Five senior male students in Tenri University’s judo club – including a judo world champion – have been suspended from school for allegedly slapping and kicking freshmen members.

According to the All Japan Judo Federation, club captain Shohei Ono and four other seniors smacked all 25 or so freshmen members with their bare hands or kicked them in their stomachs on May 28.

The freshmen were gathered in a room at the team dormitory and received the beating for allegedly slacking off during practice, the university said. The upperclassmen also ordered sophomores and other freshmen to take part in the violence.

The seniors, including Ono, who won a gold medal at the recent World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, said they were motivating the freshmen because they found the younger members “lacked spirit” during practice.

Ono was removed from the post of captain after the violence came to light, and the four others have been suspended for 30 days.

Five sophomores were suspended for 14 days while two freshmen were reprimanded, university officials said.

Shojo Fujii, the former chief of Tenri’s judo club, was dismissed following the revelation of a scandal involving four other seniors on the judo team who struck a dozen or so freshmen on three separate occassions between May and July, leaving one freshman with a ruptured eardrum.

By: Maesie Bertumen

Image: Huntley Photography/Wikimedia Commons