Japanese Shrine Gate

Gaman Gaisha

Enriching the lifestyles of  members through modern and traditional means

About Us

Our Name

Gaman (我慢) is a Japanese word meaning endurance, patience, perseverance, and bearing (with something). It originates from a Zen Buddhist virtue of enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity. Naming our company and dojo gaman was meant to encourage our members to cultivate and use their innate physical, mental, and emotional strength to overcome hardships they may face. These difficulties may be from any part of their lives, persistent medical or social issues, and even aspects of our own programs (the physical strain of a martial arts technique, the mental struggle of learning Japanese characters, etc.).

Gaisha (会社) is a Japanese word for company. This term is usually pronounced with a "k" instead of a "g". However, because our name is a compound of two Japanese terms (and because we LOVE alliterations), we follow sequential voicing for the gaisha pronunciation.

Our History

Gaman Gaisha is a private business partnership. The current operating partners are Robert and Alexandra Bigley.

Gaman Gaisha diverged from the original Gaman Dojo partnership established in 2014 between Robert Bigley and Philip Nam. At the time, they had continued training together after their previous Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu teacher moved away. Other students from the previous dojo lamented about not being able to train as regularly, so the two decided to form their own studio in Solon, Ohio.

The dojo later relocated to Lakewood, Ohio, where it saw the largest influx of students. In 2017, Philip went on to open the Bujinkan Hasu Dojo in Parma, Ohio, while Robert kept operating the Bujinkan Gaman Dojo.  That same year, Robert began the Gaman Gaisha partnership with his wife, Alexandra. The dojo moved to Cleveland, Ohio in late 2017, expanding to include a private weight-training gym, Japanese language lessons, and tidying and organizing consultations.

Our Mission

Every subset of Gaman Gaisha is meant to improve the quality of life of our members through mind-and-body wellness, personal development, and education sessions and materials. To do this, we regularly offer a mix of modern and traditional philosophies and practices from both the East and West.

Gaman Dojo - private, non-competitive, traditional Japanese martial arts lessons to promote full-body coordination, improve focus, and heighten natural reflexes through Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

Gym Kurasu - strength and conditioning training to correct poor posture, build sustainable muscle mass, and increase range of motion for better overall mobility and quality of life

Tanuki Tutoring - spoken and written Japanese language and culture classes to encourage self-expression, instill open-mindedness, and develop memory retention

Kirei Consulting - organizing and tidying solutions to create calm and clean surroundings, establish healthy boundaries for things and responsibilities, and to "spark joy!"

Our Goals

In the future, Gaman Gaisha hopes to broaden its range of lifestyle services and classes while expanding its digital content and increasing product availability.

We hope that through partnerships and seminars, we will be able to offer new and exciting mind-and-body development opportunities for our members. These ventures may include yoga classes, lectures on different health care practices from medical professionals, and in-depth online instruction on the historical and cultural topics only lightly covered in our martial arts, language, and organization courses.

We also hope to build up libraries of videos, documents, and images for our members to reference and use for self improvement. Much of this information will be shared for free on our respective YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook accounts and webpages. Bringing digital content to our current and potential members has become a high priority after the limited physical interactions set on businesses and educators since the spread of COVID-19.  We plan on adapting and providing according to the needs of our members as they change with the times we live in.

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Alexandra Ziton-Bigley

Alexandra is the administrative lead of the Gaman Gaisha partnership. Along with taking care of the Book-keeping, most of the social media sites, and client interactions, she is the Japanese language and culture tutor, Tidying consultant, and one of the assistant martial arts instructors. As an East Asian Studies Graduate, former resident of Japan, and 4th degree black belt, she knows that learning never ends and can come from all aspects of life. Alexandra loves sharing her passion for Gaman Gaisha's specialties with all of the ambitious members and enjoys seeing them grow from their time in classes and sessions.

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Group Training

Group Training

While Gaman Dojo has not offered group classes since the mandated safety measures of COVID-19, we look forward to the day when we can train together again!

Bench Day

Bench Day

For every Monday of every week.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

In order to tidy Jenny's car, Alexandra introduced her to the Passenger Basket for quick access to the things Jenny would need during any drive.

New Equipment Arrives

New Equipment Arrives

In order to offer more workout options to our members, Gym Kurasu ordered new equipment and weights in 2019 and 2020.

