Freediving Course Testimonials
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Freediving Course Testimonials

My name is Olmo Cinti and I took the FII freediving level 1 course around one year ago at my university. I'm writing you to thank you, because...

a few months ago I had one friend of mine blacking out on me while spearfishing. He came at the surface, took few breaths, and blacked out. Fortunately as you guys taught me I was at arm distance and when he started to sink (he never took the course and he was way overweighted) I was able to pull him up immediately. At one week distance, in the same spot, another buddy of mine stayed too long underwater to chase a big hogfish and blacked out around 30 feets while ascending. Fortunately knowing him and knowing his limits/times I was already waiting him there and I carried him at the surface where I put him on rest position, blowed and tapped on his face until he woke up several seconds later.

Thank you again for the fundamental lessons that you taught me during the course. I hope that as many freedivers/spearfishermen as possible will learn from this and take your class to learn how to have fun safely.

Olmo Cinti

Fort Lauderdale



My name is Dana el Ahdab and I was the first lady in Qatar to take the FII Level 1 Freediver course with Qatar Sub Freediving under the instruction of Khalid al-Hamadi and Amro al-Hamad. I'm a certified scuba diver and recently became an open water instructor, but decided to take the freediving course to broaden my diving experience and knowledge. I must say, diving with minimal gear was extremely liberating. Prior to taking the course, I wasn't even sure that I could ever dive to 20 meters with one breath.. Yet I did!


I really want to thank Khalid and Amro for the wonderful experience. They are extremely passionate about what they do and it clearly reflects in the way that they teach. The course was delivered with a lot of clarity, fun and positive support. I was extremely calm and relaxed at all times and felt that my confidence was constantly growing. At the end I felt really proud of myself. I also really value the information that I learned in terms of safety and understanding the limits and capabilities of my mind and body. It certainly gave me a new perspective on experiencing the underwater world. Moreover, Khalid and Amro were generous with tips on breath-holding techniques and body posture while diving. It's really amazing how a slight tilt in the head can make a huge difference to your performance.

Now that the water here is getting warmer, I hope to practice more, and I look forward to taking the FII Level 2 Freediver.


Dana el Ahdab



F.I.I. Level 2 Freediver Review


I just finished a FII Level 2 Freediver certification course with Martin Stepanek and was completely impressed with both the content and the level of instruction. The FII program has been set up to provide a safe environment, which is the primary reason I gravitated to it, but at the same time it’s incredible how much you can learn about free diving and your own body while still pushing your personal limits. The detail of instruction, in the classroom, the pool and open ocean is extraordinary, especially while maintaining exemplary standards of execution. No matter where you are at in the course, you always feel like there is an instructor (or assistant instructor) at your side helping you with your technique for both safety and performance. I felt especially fortunate to have had Martin Stepanek as my instructor. I’ve learned many, many sports over the years and have never had a better instructor for any of them, but the FII program is clearly set up so that the standards are maintained for all courses with all instructors. What an amazing progression into a new sport for me, not to mention the lifestyle benefits gained from the physiology aspects as well. Can’t wait to go down the line again!


Mark S. Cosslett

Maui, Hawaii



F.I.I. Waterman Survival Course Review


My name is Fred Patacchia Jr. I'm a Professional surfer of 13 years and a 9 year veteran of the ASP World Tour of Surfing. The world of surfing is constantly changing and to compete at the World Tour level you have to change with it. The surfing talent pool is getting bigger, and the need to push your limits in big, life-threatening surf is a daily occurrence. I wouldn't categorize myself as a big wave surfer, but when that competition horn blows there's no wave out there that I'm not 100% committed to.

I took Mark Lozano's FII Waterman Survival Extended course hoping to gain more confidence in big surf.  My static breath hold went from about a minute and a half to 3 minutes on the first day! I also went from a maximum dive of 20ft to a personal best of 45ft on the second day (Equalization difficulties kept from pushing deeper). On the third day I was doing static apnea exercises that I didn't think were humanly possible, learned how to better my CO2 tolerance and how to keep my heart rate down in order to burn less oxygen.

With the knowledge and water experience Mark has given me, I now have the tools and confidence to go for longer breath holds, deeper dives, and longer hold downs. I wish I had done this years ago, Haha! I have no doubt this will improve my confidence level in any size surf. Mark is a great instructor and I highly recommend anyone who loves the ocean to at least take the (FII) Level One Freediver class. It has given me a new out look on life and a glimpse in what our bodies are truly capable of.


