With a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius at its highest, today marked the unequivocal coming of spring, a season of new beginnings. As the Chinese proverb goes, "一日之计在于晨,一年之计在于春" (loosely translated: the defining stage of a day is the morning; the defining stage of a year is spring). Keeping that in mind, we shook off the heat and dove headfirst into a raucous, energetic training session from the get-go.

After all, time and tide wait for no man, so what better way is there to fruitfully spend one's time than pouring one's heart and soul into working hard alongside one's comrades-in-arms? To all our devoted readers out there, the doors of our dojo are always open to you! If you haven't discovered the thrill of judo, what are you waiting for? Come down for one of our Saturday sessions and you'll be charmed by the action-packed nature of the sport in no time! If you''re already a huge fan of judo, then all the more reason you shouldn't reject out invitation!

I've had a few of my foreign schoolmates at Hitotsubashi University asking me on more than one occasion what it is like to join a club activity as a foreign student. I am sure that many have the impression that club activities are all predicated on harsh trainings and rigid senior-junior hierarchies (as I myself did back when I was still a freshman), but I can tell you now from the bottom of my heart that none of that is true for our club!

If you checked out our blog post yesterday, you probably would have read about how our dear senior, Terada-san, always takes time off his busy schedule to not only join us for training, but also support our university lives in every way he can (such as finding us helpful reference books that are unbelievably helpful in test preparation) and buying us the occasional box of Mister Donut goodies!

Another question that I've always been asked is whether it is difficult for beginners to get into a rigorous sport like judo. What I have to say to that is: no, not at all! The biggest reason for that is the warm, inclusive family culture that we have over here in our club, where we're more like brothers (and sisters, when you consider our OGs) than senior and junior, or student and OB/OG. I myself started from knowing zilch about judo to falling in love with the intense, exciting nature of the sport under the terrific guidance of our coach and seniors, who lead us every step of way with patience and devotion (rather than fear and rigidity as many might assume). If you look closely at the appended photos, you'll see that all our members are having a whale of a time grappling with one another, trying out new techniques and indulging in a little bit of healthy competition when sparring with one another.

To all the incoming freshmen: if you're looking for a warm enclave that you can call home for the next four years and after, hesitate no more! We're expecting you at the dojo!

P.S. If you would like more information on our club, feel free to come down to our booth on 26 and 27 March in Room 1101 at Lecture Building One in the East Campus of the university! :)

2年 チーハオ

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