USA Swimming Invents SwimJitsu

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeAs part of its ongoing effort to "grow the sport," USA Swimming is introducing an imaginative program called SwimJitsu. A combination of swimming and inflatable floating obstacles, SwimJitsu is an in-water obstacle course that involves basic swimming skills and a variety of fun tasks. Adding to the panache, participants in SwimJitsu assume the title of "Swimja."

If USA Swimming's plan plays out, SwimJitsu will become a craze that will draw legions of aspiring aquatic warriors to aquatic facilities across the nation. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin has signed on as the first SwimJitsu Grand Master and sees great potential in the program as a way to introduce kids to the joys of swimming.

"Not every kid is going to get started swimming in the traditional way like I did. What I love about SwimJitsu is that it encourages kids to get in the pool and have fun in the water," said Franklin. "My coaches have always been creative about making the sport fun and this takes it to a whole new level."

According to USA Swimming's Marketing Director Jim Fox, "This is a new and compelling way to complement the traditional entry paths into the sport and introduce kids to swimming skills, comparing swim times and achieving goals."

SwimJitsu is making an eight-city nationwide tour this summer. For more information check out

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