The first Victor Swinimer Challenge started in August 2020, with an international group of 25 students (Americans, Canadians, Russian, French).
Mattson sensei wanted to populate the form learned by Victor Swinimer to pay tribute to him.
The lessons were given by Kristin Amirault (Canada) :
The Challenge Teacher
‘ I started training in 1994 at the Kentville Karate Academy, now Young’s Uechi-Ryu Karate & Fitness, in Nova Scotia. Around 2004/05 Sensei Victor Swinimer made some visits to our dojo and took us under his wing.
I was honored to call him my Sensei until his passing in 2016.
The first time I saw Suparenpei was when Victor demonstrated it at one of his first visits to our dojo.
I knew immediately that I wanted to learn it : It was long, complicated and challenging.
I’d never seen a Kata quite like it and I wanted to learn all the Uechi-Ryu has to offer.
I did not get the opportunity to start that journey until late 2011 when Victor taught it at a seminar at his dojo in Bridgewater, NS.
After being taught the movements that day I learned the sequence over the next few months by studying a video of Victor performing the kata at the 2011 SummerFest.
I then worked further on the kata with Victor at the 2013 SummerFest.
When Sensei Mattson learned that I practice Superempei he asked to see a video of my performance.
He was pleased with what he saw and soon proposed his idea for the Victor Swinimer Suparenpei Project that would honor Victor and hopefully help grow the practice and interest in the kata.
Mattson sensei convinced me to taught the kata to the international community.
This idea was beyond my comfort level. : I’d never taught the Suparenpei kata before, and I knew there were others who had practiced it longer than I and performed it differently.
But I knew that I should not pass up the opportunity to work with Sensei Mattson or pass on to others the kata which I had worked so hard to learn.’
We started from August and finished to learn it in November.
Kristin designed around fifteen sections to be learned progressively and we were meeting on weekly basis to review our progress and work together (on-line of course as the most of us were confined).