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Manual of Freediving - second edition

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Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a Single Breath




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This is the definitive guide, illustrated and up to date, for the aspiring apneist. From theory to practice this manual will accompany the reader in the discovery of a fascinating sport.
It is a manual that should not be missing from the itinerary of any diver (apneist or otherwise) who wishes to improve their techniques of respiration, swimming and diving whilst broadening knowledge and theory.

To the reader, freediver or instructor
One evening several years ago, in the swimming pool of a village in the Milanese hinterland where an apnea course was being held, it befell us to see the following scene. An instructor was repeatedly telling his student to “Relax!” The aspiring apneist, standing in the shallow end of the pool, stretched his arms downwards and lowered his shoulders (… as if this is the way to relax!) with a perplexed expression that became truly dejected when the instructor gave him the command: “Don’t hyperventilate!” The student looked at him with an air of demoralization that seemed to say “Well what can I do then?” This small episode demonstrates the educational gaps of modern apnea. On one side an instructor attempting to transfer a new approach to apnea that favours relaxation over physical force, but who doesn’t know how to teach this technique; on the other side a student, impregnated with old ideas, who thinks it is sufficient to ‘fill up with air’ before diving. The two weren’t able to understand each other because,  n spite of their good intentions, they both lacked educational tools: for teaching and for learning.
This manual was created to cover such a gap and to become a tool of communication between student and teacher.
In these pages we have tried to gather together all the knowledge that in recent years has contributed to the changing methodology of apnea. Much of the wisdom is fruit of our experiences; we have learnt both from our mistakes and from our successes, and our intention is to put this learning at the disposal of future apneists.
Manual of Freediving is also the fruit of the labour of instructors at the Apnea Academy, the international school of apnea founded in 1996, which in recent years has become a theoretical and practical laboratory of the highest level. For years we have accumulated contributions from those that teach apnea, until at the end we found ourselves with something approaching a manual that formed the original nucleus of this book.
Maybe from these pages will be born a future champion, someone who will succeed in writing his name in the history of apnea, however our goal will be realised if with this book we succeed in transferring the ‘pleasure of water,’ the awareness that apnea is within reach of everyone and that it is a way of regaining contact with our aquatic roots, a way of living well with oneself and with others. Above all, for our part we will feel fulfilled if with this work we manage to infect the reader with at least a small part of our passion for the sea and for apnea.
Anyone expecting a manual that deals solely with physical technique may be disappointed (although clearly this is included). We make the assumption that apnea is fi rst of all a mental sport. The mind must be trained to a greater extent than the body, and for some this will represent a radical change from the normal way of practicing and thinking about this sport. You can rest assured that in some way this will also change your way of life out of the water.
Manual of Freediving does not take the place of an instructor. Don’t make the error of thinking it is enough to read these pages before confronting the sea. Consider instead that you have at your disposal a new learning instrument that you can adapt to your use, according to your technical level and to your ability in the water. We have built a sort of teaching path, beginning with the theory (fi rst and second parts) and fi nishing with the practical (third part). However each reader may use and read this manual according to their own curiosity and needs.
Our work on paper ends here. We’ll see you again in the water!

Umberto Pelizzari
Stefano Tovaglieri

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NombreManual of Freediving - second edition


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