Freddy P.



F.I.I. Freedive Course Review


During my Fii level 2 course, I found myself wondering how such a high level of quality/value was even possible to get at any price; it was that good.


I’ve been diving for more than 30 years. I was Fii level 1 freediver trained 3 years ago. Before that course I was regularly diving to 20 meters (66 feet). It’s common knowledge that 2 atmospheres is the target depth for Level 1. So why did I take it?

I have an idea of the diver that I want to be; educated, serious, capable, and safe. The level 1 changed me as a diver in those ways which were important to me. Now it has happened again but this new information I have from Level 2 is completely transformative.

I feel the way a person who couldn’t read must feel once they have learned. The doors that have been opened up are many and will keep me occupied and enthusiastic for a long time. I have fodder for years of personal development now.

Before the course I had decent bottom times. Although my dive times vary, a two minute dive (in nice warm conditions at about 60’) is not uncommon for me and going out to 2:30 is also not problematic. I think that I will extend out to 3:00 and beyond soon directly due to the training I received in the Fii level 2 course. I expect that to occur at significantly greater depths. It is an amazing educational experience.

The instructors are so great. In the water you’ve got this support team all around you. They are instructing and tweaking both on the surface and at depth. Within an amazingly short number of dives I was changed as a diver forever. Subsequent dive days cement the experience so that you are changed mentally and physically; you dive like the diver you hoped you’d become.

I think this course is especially valuable for the very experienced diver. If you are already capable of 100+ feet as I was going into the class, then this is the class for you. Doing it and doing it right are very different. The experienced diver will enjoy unlearning and learning at the same time. We also had some guys in the class who were relatively inexperienced. I got to know them well and we all felt like the value we received from this instruction was very high.

Go into this class with an open mind and without the need to stick to your own current understanding. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge instructors; I did frequently and my questions were answered in unexpected ways. I would have thought I might have heard a dogmatic answer from time to time; I considered that the safety stance of Fii would be promoted and “that would be that”. There was no promotion; just the facts as science and medicine currently understand them. The curriculum, including the safety aspects are solidly grounded in well understood foundations of physiology.

I’ve been complaining about the safety sensibilities of some of my buddies and they’ve been complaining about mine a bit too. The level 2 class has re-established those sensibilities in me. I won’t be coming up 50 feet away after a two minute dive in murky water anymore. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about for me or my buddies. I’m just more of the diver I wanted to be now and he follows Fii safety protocols.

Take this class. Like me you’ll find out surprising things. Did you know for instance that the ok symbol you give your buddy at the surface isn’t just an ok signal?; it’s a check for motor control and I’ll be getting and receiving them on every dive from now on, including in "shallow" water.

Thank you to Rob [Little], and Mark [Wallerstein] and Joe [D'Agostino] and Martin [Stepanek]. What an amazing experience.
Tom Pavlik Contributor
Review posted online here



F.I.I. Freedive Course Review


To date, Daniel Koval's freediving course has been the best dive course I have ever taken. He opened his house to us, and made it very comfortable to learn the information on day one. The 3 minute breath-hold was easy using Daniel's breathing techniques, and his calming meditative cues.    

Day 2 was even better. I dove to 66 feet twice, both my deepest dives. Having Daniel there to give me cues underwater really helped my head position and form and was a tremendous help. The rescue techniques were explained in an easy to understand manner, and demonstrated with patience and accuracy.

Maybe the most unpredicted part of the class was seeing the giant sunfish (my first time) and taking a quick break to marvel at its beauty and grace. Really cool animal. Daniel stayed longer hours to explain things to the class, and was not in a hurry to leave. He also left his line open for any questions afterwards, which I think is huge. Hopefully I can do the FII Level 2 Freediver class with him, or dive with him in Hawaii someday. I would definitely recommend this class to everyone wanting to freedive. Daniel is an amazing freediver, and great teacher.

Diana McNeel

FII Level 1 Freediver

Laguna Beach, California


View Daniel Koval's Instructor Profile




FII Freediving Course Review


I can honestly say that taking Joe's [Sheridan] class has changed everything I thought I knew about freediving and handling uncomfortable situations in the water. I've surfed and competed on a professional level for over 10 years, and within that time experienced several "close calls" in some of world's largest surf. My comfort level has increased 100 percent with this course. Joe's knowledge, expertise, and demeanor are unsurpassed...period.


I can't "Thank" Joe, and FII enough for presenting this class to the public. EVERY watersport enthusiasts should take this course!


