No-knees Dive Training

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Peter Guy
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby Peter Guy » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:35 pm

Inflex -- as far as I can tell, no, a descent without touching the bottom is NOT required.

You wrote: "I think the con here is that this level of control is relatively difficult to achieve and poses yet another task-loading encumbrance on students trying to learn whatever skill you're trying to teach." Actually it is not difficult to achieve and, honestly, dealing with some task loading is good for a student to learn while in a controlled environment.

One instructor I know starts with his students stopping every few feet on descent so that they learn to control their descent rate from the beginning. I don't do this very often but it isn't hard for them to grasp. Once they learn they CAN stop/control a descent, a lot of other things become very easy.

In open water, I tend to have students move up and down a piling -- they don't know they are "hovering" but instead they are just facing a piling and looking at things. It's just diving.

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Grateful Diver
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby Grateful Diver » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:59 am

First point, if you can't teach a student to do a skill without them kneeling on the bottom, you haven't taught them a skill ... you've taught them how to mimic a motion.

Second point, if a large student to instructor ratio leads to disaster, the appropriate response isn't to dumb down the class, it's to reduce your student to instructor ratio ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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inflex
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby inflex » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:28 pm

Doesn't the current PADI cirriculum already require (may be too strong of a word) that the students not touch the bottom on a five point descent?

I think the con here is that this level of control is relatively difficult to achieve and poses yet another task-loading encumbrance on students trying to learn whatever skill you're trying to teach. If you pair quality instruction time with very capable students, then this approach is great. On the other hand, with a large student to instructor ratio, this can lead to disaster.

Peter Guy
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby Peter Guy » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:12 am

Sure -- come on and watch -- or the next time I do my private class (looks like Sunday morning, April 17) come watch. There really is no mystery -- the key is that all of the staff need to model "the correct" behavior all the time -- the students just mimic. Unfortunately, the students also see images outside of the pool sessions which may not necessarily be what is desired.

JasonDiver
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby JasonDiver » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:48 pm

Thank you Peter. I have talked with a few other involved with "they article." You have all done great service to the dive world. I would still like to see a no-kness class in action. Perhaps I could come to your first pool session for the one you're organizing?

Peter Guy
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby Peter Guy » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:47 pm

Jasondiver -- As Grateful Diver wrote, I was involved with encouraging PADI to revisit the notion of "On the knees" although I have zero idea how much my involvement meant to them. The group that co-edited "the article" in PADI's Underwater Journal which did lead to the revision included me and my wife, Lynne Flaherty, as well as other instructors from around the world. What was interesting is that we all (that is the instructors involved with writing/editing the article) had slightly different techniques for this but we all had one thing in common -- no knees, ever (well, my students can be on their knees if they can also stick their head out of the water at the same time!).

After August I didn't know if I would teach again but I am now, slowly, getting back into it (I have one private student who, on his first day of pool work, was doing his skills mid-water and motionless by the end of the session just because he could). I am organizing an Open Water Class through a local Church as part of the Church's environmental community outreach.

For what it's worth, it is my experience that it takes LESS time to teach students this way, they have more fun and "control" is much easier. (Query -- which way does a student bolt when she is on her knees as opposed to being flat in front of you?) The key to being able to teach this way, again in my experience, is being able to always have all staff neutral and able to perform all skills while in the water column and motionless. For what it's worth, I don't know how you can do this without a back kick either.

And thanks to all who mentioned me -- I'm honored by your comments -- particularly knowing how good all of YOU are.

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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby archisgore » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:17 pm

I'll heavily endorse Peter Rothschild here. I've assisted multiple different instructors in the area during my DM days (which was excellent advice of a lifetime I got from Koos - someone always has a different thing to teach you.)

