By Sharon Robb

April 20, 2016—USA Swimming and Florida Gold Coast will stage the “Ultimate Aquatic Challenge” Saturday at Academic Village Pool.

SwimJitsu-Pembroke Pines is a team-building activity to kick off the long course season. All Florida Gold Coast teams are welcome. SOFLO has offered volunteers and resources to help USA Swimming stage the event.

It was designed to introduce new swimmers and parents to USA Swimming and the sport in addition to team building among established teams.

Swim organizers call it the sport’s version of a combination of the Punt, Pass and Kick contest, Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior, using challenging ninja-themed inflatables in the pool.

Each competitor will race against the clock to complete the ultimate aquatic obstacle course using all their speed, endurance and swimming skills to gain the rank of Grand Master Swimja.

The idea is to master three traits: wisdom, speed and agility. Only the best time is recorded.

There are ten total obstacles:

1.The Start (Speed), the swimja begins his or her journey in the water.

2.The Slide (Speed), the swimja must first manipulate the first slide. Controlling speed is critical.

3.Bridge (Wisdom), the next obstacle tests the swimja’s wisdom. Choose the wrong path and their time will suffer.

4.The Jump (Wisdom), up or down? Only the master swimja chooses the right path.

5.The Second Swim (Agility), the swimja must gracefully master the second swim test and glide through the water.

6.The Beam (Agility), balance is critical. This is never more prevalent than on the beam. One missed step and you are all wet.

7.The Cliff (Wisdom), the swimja must carefully and strategically attack this obstacle. Wisdom is a must on the approach.

8.Mt. Swimja (Speed), the swimja must utilize their skills to get to the top of the mountain either by the rope or the handles.

9.The Top of Mt. Swimja (Wisdom), swimjas must ask themselves a question, to cannonball or slide?

10.Swim Finish, swimjas must utilize all of the three traits during the swim to the finish and touch the wall.

South Florida Aquatic Club is the only Florida club hosting the unique event. Other cities hosting are Edmond, Okla., Washington, D.C., Greensboro, N.C., New Providence, N.J., Voorhees, N.J., Fort Washington, Pa., Galloway, N.J., Wichita, Kan., St. Louis, Mo., Canton, Oh and Holly Springs, Ga.


WHAT: USA Swimming SwimJitsu-Pembroke Pines

When: Saturday

Where: Academic Village Swimming Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Wave Sessions: One, 9-11 a.m.; Two, 11:15 a.m. 1:15 p.m.; Three, 2:30-4:30 p.m.; Four. 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Five, 7-9 p.m.

Information: Registration fee is $30. Those interested can register at or call 954-538-3721 or email

Sharon Robb can be reached at