Randy Seller

FII Waterman Survival Course with Joe Sheridan

North Carolina



FII Freedive Course Review


Mark [Lozano],


Just wanted to send you a quick note to say THANK YOU and that I was impressed on how you ran the class. Just a little background on myself so that you have an understanding my thought process on taking the class and me being impressed with how you ran the class. I am an examiner and a member of the Technical Team for the Professional Ski Instructors of America/American Association of Snowboard Instructors or PSIA/AASI. In other words I kind of do what you do for the snowboard professionals so that they can increase their teaching certification. So I kind of understanding some of the trials and tribulations you go through putting on an event like yours.


I was truly impressed how "Safety" conscious you were all while getting us to be aware of others who could experience life or death situations and getting us prepared and for many real life situations. I would have not have ever thought that I could hold my breath for 3 minutes or even thought that I could free dive 20 meters or approx. 66 feet. But with your patience and and training I was able to do these things. I am now using the techniques you taught us while I am surfing some bigger waves, since my spring, summer, and fall gig is competing on the Association of Surfing Professionals or ASP Longboard Tour and have been in some hairy situations.


Thank you for the experience and training Mark!


Artie Castro

AASI-W Tech Team Member

ASP Longboard Competitor, currently 5th in North America

ASP Longboard

FII Level 1 Freediver with Mark Lozano



View Mark Lozano's Instructor Profile


FII Course Review


I just wanted to share my gratitude to Bobby Kim for his wonderful teaching ability for the free diving class I took in the Bahamas last week. Bobby was very professional and knowledgeable about free diving skills and safety measures. He answered all our questions and made us feel safe in the water at all times. During static breath hold in the pool his voice was very calming and reassuring.

We all learned so much from his class and he has helped is all to be better prepared for diving and the sea.


Please recognize Bobby for his amazing teaching ability and his friendly attitude.


Thank you so much,


Shannon Truax, RN

FII Level 1 Freediver course, Bobby Kim, Deans Blue Hole, Bahamas


View Bobby Kim's Instructor Profile



FII Course Review


FII level one course review; I am born and raised in Florida and spend the majority of my freethinker either fishing and diving. I have been diving since I was physically able to as a kid and thought I was pretty decent at it but I wanted a better understanding of of freediving besides " hold your breath and blitz to the bottom".

What I have learned in the in the level one class is exponential to my success. I increased my static breath hold by 1:15 minutes, learned many different and correct ways to equalize, learned safety, diving techniques and the science behind all of it that makes you better.

The amount of professionalism and sense of security you get from Johnathan [Dickinson] the instructor and owner of Florida Freedivers few can duplicate.


If you're looking to better your diving regardless of what level you think you are the FII level one class is something you will greatly benefit from. I STRONGLY recommend it.


Thank you very much Florida Freedivers.


Chad Miner

FII Level 1 Freediver Course with Jonathan Dickinson, Florida Freedivers

West Palm Beach, Florida

View Jonthan Dickinson's Instructor Profile



FII Level 2 Course Review


I just finished taking the FII level 2 class with Martin Stepanek and thought I would share my experience for others that have been thinking about taking a course like this in the future.


Upon arriving at the course I was pleasantly surprised at the small size of the class having two-to-one student / instructor ratio. Right from the start Martin went into providing us with amazing information on freediving and presented all course material in a well structured manner. Most importantly he kept the entire class engaged the whole time. I never once found myself bored or uninterested.


I have taken many academic classes from schools and certification agencies for work, degrees, and pleasure and I put Martin at the top of the list in presenting information and teaching. His passion for the sport and teaching clearly shows through in his teaching.


If anyone is considering one of these courses I have to say it's is some of the best money I have ever spent!! There were many differing levels of experience in this class and I am certain that everyone felt the same way as me. The instructors made sure to teach to the student instead of one size fits all.


Marc Hudson



FII Course Review


Hello Maca [Benitez],


I would like to thank you again for everything you taught me and for your patience and understanding. I learned so much Maca! Going to Playa Del Carmen and taking the FII Level 1 Freediver course with you was the best decisions I could have made, you are a wonderful teacher and a super person all around.


