|History of Freediving|
Across generations and experience levels, freedivers are commonly lost for words to recount the feeling of moving effortlessly underwater in one breath. One thing they all agree on is that freediving is addictive.
It's no surprise that freediving (apnea diving) has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world! Freediving allows divers to explore the beauty of the underwater world in one breath the way nature intended, without the encumbrance of or investment in expensive equipment. Freediving forces us to be present in the moment. When you slide underwater, your "land life" is put on hold, and the instant calming effect of a quiet mind becomes convincingly obvious. Not sure it's for you? Almost anyone can learn to freedive! It's no wonder this fun and exciting sport continues to gain popularity worldwide.
What many don't know is that freediving is a skill-based sport. Your FII certified instructor can teach you in a matter of days what could take years to learn by extensive experience. FII has identified the core skills needed for effective freediving, which are implemented into our curriculum, offering students the most effective learning experiences and enabling them to freedive confidently and safely. Our curriculum has proven results, whether you are interested in swimming on the reef, freediving with dolphins, mastering the art of spearfishing, or maybe are even interested in the competitive aspects, FII has a course that will have you freediving like a pro in no time!
Freediving is the oldest and purest form of diving. Our ancestors held their breaths 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 proven useful 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 evolutionary theory, life came out of the ocean. It started with single-cell organisms, which evolved over time into more complex and sophisticated life forms. Eventually, these organisms evolved into fish and other creatures who stuck their heads out of the water in search of new living spaces. This, over millions of years, resulted in the development of lungs and terrestrial animals. A few million years later, some of the most 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 must freedive to survive in the aquatic world. Whales, dolphins, and seals are all mammals just as we are. We share our evolutionary ancestors, and therefore 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 that of any terrestrial animal, but when they start their dives and hold their breaths, changes begin to happen. The heart rate slows down to preserve precious oxygen and the blood is 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, allow them to become much more efficient freedivers. Because the mammalian diving reflex is also a part of our own genetic code, we are also 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 ten years of extensive teaching experience and training of world class freediving athletes, FII has identified the key knowledge and essential skills to effectively train individuals in the sport of freediving. FII has developed a specialized curricula that trains students, utilizing their own inborn mammalian dive reflexes to move efficiently underwater on one breath.
Many freediving education agencies place less importance on technique and knowledge and more importance on performance. This ineffective teaching method offers the diver a quick performance increase that is quickly limited by poor technique and discomfort. FII's principles are based upon developing core techniques and understanding that, from this solid foundation, performance follows—and the true freediver evolves.
FII has gone on to become the fastest growing freediving education agency in the world, with its professional and elite trained instructors in high demand worldwide.
Find your nearest FII certified instructor on the FII Instructor Locator!