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PADI-type Freediving Education

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Is there a need to POSITION freediving as recreational diving open to the masses

  • Yes

    Votes: 34 51.5%
  • No

    Votes: 32 48.5%

  • Total voters
Originally posted by neshamah
Saludos Michael. .Shalom ubrajot aleijem beshem haadon Yeshua hamashiaj
nice hebrew:), where did you get it from?

well I don't know much about scuba diving and safe diving regulation... but I would like to see the freediving as part of the program they have for kids at the school the same way they do with clasical swimming - baseball ect - why not ?
Unfortunetly, there is a 'why not'.
I think that more people die from freediving (even though it might be because they don't do it safe) than from baseball. Many parents might not like their kids being taught to freedive.
I also think that it is less attractive and understandable to the crowds, I don't think that people who play baseball ever got the gazes I got when I explained what freediving is. -Though I defenitly think baseball is an odd game and can't find the attraction in playing it. You're also not likly to make money out of freediving ever, or to have regular competitions and a broad community. And the media (atleast here) is virtually ignoring it's existed.
I understand that those reasons are also the reasons you want people to learn freediving, but they also prevent people from it. :confused:
Freediving also needs good conditions, I can't think of a good excuse to teach people freediving if the only divable water they can find in their state is a swimming pool.
Freediving also goes against one's natural intinct - to breath. Most people don't see any reason to overcome this instinct, or to trust crazy people who tell you so. :)

It could work in some places that the population is prone to dive, like cyprus/turky/italy/hawaii etc.

Hola Michael.. I speak a few words in Hebreo.. a bad ingles and a lot of cuban lenguaje

Hey now I know what do you have that nick -deep thought-

you made me think when you say this : Freediving also goes against one's natural intinct - to breath.

but I have a question ..What is our natural instint we have when we are very close to a dead animal? is not to hold our breath ?

bueno Shalom amigo

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Re: hi

Originally posted by neshamah
you made me think when you say this : Freediving also goes against one's natural intinct - to breath.

but I have a question ..What is our natural instint we have when we are very close to a dead animal? is not to hold our breath ?
It is the same natural instinct that a newborn baby has to stop his breath when immersed in water. It is still very different than what we do, we choose to stop our breath, and we fight our body who tells us otherwise (instinct).
about breathing

we choose to stop our breath,

Tha'ts very truth

but also there is someone our ( Creator) who can choose to stop our breath and there is nothing we can't do about it - so what to do then try to stop our breaht ? or to breath?

in such case the breath become weak and fragile read
( dan 10:17)


Sam - very glad to hear you are working on PADI. I hope they are good courses - not that I'm questionning your abilites ;) I mean do the courses have to be watered down [no pun intended] to address PADI's bigger concerns, i.e. scuba market share. I imagine if courses are perceived as higher risk they would not be accepted. I have found amongst many dive professionals a perception that freediving is a risky activity. Personally I believe this is because freediving is not taught as a main stream recreational diving activity. The pros are not convinced and activities are often risky because participants are either not trained or are into extreme performance where risks may be higher. The same would be even more true of scuba if you looked at just those without adequate training or the tech divers pushing depth limits. The difference in freediving, at least as far as I can see, is that we don't have that large group of recreational divers who are trained...and hence the original reason for this post.

Michael - is apnea against our instinct. As a kid I reguarly swam with friends in pools in London. Diving down at the deep end without knowing about equalisation :confused: We also did static and dynamic. I had a friend who was doing 50m unassisted dynamic. We were 13-14 years old. I started swimming or not swimming at primary school. Holding floats and kickind and stuff didn't work with me. I tired a mask and snorkel of a friend in an outdoor pool one summer and got it first time: surface swimming and shallow dives but could swim without the mask and snorkel. My dad took me to buy a mask, snorkel and fins [or "flippers" as we called them then]. I remember the guy in the shop being somewhat taken aback that I couldn't yet "swim". BTW I did learn to swim unassisted shortly thereafter. Every summer we would take family holidays in various sunny beach locales. I would spend the whole two weeks in the sea with my mask, snorkel and "flippers". I'm not a very athletic type but apnea was very "natural" to me. Don't many people who swim just enjoy swimming down to the bottom or underwater for a few strokes. Isn't dry breath-holding what we all did as kids?