Randy Ferguson

FII Level 1 Freediver with  Macarena Benitez

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


View Macarena Benitez's Instructor Profile



FII Course Review


Hey Mark [Lozano],


Just wanted to give some feedback: I'm really happy that I enrolled in the FII freediving program especially "safety" before "performance". Both you and Vaclav presented the info. that fostered explicit direct instruction which is the most successful manner of instruction. Additionally, I understand that V. was being observed for FII instructor certification. I was very comfortable working with V. during the class, pool session, and open water portion. During the pool and open water, where we interacted most, he was positive, supportive, never used negative phrasing, modeled frequently and upon request, used humor, and customized instruction based upon the needs of the individual.


I hope these comments are useful. I will certainly recommend FII in the furture.



March 2013, FII Level 1 Freediver with  Mark Lozano and  Vaclav Havlik



View Mark Lozano's Instructor Profile


FII Level 1 Course Review


Dear Martin & FII,


My husband and I took the F.I.I. Freediver Level 1 class this past weekend with instructor Errol Putigna. I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the course

content and the superb instruction given by Errol.  I applaud your focus on freediving safety. I’m sure you hear this a lot, but your course made me cringe at the years of freediving and spearfishing I spent unsafe.

With a new awareness on safety, I really only want to dive with those who have taken the course! And especially for someone (me) who tends to get lost in the blue beauty, the priority of my buddy will take precedence.


The course was extremely thorough, touching on all aspects of basic freediving. I appreciate the presentation of the science behind it all, the physiology, the physics, correct breathing techniques. The class refreshed my interest and love for the sport!


I must say, when you found Errol, you found a goldmine.


From classroom to pool to ocean and in between, he is a captivating yet calm teacher. I’m sure you know--Errol’s got this amazing positive energy that emanates constantly and sets everyone at ease.He includes each person into topic

examples; knows the material exceedingly well; shows interest in his students; and easily shares a wealth of knowledge and experience.  A competent, mature leader. Errol not only focused on safety in almost every aspect of the class,

but he practiced it consistently. He was the perfect role model each time he came up from a dive, always calm, always succinct in his safety procedures.


He seems to genuinely want each student to succeed. One student needed a little extra coaching on the static apnea, and with Errol giving him patient one-on-one time, the student got over his mental obstacle.

He turned one of my failed attempts at 50 feet into a fantastic teachable moment for everyone. Errol’s relaxed, peaceful attitude is contagious—and is exactly what we need when freediving.


And on top of it all, he shot video of our ocean dives, and edited a video to music he sent to us. Errol’s passion for teaching and freediving made the class a true joy.


Many thanks, and best of luck to you above and below water,


Kathy Sreenan

Jupiter, Florida


View Errol Putigna's Instructor Profile


FII Level 1 Course Review


I took Mark Lozano's FII Level 1 freediving course in October of 2011 as a way to gain more confidence with breath holds and to get an extra edge before attending the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, FL.  The techniques I learned in that class helped me excel during the rigorous training involved in the five-month Marine Engineer Dive Officer course.  The FII class dramatically increased my confidence in the water and the skills I developed there helped me to remain calm during stressful situations underwater, especially during Pool Week.  I found the Level 1 course to be invaluable, and I plan to continue training with FII.


Tenley Barna, LTjg, US Coast Guard
Dive Officer
Regional Dive Locker West
Maritime Safety and Security Team 91109 (San Diego)


View Mark Lozano's Instructor Profile


FII Level 1 Course Testimonial



Dear FII Headquarters,




I took my Level 1 last month in Maui with Jon Ammerman and I wanted to let you know that Jon was a fantastic instructor and the class was excellent. As a high school science teacher, I interact with many instructors and Jon's instruction was excellent. Jon has a great rapport with people and made everyone feel comfortable; especially in the open water. Jon's approach to instruction was extremely effective both in the classroom and in the water.


 I look forward to returning to Maui next year and increasing my skills.



Graham Ferrige

FII Level 1 Freediver with Jon Ammerman

 Maui, Hawaii

FII Course Review


Hello FII Headquarters,


I just would like to tell you what a great job Brandon Gross did with our FII level one freediving class a few weeks ago. First off he was a very cool guy which made the class super relaxing and not feel like a stiff classroom setting. All of his analogies were on point and really relatable making it super easy to learn the material. Brandon made the extra effort to give individual time to each of us, that  really helped me on parts of the course that where I struggled. Me and two other buddies took the class to help out with out spearfishing skills but we gained so much more. I didn't realize how much proper safety tips were so important in doing what we do. Thanks to the  class and Brandon's expertise, I can now dive with confidence and go deeper for longer time. Thank you all for offering these classes and I can't wait to get better so I can get my FII Level II certification!!!