Uchiha and Oni Mask

Uchiha and Oni Mask

One of our favorite wall decorations in the Lakewood dojo space.

Standing, Non Stacked

Standing, Non Stacked

Keeping items in deep storage is fine, but losing them is not! We stood up items in this wooden chest so they could easily be retrieved later.

Have at Thy!

Have at Thy!

Joe tries to defend Chendra from Tommy during a Moving Out party in the old Lakewood dojo.

A Cut Above

A Cut Above

Kai learns to strengthen their blocking technique by watching senior student, Joe.

Timber!

Timber!

Molly practices the kihon (basics) on Rob to learn how to take balance through joint manipulation.

Baby Blankets

Baby Blankets

Our client wasn't ready to part with her adult children's old baby blankets. We were able to teach her a way to safely store them away in bundles until she was ready to pass them on.

Airborne

Airborne

Rob demonstrates how to get air on the Gym Kurasu equipment.

Full Circle

Full Circle

Rob's former instructor came back to teach a seminar at Gaman Dojo, which was formed in 2014 once that instructor moved away.

Quick Attack

Quick Attack

Brendan practices punching drills on the heavy bag as part of his cardio workout.

Finding Space to Grow

Finding Space to Grow

We used every inch of room possible to start offering gym amenities to our members at the Lakewood dojo.

The Dance Studio

The Dance Studio

Before the Cleveland and Lakewood locations, Gaman Dojo was rented out of a dance studio in Solon, Ohio in 2014.

Strike a Pose

Strike a Pose

Our main instructor, Robert, posing with an actor at the Ninja Museum of Igaryu in Mie, Japan.

Enter the Dojo

Enter the Dojo

In the newest version of our dojo, the training hall is at the back of the space and kept more private by our paper screens.

Getting Rid of the Spare Tire

Getting Rid of the Spare Tire

Actually, we just moved it to the trunk. However, we first needed to make room in the trunk. Why? Check out our before and after pictures to see.

Clear Workspace

Clear Workspace

An organized dresser top in Casper, Wyoming now holds many of the extra office supplies.

Loading up Weights

Loading up Weights

Rob attaches weights to the hex bar before a lift.

Up and Over

Up and Over

Rob (silver shorts) shows Steve (black uniform) why its important to have proper form during throws.

Dayton Dojo Visit

Dayton Dojo Visit

Bujinkan members enjoy visiting each other's dojos to learn from different teachers and practice with other students.

Paper, Paper Everywhere

Paper, Paper Everywhere

Jenny's glove box was overrun with papers, pens, and even fortune cookies before her tidying consultation.

Sean O'Brien Workshop

Sean O'Brien Workshop

The members who came to train with Sean O'Brien (center) when he traveled from Michigan to visit our Lakewood location.

Target Practice with Rob & Bob

Target Practice with Rob & Bob

Rob practicing target practice by knocking small ruibber-ninja-duckies off our training dummy, Bob.

Ise Ebi Matsuri

Ise Ebi Matsuri

Tanuki Tutor, Alexandra, participated in the Ise Giant Shrimp Festival two years in a row during her stay in Mie prefecture.

Big Changes

Big Changes

Once Gaman Gaisha acquired the full space in Cleveland in 2020, the dojo and gym completely switched places.

Weight Room in Lakewood Location

Weight Room in Lakewood Location

Gaman Gaisha quickly outgrew the Lakewood space and we were struggling to extend our services to include a gym.

Room to Sleep

Room to Sleep

This client's goal was to have enough space in her spare room for an inflatable bed and we achieved it for her!

Workout Alley

Workout Alley

When we first moved into the Cleveland space, Gym Kurasu was only a narrow strip of equipment, but we made it work.

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Robert Bigley

Robert started training Bujinkan budo taijutsu in 2001, receiving his fifth degree black belt and shidoshi license in 2013. He has visited Japan several times for training and study. During one three-month trip, he visited the Kinki and Kansai regions to tour several of the martial arts and religious heritage sites. Stateside, he became a certified Personal Trainer in 2014 and received a ba in anthropology in 2019.  he has been working tirelessly to create a space where his clients can use martial arts and physical conditioning to build a solid foundation for their strength, confidence, and lives.