A bit of topic perhaps...but any idea why we tend to hold our breath for extreme exertion like lifting something heavy. Also I've heard that world-class 100m sprinters probably aren't breathing. And...how about the big rule of scuba - "don't hold your breath" [to avoid lung expansion injuries] - meanign that even on scuba there is an instinct to breath hold that we have to overcome.
You both took what I meant too extreme. Saying that breatholding is against our isntinct doesn't mean that you have to keep continually breathing every second, that is definitly not an instinct. :)
I can definitly say that there is an instinct for not holding your breath long (though time is personal) if that will satisfy you. :) after all, why people stop holding their breath? as far as I know, nerves can feel temperature and pressure. Pain is an interpertation of our brain to overstimulation of the nerves or based on previous expiriences AND instincts.
It is the same as saying that jumping from hight is against our instinct. People jump from low places all the time. But when going bunjee junmping or skydiving you discover that even though you know (or hope. ;)) that your perfectly safe, and that you've wanted to do it all your life, and that it must be one hella'f a fun, something inside tells you to abort. And even if not, all that andrenline you're feeling - is defenitly your instinct expressing itself in the face of danger.

When asking normal people to stop their breath, after 20 seconds/minute they'll think it's madness to go further.
When I played in the pool with my 3.5 y/o nephew he was terified of the idea of puting his face in the water, and when accidentaly he did he started crying after that. All he could say to explain was "I couldn't breath! it felt bad!". As far as I know he was'nt brainwashed by society yet.

I had similar expiriences to yours. I never understood why people swim in the surface when they can swim underwater.
Playing is in our instinct, we explore our environmnet skills and limits. Iit prepares us for a later phase in life when we'll need to get food, face dangers and such. Playing underwater is understood just as playing on trees. And we are equiped with the MDR to help us in that task.
We have an instinct to play, and we have an instinct to explore our abilities and boundries - and maybe also the inherent will to become omnipotent. :D

I also held my breath against the clock a couple of times already in pre-school (in class). But, consider that, do you think men has ever tried holding their breath ON LAND before the clock? or even before the concept of time was invented? sure, a few individuals wanted to know what happens if you stop breathing, or maybe even everyone stopped a couple of times per life, but I don't think there was any instinct pushing for that.

For the other examples you gave, I can keep relating to them one by one, but they are just not valid to the point as far as I see it...
Freediving is natural, and if holding your breath is necessary, no problems. But there's definitly an instinct limiting it, if there was not, those individuals were probably vanished from existance. The same as there are reflexs to make you stop breathing when face fire or the smell of a carcass or when underwater or when getting something in your troat (laryngospasm) etc. All point to one direction - survival.

Remember that human species is realtively new, and most of what is discussed here is more to do with our nature than choise or abilites, and most of our nature was designed LONG before the human specie ever existed, we share a huge amount of common nature with the rest of the mamals.
Michael - sorry for extreme response ;)

I agree about survival instints but would want to qualify further by saying...

Whereas a lot of people can enjoy short breath holds for snorkelling etc. where the survival instincts of course tell you to hold your breath and you stay in the "comfort zone" this can be extended with a little training meaning that people can easily enjoy themselves a little bit more.

Isn't it just a technique/fitness issue. Running marathons is very uninstinctive. If you are unfit and run after 50-100m your body is telling you to stop as you gasp for air. With a little training and perserverence you can run a few km's very easily.

I hadn't thought of it quite like this but couldn't we say that in freediving we are listening to the survival instinct to first hold our breath [otherwise we drown] and then not to hold too long [or again we may drown]. We do listen to our body. We don't hyperventilate so we feel CO2 levels rising urging us to breathe. We inform our instints with issues like SWB and the survival instint drives us to relax and ascend slowly and resist urge to fin up quickly.

Again, I think we're agreed.

Re bungee, ski-diving etc. Here's stuff that many people do. The fear factor/"risk" is part of the buzz and is in freediving also. But the survival instinct of participants should be nurtured but not supressed so we jump not to kill ourselves but driven to survive.

I guess that I'm saying the "survival instinct" is not just a subliminal impulse that we follow or suppress at some existential level. It is something we should use to drive us to be informed/knowledgable in our diving [or other activities]. Our depths and bottom times extend but we are listening to our bodies because we are driven to survive despite the buzz and respond in safest possible way. We can push our limits but slowly driven by a desire to survive rather than take uncalculated risks. We listen to our bodies and are trained to pick up the indicators and know how to respond.

This takes us back to the need for diving education but without too many cards :p AND I still think pushing the sport to the masses - even parents - certainly in locations where kids do spend a bit of time in the sea.
Originally posted by pburgess
Again, I think we're agreed.