Thanks again, see ya in the water real soon!


Jeff Robertson

FII Level 1 Freediver with Brandon Gross

San Diego, California

FII Course Review


I recently attended the Level 1 course instructed by Brandon Gross out of Oceanside CA .The course was very informative and was just what i needed to take the next step in my freediving adventure. Brandon was great to have as an instructor. He was very clear in his direction and setup an environment that made it easy to learn. Based on my experiences with Brandon i can definitely recommend others to attend a class with him. I also look forward to taking a Level 2 FII class in the future.



 Kenny Rodger

FII Level 1 Freediver with Brandon Gross

San Deigo, California


FII Course Review


Hi Niki,


We're very thankful to you and Mark Wallerstein for sharing your knowledge of freediving with us! This Saturday was epic for our marriage. As you learned 15 years ago we met and Brock proposed while swimming with the dolphins for a week on a live-aboard boat "Bottom Time".  Sharon had very little knowledge of water sports and snorkeling was a challenge.  After several week-long trips to the dolphins, it was time for her to take a leap of faith and learn how to feel safe in the water.


Saturday's class with Mark and the in-pool experience with you (thank you angel!) helped to release so many fears.  As a child Sharon suffered many traumatic experiences while in the water (nasty brother) and for the past 50 years has never felt safe - until this weekend.  The time you took, the patience you offered, the knowledge you shared were magical and the experience was mystical!


As you stated on the Wall Photos "No one cares more about your safety then your spouse."  I know you have realized this with so many experiences between Martin and yourself.  When Brock asked me to join him in the FII Level 1 course, I originally refused - FEAR took control.  After his reassurance that there were no expectations and I could set my own limits, I accepted.  Your assurance, support and encouragement were key to my complete acceptance.


The safety procedures that we learned in class and in the pool provides us with assurance that we can support each other in the water as well as on land.  The steps we learned to breath-hold were amazing.  Two and a half minutes for me was I'm looking forward to 3 and more.  Yesterday, with me as Brock's buddy, he held his breath for 3 1/2 minutes!


You have changed our lives.  We are now able to be a couple in the water as well as on land.  You are never too old to almost 54 years old, I accepted the challenge and FII changed our lives!  We hope to see you on Saturday at the "Open House", and look forward to completing our course with the boat trip. As we mentioned to Mark, the weekend of July 7th is the best for us to schedule the boat dives. We are possibly available before that date also.


 Thank you for your kindness, patience and sharing your world.  Mark is a great instructor and it was fantastic to meet Martin!


With gratitude,

Sharon and Brock

FII Level 1 Freediver course with Mark Wallerstein

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


FII Freediving Course Review


Matt Roth
NFL Defensive Lineman


"Thanks Errol for a truly once in a lifetime class. I can't get over that I've been only breathing at 1/3rd of my capacity for the last 29 years.Being able to properly breathe and learning the breathe up techniques I know that this class will not only make me a better diver, person, but a better athlete as well. Not to mention these instructors were a ton a fun, and very professional.


Thanks again to Errol Putigna and his staff  , Jonathan Dickinson, Joe Sheridan and Robert Little" 


Matt Roth

FII Level 1 Freediver with Errol Putigna

 West Palm Beach, Florida


FII Course Review


Dan Silviera,


I wanted to thank you again for helping us all have the opportunity to learn and better ourselves as free divers.  I really appreciate you coming out to Willows to share your knowledge with us.  This was one of the most beneficial investments I have ever made.  This class was such an eye opening experience to see how much I can actually improve on my diving abilities.  Learning the proper technique and how to make free diving a much safer activity is crucial to my early stages of learning this trade.  There are some mental barriers that I need to practice on overcoming but I am soo excited about pushing myself to the next stage in this journey.  I feel like I have the tools now to not only improve my skill and abilities, but to also do it safely.

As far as diaphragmatic breathing goes, I haven't stopped since I started on Saturday.  My job can be very stressful a lot of the time, so I think this way of breathing will actually help me in being able to relax and lower my heart rate.  Not to mention that today in the gym while running on the treadmill, I was concentrating on diaphragmatic breathing and I noticed something as clear as day.  My lungs were not sore from trying to take in large gulps of air after 15 minutes of running.  My legs got tired long before my lungs, and my heart rate was considerably low when I got off the treadmill after 20 minutes.  This method of breathing is such a huge gain for me in and out of the water.


