• DojoCho

Gaman Dojo Instructors

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Learn more about our instructors and senior students! We asked for their insights on what makes a great training session and where they find martial arts inspiration.

Rob Bigley


Shidoshi Robert Bigley with Hatsumi Sensei after his godan test in 2013

Rob started training in 2001 and received his godan in 2013. "During a good training session it can become difficult to tell who is actually performing the technique. The lines of who is teaching and what is being learned can be blurred as well. The point isn't always to get better, or accomplish a specific goal. Goals are good to have but can get in the way of true improvement if they are misguided. Sometimes making it through the moment in order to pursue more in the future is the most one can hope for. I find inspiration when I see something familiar in a new light, and when experiencing new things in a familiar way."

Scott Prutton

Senior Black Belt

Everyone loves randori

"A great training session is one where I grab just a little bit more of whatever I'm chasing after. Te best way to understand your limits is to push up against them. I find inspiration in understanding how far I have to go and working hard enough to feel like I'm moving forward."

Steve Tyler (in the black uniform)

Senior Green Belt

Steve, in his black uniform, being flipped by Rob.

"For me, a great training session is any one where I leave with a better understanding of a concept than when I started. It's a good session when you can figure out how to get a specific lock using one technique. It's a great session when you can figure out half a dozen different ways to apply the same lock using other techniques. Training with everyone at the Gaman dojo and other Bujinkan dojos has always been fun. I can't stress enough how much I love not exercising and being sedentary. I've lost seventy pounds, made a lot of friends, and even got my wife training with me but none of that would keep me going if I didn't still have a good time every time I bowed in."

Alexandra Ziton-Bigley

Dojo Cho

Alexandra and her panda, CJ, making faces with a painting of Daruma.

"For me, a great training session happens with a good uke (training partner). If you're just working on one, small aspect of a technique the whole time or running through a slew of kata, your uke can make all the difference. Because of that, my inspiration comes from the reliable ukes that everyone wants to train with. They aren't always the biggest, strongest, or the ones that look the most impressive. They are the ones who are the most effective and can do any technique effortlessly. For someone of my size, that's really encouraging!"

Koppo Bigley

Dojo Dog

Koppo - "I'm a dog."

"It's always a great training session! I love right before and after training because everyone gives me lots of pets and tells me what a good boy I am. I love when they sit on the floor, because they're the perfect height for face-licking! I love when they sit around during training too, but when I go over for some loving, Rob makes me go back to my spot and makes them get back to work. But that's okay because I love chewing on my bones. I also love when they give me treats, so I've been practicing my tricks. Wanna see? I'm very good at sit."

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