Re bungee, ski-diving etc. Here's stuff that many people do. The fear factor/"risk" is part of the buzz and is in freediving also.
Yes, we've agreed.:) But I don't find anything exciting in the risk factor of freediving:confused: does the fact it is potentially dangerous increase your feeling of freediving:confused:?
This takes us back to the need for diving education but without too many cards :p AND I still think pushing the sport to the masses - even parents - certainly in locations where kids do spend a bit of time in the sea.
rofl Indeed!
Yes, for me the risk is part of the buzz. It is exciting. But not reckless. It's managed risk.

Anyway, thanks Michael and Daniel. I value these exchanges.
whatever happened to experience and time in the water not to mention learning from our peers!!! as a community, Freediver's should share there knokledge with everybody not just those who can pay for it!!!! So my advice is read books talk to your mates and go out in the spirit of the buddy system and go for it!!!!!!!! Sorry if this breaks ranks with those so hung up on keeping there prestige in the sport, not to mention the one's making thousands from there experience which should be shared for the good of all!!! So to all lets get wet!

All three that you mention (experience, time in the water and learning from peers) are relevant to progressing as a freediver - however a lot of people benefit from structured courses. I see you are a surfer - don't you think surf schools help people get into the sport and hopefully learn in a structured and safe envrionment?

Also - if you think people running courses (privately or commercially) are making "thousands" then you are very mistaken. A lot of courses generate very little profit and where profit is made it is ploughed straight back into developing the sport as well as new courses and materials.
oh god if only we WERE making thousands! I make just about enough for a new wetsuit each year.....

I DO massively enjoy teaching though and have met loads of great people through it

I do much of my diving solo. I am PADI diver and exceeded the max depth im allowed to dive with a factor of x3.9.

I dived Nirtox with no certification.
I dived rebreather with no certification.
I freedived with no certification.

Now I modify and build my own rebreather.

Education is good but most of the time i know more about physics and dangers of diving that the instructors.

Problem is that the guys who teach freediving apnea want one thing MONEY.

They dont care about spreading knowledge and safety really.
I think qualifications are mostly a good thing, because they give a measure of someone's ability. It is good to know that a dive buddy has had a basic safety training and is reasonably competent in the water.

However, I also have some concerns about qualifications. In many subjects which are judged by qualifications, people 'fast-track' through them without gaining much lasting knowledge or useful experience. I know because I have done it myself (not in diving).

I have heard scuba divers joking about how they struggled through the 100m swim test and just about managed to finish it. Being in open water and not being able to swim 100m competently is no laughing matter.

So, I think certification is good, but experience should also count, and someone with years of expertise should not be held back by lack of qualifications. If someone wants a buddy who is qualified, that is a valid choice too.

I will do the AIDA** sometime. :)


everything that is designed to reach the 'masses' compromises quality. therefore any padi-style training program is highly questionable, even more so when it comes to freediving. since freediving is unregulated more self-discipline on part of the freediver is required for safe diving. in all our minds a paper stating some type of qualification leads to an assumption of some kind. and 'assumption is the brother of fuck-ups' (quote from 'lock, stock, and two smoking barrels').

every 'real' teacher or trainer has to undergo more training than will ever be required in diving. that's very odd, i think.

anyway, just my opinion.

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PADI courses may exist, but not here in the states... Just as you can get DAN insurance as a freedive instructor in Europe, that isn't a possibility from DAN USA either.

There should be clarification in your post regarding this matter. Freedive instruction as you describe it does not exist here in the states - Those who teach freediving here in the states have to operate within a very sketchy letiguous society and many do not teach (myself included) for that very reason.
What is needed FIRST is simply MORE INSTRUCTORS! THEN we can worry about "regulation" etc.

It's hella hard to even get instruction... as of now, only performancefreediving exists to do such a thing on a semi-regular basis (every 2-3 months in some locations). That's just pathetic.

We dont need regulations or fancy certifications... just people to TEACH.

I can find instructors that'd teach me how to build and fly a radio-controlled turbine jet more readily then freedive, in virtually every state... and there are WAY more freedivers then the former.

If you're scared about liability, work up a waiver.

Sad when you go to all the major dive-shops in SoFla, the diving capital of the world arguably, and you see not a SINGLE advertisement of any kind for freediving instruction... let alone equipment.

I tell you right now.. if I had the time or panache to go and start a business that I'd love, I'd get all the instruction I could and start teaching as many people as I could. I'd have all the dive shops under contract, all the YMCA's, city pools and school, etc. As well as a distributorship. This is what it takes.

And I guarantee you, my log will be full and I'll be making as much money as I choose to.
I think you have hit the nail on the head Gambit...

FOrget the fancy certs - just teach people to freedive safely..

Problem is, people have ego's that need to be fed and they want to show off whom they were taught by.

I'm of the mind of just shut up and (free)dive
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