I also did want to touch on your abilities as an Instructor.  There is no question that you are a great diver, but I also think your ability to effectively communicate the information to your students is great as well.  You take the time to make sure everyone understands what you are teaching and you have a great attitude about helping everyone strive to reach their goals.  There was never a feeling of pressure to do anything in your class, more like words of encouragement to take this opportunity to push myself past my own comfort zone.  Your presence in the water was also very comforting.  By you making every dive a personal experience where you are right next to the diver helping and encouraging them to push themselves, is an experience that a beginner diver will never take unless they trust their instructor. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and I don't plan on this being the last class I take from you.


Overall, this was a great experience, and I know everyone else in your class feels the same way whether they passed the class or not.  I plan on staying in touch with you and look forward to seeing you out in the water!


Ryan Flores

FII Level 1 Freediver with Dan Silivera



FII Instructor Course Review




 I just wanted to thank you both guys for planting the seed 2 years ago with my level 2 class and now for getting me certified to be a FII freediving instructor.  Both experiences far surpassed my expectations and the knowledge I gained was invaluable..  I am so happy to be part of the FII family and to have met you guys!. Both of you really changed my life and i look forward to continue on learning!.  It has been a privilege to have learned from my hero and the best freedivers and instructors in the world!!! BTW i'm already looking for any way and excuse I can to attend camp in Kona.

Thanks once again!!!


Alex Llinas

Pompano Beach, Florida 


FII Course Review
Well as Promised I took the Freediving Course this weekend from Freediving Instructors International at their location in Jupiter Florida. Fantastic Instructor, Jonathan Dickinson, and assisted by Robert Little on the Ocean Dive.

First of all their were divers of all ages there with quite a varying Skill Set, and everyone had something to bring to the Table. The Theory was followed by a pool skill test, and in a few short Hours we taught the correct way of Breathing, which in a Total time of less than 20 minutes, increased my breath hold to 3 minutes during that portion of Practice. Next day was the Ocean out by Jupiter, Florida.

We went out on the Blue Tang, operated by Scuba Works in Jupiter Florida, (great Folks by the way), and we left the Dock around 8:30 AM and Arrived at out diving Spot around 45 Minutes Later. A float was on the surface and a Weight was attached to a Rope 66' below the surface and Marked at various Depths down to the weight at 66 Feet. After three Progressive Dives to these Various Depts, I made my first dive to 66' by pulling my self downs the rope to the Weight Below. Again after a short Pause to practice safety skills we than made a 66' free dive by Swimming Down, and Not Pulling down. IT WAS Fantastic!!.

But the Most important skill was not the breath hold, or the Deep dive. But it taught me how and why to be a good Dive Buddy to anyone that is Freediving. And to know the signs and Symptoms of another Diver in Trouble, and to assist him/her in any way Possible

A Fantastic Course and Hats off to Martin Stepanek for developing this course which will make me a better speardiving Buddy to anyone I go Diving With.

Spearboard Member


FII Freediving Course Review


Thanks for the great diving course.  It pushed my boundaries and has provided the information and confidence needed for my continued progression.Please pass along my thanks to Brandon Gross as well, I do not have his email address. Also, let me know about those fins, if not I think I have another option.

Once again, thanks a ton.

Keith Wyer



F.I.I. Freedive Class, Totally Worth the Money


I took the Level 1 FII class last weekend with my nephew and could not be more happy with the decision.


The information and the instructors were top notch. I really feel safe in the water now, shallow water blackout is no longer the monster under the bed for me.  Make a class happen, the safety skills are the best and improving your depth and bottom time is great. I cant say enough good things about the instructors and the class. Cant wait to take Level 2.

Here is a clip of my 66' freedive, my first ever to that depth.


James Hankins

 Florida Springs

FII Course Review


Hey Dan Silviera,


Thanks again. It was really an awesome day and a real privilege. I know I have said a few times already how grateful I am, but I just don't have the words to describe just how good I felt while we were out on the water. It has most to do with the amount of physiologic, psychological and emotion stress I have been under and have placed on myself over the past about 7 years, with few real releases. I wish I had taken the class and made the move back toward the water 10 years ago. I have to be honest, with as comfortable as I am in and around the water I was still just a little bit nervous about the class. But from the beginning your laid back, calm and relaxed style that morning made all the difference once we got out there and on site. It is completely opposite to how things are done in the military. I learned so many things on so many levels its incredible. Your example is to be emulated, and I will endeavor to do so in my own activities.


