Jesse Glover in chi sao session

Jesse Raymond Glover (October 15, 1935 – June 27, 2012) was Bruce Lee’s first student and first assistant instructor in the United States. He met Lee in 1959, as they both attended Edison Technical College and practiced judo with Lee. Glover was a psychology major and a champion judoka. The character Jerome Sprout in the 1993 film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was based on Glover.



Jesse started a Gungfu class of his own and Leroy Garcia and James DeMile came along and assisted him, which was the first ever independent Jun Fan arts related class.

Jesse glover tomb

Jesse Glover was the first authorized martial arts instructor to be trained by Bruce Lee. He has developed his own method which he calls Non-Classical GungFu.

Jesse Glover
Jesse Glover

Bruce Lee had his punching and closing speed measured with an electric timer at Glover’s house. In the book “Bruce Lee – Between Wing Chun and JKD”, Glover states, Lee could land a punch in around five hundredths of a second (0.05 second) from 3 feet away, and could close from 5 feet away in around eight hundredths of a second (0.08 second).

While Glover’s own times from three feet were between 11 and 18 hundredths of a second (0.11 and 0.18 second). Closing from a distance they were in the low twenties.


Glover lived in Seattle, Washington, and worked as an author and private martial arts instructor.


He died of cancer in June 2012.



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