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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.