Your class had a real easy natural order to it. Everything we did had a purpose and a reason, and it was all done in such a relaxed way. You have a great course Dan.

I will be talking up your class to fellow divers at work now that I have taken it. I hope to get enough people interested to fill or almost fill the seats. Almost forgot. Thanks for the pictures. I look at them, and one of the things that come to mind is just how much I am not thinking about while I am out there. I apologize for being so openly introspective about the experience, but I thought that knowing your students and understanding their motivations can only help make you a better teacher. Your role as a teacher was one of the focal points of the day, and as such is integral to the overall experience. Again your great example will not be one easily forgotten.  All these words are just so when I say  "Thank you" you know where that thank you is coming from. Way down deep."


Best Fishes,

Terry Reist


FII Course Review


"The FII Waterman's survival course was eye opening to say the least. The classroom portion explained the science behind breath holding and the safety techniques perfectly and prepared me for what was to come during the pool and open water portions.  The open water portion simulated big wave hold downs and disorientation very well while the pool session prepped me for the open water and taught me training exercises. As a result of the course I feel more prepared for the big swells of the winter than I ever have and have gained a training partner / big wave buddy from the class who I have the utmost confidence in.  I fully recommend the FII Waterman's Survival Course to anyone who is going out the ocean surfing or in rough water conditions. With big waves it's only a matter of time before a serious hold down, broken board or bad wipeout happens; the proper training may save your life or the life of another."


Stephen Schur

San Diego, Course hosted by Mark Lozano


FII Course Review


I just took the FII Level I class in Hermosa Beach last 11/19-20/2011 with Mark Lozano, and I think the $275 was well worth it. I have been freediving and spearfishing for over 45 years now, yet I found most--if not all--of the information given in the class to be new and absolutely relevant to me, especially the safety aspect. I'm now looking forward to take the Level II course.

I urge everyone who freedives while spearfishing to seriously consider taking these courses.


Di Au

SpearBoard Member

Hermosa Beach


FII Course Review


FII's Level 2 was one of the greatest things I have ever encountered. One day I had noticed that my regular spearfishing buddies were consistently outdiving me after taking a so called freediving course. It had been a month since we dove together and could not believe how comfortable they looked in the water with such long bottom times. I went home to research the freediving class they were bragging of and enrolled myself in the next class FII had available. The course has opened a new world for me. Of course my spearfishing ability has improved, but this merely scratches the surface of what I have learned. The safety skills that are taught here are, in my opinion, a prerequisite to anyone wishing to freedive. I am now much calmer in the water, which has allowed me to interact with various marine animals that I would have never thought possible. I've been in the water my entire life as a visitor, but now, sometimes I feel like I am a part of it.

Through FII, I have met many like minded people that are drawn to the water like a magnet. Many of these people have become my good friends that I hope to have as friends for life.


Thanks FII,

Tony Babowicz

West Palm Beach, Florida


FII Course Review


I just wanted to extend a very big thank you to all of you at FII for such an awesome learning experience. Martin Stepanek, I can't thank you enough for all the insight you've given us into the world of freediving. The knowledge that I gained in the Level 2 Freediver course is priceless and it has given me a completely different outlook on my personal freediving. During the 4 day course I shattered my personal bests including static apnea as well as depth and I can't wait to get back in the water and start practicing the teachings and techniques you've shared with us. Thanks again!


From the Big Island...

Russ Kapuniai

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


FII Freediving Course Review

 I just wanted to tell you how impressed we all were with both the program and the instructor. We each surpassed our previous limits and really opened ourselves up to a new dimension in freediving. I am glad our classroom time was broken up and personalized, giving us more free time while on vacation. The curriculum was straightforward and very real world friendly. We couldn't say enough about Brett Scaglione. He was very professional while keeping a great sense of humor and made the lessons entertaining. The learning atmosphere felt very comfortable and he kept everyone laughing. He was extremely knowledgeable and we all felt safer while he was in the water. It was really a great experience. We plan on returning this November and are very interested in the level II class. Thanks and congratulations again!



Fort Lauderdale



After taking Martin Stepanek's freediving courses I was shocked by the vital knowledge that I was lacking to progress forward in my diving carrier. By taking the courses I had accelerated my knowledge, skill, ability and safety at an exponential rate that would have otherwise taken me a lifetime to attain.


Dan Silveira

USA Spearfishing Champion - Team USA 2010 member


FII Freediving Course Review


Dear Mark:


The Waterman Survival course was fantastic! - a requirement for anyone participating in water sports of anykind-including the "Weekend Warriors" like myself that still think they are 21 years old!

