Situated in southeast Frisco is Tatsuki Swimming School, a business with a 50-year-old legacy from Okazaki City, Japan. Prioritizing safety without compromising on skill, the school's uniquely blended curriculum offers locals a chance to immerse themselves in world-class swimming lessons, whether they're taking their first dip or refining their strokes.

From Okazaki to Texas: The expansion of Tatsuki Swimming School

Tatsuki Swimming Club, located in Okazaki, Japan, marked its 50th anniversary of swim instruction in 2022, boasting over 3,000 students. Established by national swimmer Kuniomi Omori, his vision was to foster a triad community for kids: school, home and the pool. Not only did Omori emphasize confidence-building through swimming, but he also championed swim instruction for the differently-abled in Japan, dedicating his later years to creating a rehab program disseminated throughout the country.

Omori’s wife, Fusayo, proposed naming the swim club "Tatsuki" after an iconic Okazaki Shinto Shrine where they were wed. “In Japanese, ‘Tatsuki’ translates to ‘dragon castle’ and their logo features a water dragon drawing from the ‘dragon castle’ interpretation. However, the true significance of the name is rooted in the Tatsuki Shrine in Okazaki, Japan, said Robert Tinker, Chief Operating Officer.

“Our swim school was originally established 50 years ago. Three years ago, we opened our branch in Texas,” Tinker said. “We acquired an existing school named ‘Water Champs’ and integrated their techniques with the coaching practices from our original school, culminating in our current curriculum."

Inclusive swim lessons for all ages

Tatsuki Swimming School provides swimming lessons tailored to all ages, from babies as young as six months old to adults. They categorize classes by age to ensure swimmers learn alongside peers, fostering a comfortable learning environment.
  • Water Babies: Starting as early as six months of age, parent and baby lessons contain a series of skills that will first help emphasize safety in the water, and then introduce some swimming concepts for your baby.
  • Water Tots: Designed for toddlers and preschoolers, Water Tots addresses the potential risk of drowning in this age group with early swim skills. With an emphasis on safety and comfort, the program introduces essential techniques in a fun environment, focusing first on water safety before advancing to skill refinement.
  • Water Champs: For children ages 6- to 12-years-old, Water Champs focuses on essential swimming techniques, building upon skills from earlier levels and progressing towards pre-competitive training with an emphasis on endurance and teamwork.
  • Adult: Tailored swimming lessons are available for adults, ensuring comfort and skill development in the water regardless of age. With a focus on overcoming water fears and building confidence, the program teaches essential techniques, advancing to swim strokes while also emphasizing safety skills.
During lessons, Tatsuki Swimming School instructors cover everything from basic water safety to advanced swimming techniques, ensuring students gain lifelong swimming skills. Their trained instructors focus on nurturing and instilling confidence in each swimmer.

“All of our coaches undergo very similar training. Trainees work alongside an experienced coach who has progressed from training to handling their own classes. This mentorship allows the trainees to develop more patience as they observe situations unfamiliar to them and see how seasoned coaches handle them,” said Molly Martens, the Aquatics Manager for Tatsuki Swimming School.

Emphasis on safety

Tatsuki Swimming School's program prioritizes the fundamentals of swimming, underscoring the vital importance of safety while blending enjoyment and techniques into a lifelong skill.

“One of the unique aspects of Tatsuki is our strong emphasis on safety. What I particularly appreciate are our first two levels, where we don't allow goggles. This is because we aim to promote water safety. Most of the time, when someone falls into a pool, they won't be wearing a swimsuit; they'll have on regular clothes and won't have goggles,” said Martens. “This can cause panic, and in their distress, they might not know how to respond. This is crucial, especially in Texas where we have numerous swimming pools and bodies of water. It's vital for individuals to know they can save themselves.”

Another standout factor? While many competitors stop offering swimming lessons after the age of 12, Tatsuki Swimming School has options for swimmers of all ages.

“We teach adults, even those who are completely new to swimming. We instruct 40-year-olds on how to float and hold their breath. Some are genuinely afraid of water, while others might have had some prior swimming experience but want to learn techniques like the freestyle,” Tinker said.

Tatsuki Swimming School caters to all children and this includes offering private lessons.

"We have coaches specifically trained to work with kids on the spectrum. This is a prime example of our coaches' patience, since interacting with these children can sometimes be overwhelming,” Martens said. “The challenge often lies in feeling unable to communicate in the manner the child prefers. Hence, we strive to accommodate each student's unique learning style while ensuring their water safety. Our ultimate goal is to make certain they are always safe.”

The school provides a 40% discount for a second weekly class. Subsequent classes receive diminishing discounts: 20% off for the third and 10% for any additional classes.

For further details about Tatsuki Swimming School, visit their website, call them at 469- 640-1855, or stop by 14300 State Highway 121, Ste. 160 in Frisco.

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.