called non-classical Gung Fu, he worked as a private martial arts trainer in Seattle and eventually taught across the nation and as far as Germany, according to Glover’s training website.

Lee and Glover met in 1959 while attending Edison Technical School, now Seattle Central Community College. Glover had already seen Lee demonstrate Gung Fu on stage when he ran into him on campus and asked to be his first student. They became good friends and trained together for four years.