There is no substitute for preparing for real life events and circumstances. This course brings the potential water hazard up close and personal so one can be prepared and confident going forward with their respective sport.

Appreciate you excellent communication skills in the class and careful and patient instruction in the water.

I think everyone would especially find the creativity of the swimming pool segment enjoyable and satisfying.


Shaun Hurley, MBA

Real Estate Broker



FII Freediving Course Review


Martin and Nikki,


I would like to express our extreme satisfaction with the quality of the FII Junior Freediver course as well as with Errol Putigna.  I knew that having my kids in the class would be challenging but Errol’s teaching experience and his patience made it all seem easy.  We all learned a tremendous amount and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

I have renewed confidence in the water now and I am excited about practicing my newly learned skills this coming weekend.  Capt. Randy Towe, and I (he also took the course) will be freediving in Bimini or the FL Keys this weekend and as freshly certified freedivers and we are looking forward to doing so with the confidence that we now understand how to do so safely and effectively.

I am eagerly recommending your course to all of my friends and will continue to do so.  When I am ready I will be taking the level 2 course and I look forward to continuing to develop these new skills.




Bernard Paul-Hus

West Palm Beach

FII Course Review




I recently had the pleasure of taking an F.I.I. Level II freediving course in Hermosa Beach California with Mark Lozano. Mark was an excellent instructor. The 4 days I spent training with him were extremely challenging both academically and physically. Guiding the class through the workload, Mark made the curriculum approachable and meaningful. With Mark I felt a level of assurance that allowed me to push beyond my limits. Even with challenging marine conditions and poor water visibility, Mark's ability to inspire and lead allowed for the successful completion of practical components. Mark made nearly every dive alongside the students. Seeing Mark just above me after turning to ascend on deep dives gave me the confidence to grow my abilities. His coaching and mentoring enabled me to succeed in my life long goal of reaching 100 feet. Your organization is served well by his presence here in California. Because of his class I am now inspired to continue with my training and look forward to participating in a level III class some day in the future.


Jon Ammerman



FII Level  1 Free dive Course Review


I just completed the FII Level 1 Training June 18-19 weekend in Marathon, FL - another satisfied customer.

I was concerned reading postings that our class size had grown big enough to support 3 instructors (14 students). I feared none of us would get the one-on-one supervision we paid for - couldn't have been more wrong! The larger class was great from my perspective as every skill was demonstrated by one of the instructors while being real-time narrated by another instructor. Then each of us practiced the skills under dedicated one-on-one supervision. I ended up working with all three instructors (Errol, Brett, and Mark) throughout the two days of class. All three are top notch!

I think I finally understand why postings about these classes usually sound about as vague as the weekend weatherman (except msilva2467's). If you searched the internet hard enough (a lot more than the two day Level 1 class) and figured how to sort out bad information, then you could probably put most of the coursework together. The strong point of these classes is the personal observations and feedback from the instructors when you personally perform the skills. This is a "show me how you do it", vs. a "tell me how you would do it" experience.

It's a lot like reading about how to drive a race car vs. having a top driver sit in the seat beside you. Errol, Brett, and Mark all have that unique ability to point out your mistakes (for the 20th time) without making you feel stupid

I was not one of the top performers in the class, but - really enjoyed the experience, recommend it for others, learned a lot about safety, breathing, equalization, buoyancy, etc. and spent time with some cool classmates.

We did spend two days in the water in Level 1. Day 1 in the water was identifying issues and rescue simulations, neutral weighting, dive entry technique, and static breath-holds (limited to 3 minutes). Day 2 in the water was checking neutral weighting at depth, pull down the rope dives, and dynamic finning dives (limited to 66 feet).

I have been hunting in the 30-40 foot range for about 5 years, so if you don't have the time (or funding) for the Level 2 class, then the Level 1 is certainly well worth the time from my perspective.


Gary H

Spearboard Member


Hello guys,


I have fresh news for you...during the last two weeks I was training two students of mine to participate in FAZZA Breathhold Competition and few hours ago one of them placed 3rd and won the bronze cup plus the cash prize... The skills I learned from you guys and the FII experience of teaching people this sport helped me to make this achievement.




FII Instructor based in Qatar





I want you to know how impressed I was with your expert knowledge of all aspects of the sport. The class exceeded my expectations in every way. If you ever want to come down and spear the remote spectacular atolls of Belize let me know.





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