Freediving is the oldest and purest form of diving. Our ancestors have held their breath and plunged into the waters to gather and hunt since we have existed as a species. Besides being a means of sustaining ourselves, freediving has found its use throughout history in military applications and, of course, as man’s favorite way of measuring strength- in sport.
The reason freediving has been with us as long as time is because it comes very naturally to us. More than modern man realizes, or sometimes wants to admit, it is part of our genetic code.
In the evolutionary theory, life came out of the ocean. It started with single cell organisms which, over time, evolved into more complex and sophisticated life forms. Eventually these organisms evolved into fish and creatures sticking their heads out of the water in search for new living space. This, over millions of years, resulted in the development of lungs and terrestrial animals. A few million years later some of these highest evolved creatures, called mammals, decided to return to the oceans and enjoy the environment their ancestors once called home. However, being warm blooded animals they have kept their lungs and therefore resolve to freediving for life. Whales, dolphins and seals are all mammals just as we are. We share our evolutionary ancestress and therefore we also share parts of our genetic code carrying a set of physiological responses called the mammalian diving reflex.
When whales are breathing on the surface their physiology is not much different from ours, or any terrestrial animal, but when they start their dive and hold their breath, changes begin to happen. The heart rate slows down to preserve precious oxygen, the blood get redistributed from unimportant parts of the body such as flippers, to more important places such as the brain and heart. These and additional responses of the mammalian diving reflex allows them to become a much more efficient freedivers.Since the mammalian diving reflex is also a part of our own genetic code, we too can be much better freedivers than we ever imagined!
From extensive freediving research conducted at universities such as the Karolinski Institute and Harvard, we are now developing a better understanding and learning the true value of the mammalian diving reflex. Integrating this groundbreaking research with 10 years of extensive teaching experience and training of world class freediving athletes, FII has identified the key knowledge and essential skills to effectively training individuals in the sport of freediving. FII has developed specialized curricula that train its students utilizing their own inborn mammalian dive reflexes to move efficiently underwater on one breath.
Many freediving education agencies focus less importance on technique and knowledge and more importance on performance. This teaching method offers the diver a quick growth that is quickly limited by poor technique. FII’s principles are based around developing core technique and understanding that, from this solid foundation, performance follows and the freediver evolves.
Dive Addicts always requires that our instructors are trained by the best, to be the best! In Feb 2012, Josh & Michael Thornton flew in Martin Stepanek (13 time world record holder and founder of F.I.I.) to receive the finest instructor training available. Now, as FII Instructors, they offer courses in Utah and around the world to the most demanding freedivers looking to better their skills and knowledge of safe freediving. So whether you want to learn to freedive in Utah, polish your spearfishing skills in Hawaii, or just provide better safety to your freediving buddies - Dive Addicts can provide all your freediving trainning needs.