Of all of them, I'll admit Peter is the person who was the best. Want objective things to see in his class for comparison with others?
1. HE is always horizontal and off the bottom. ALWAYS.
2. Students are always laying "flat" on the bottom. I think this whole "on the knees" thing is a misnomer for the whole "buoyancy" thing. Hanging around mid-water in that "sitting on my knees position" is godawful difficult. I've tried it. Painful. When you move up from the bottom if your form changes, that's a lot of mental load Peter's class avoids. You'll simply be on the bottom horizontal for stability at the VERY begining, and then you'll move mid-water in like 10 minutes into the class as you breathe in. So you're not psychologically switching from a knees-bent vertical position to suddenly finding yourself horizontal. It took me MONTHS to get rid of the feeling I was falling on my face due to an early bad habit. Don't pick it up to start with.
3. Diving is so much more than "not touching the bottom". I will express a very controversial opinion here - I'd dive with someone sitting on their knees but someone who always keeps me in their eyesight, and stays where I can see them - I'm feeling much happier on the dive. Peter WILL reinforce situational awareness in class.
4. Peter always PERFORMS the pre-dive check on HIS dives. My endorsement for anyone relies on what they DO as opposed to what they SAY you should do. The former is guidance, the latter is condescension. Peter will do on HIS dives every day if caught off guard at night at a dive site, that he will be telling you to do.

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yadayada
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby yadayada » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:43 am

Greater attention to trim is one of the key changes of the 2013 PADI Open Water revision. Since then, most of the underwater Open Water performance requirements are demonstrated and expected in neutral position - and taught as such at Divemaster\IDC level, as per guidelines and standards. However, some are not, when not practical or safe. Instructor Trainer updates have been going in this direction for a few years.

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enchantmentdivi
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby enchantmentdivi » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:40 am

15 years ago, My husband and I were OW certified at Blue Hole in NM with 80 ft of water below us. Knees were not an option as there was no shallow end there. There was a PCV "platform" suspended with buoys next to us to allow for an occasional finger hold to reorient us. BUT, we were not allowed to grab it. If we did, we failed that skill. We were taught and practiced buoyancy in the pool prior to our OW dives. When we moved here and saw the way people were NOT taught buoyancy as part of OW, we were pretty shocked. Being on your knees totally violated what we were taught about not touching anything...and anything meant the sand, the seaweed, the starfish, and anything that someone would kneel on doing skills. I still shake my head. In my opinion, there is no excuse for this. Students can learn buoyancy AND how to do their skills while neutrally buoyant from the very beginning.
Jenn

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CaptnJack
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby CaptnJack » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:10 am

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of OW students in the PNW are going through the shop "mill" and everything is done quickly and to the bare minimum (on your knees) standard. Which is how and why they offer $199 (or less) kind of classes that are completely done is a week or two.

The higher quality instructors, who would actually teach OW students in reasonable trim, can't compete with the price appeal and are exceptionally rare. Peter was one, I don't know if he's still teaching OW. I know several other good instructors who would and could teach OW in decent trim, but students aren't hitting them up to offer OW classes and they generally don't bother spending time or money advertising a superior (yet more expensive and time consuming) product trying to compete with the "student mills".
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JasonDiver
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby JasonDiver » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:32 pm

The instructors that want to keep the status quo of doing skills on the knees say this. They think it will take much longer and use up valuable pool time. That some students need to be stationary on the bottom of the task loading with be too much for them. And some claim it's a safety in that they will not be able to control students in open water if they are buoyant during skills. The time issue doesn't make sense to me because you have to take the time to teach buoyancy anyway. And you are not going for perfect buoyancy, just a shift from skills done vertically to doing them in a natural scuba position. This article by Harry Averill walks you through his process.

http://cavediverharry.com/real-buoyancy/

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BillZ
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby BillZ » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:30 pm

JasonDiver wrote:I have read about this and followed the debate pro and con. I would like see a class taught this way. I am taking my IDC now, so I'm really interested if teaching this way can be done.


I'd be interested to know- What are some of the cons that people are coming up with?

The only con that I can think of is that it takes more time with a student and people would actually have to pay for quality dive training.

JasonDiver
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby JasonDiver » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:16 pm

I have read about this and followed the debate pro and con. I would like see a class taught this way. I am taking my IDC now, so I'm really interested if teaching this way can be done.

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CaptnJack
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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby CaptnJack » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:42 pm

Are you looking to recommend a prospective student to a good "no knees" open water instructor or something else?
Sounder wrote:Under normal circumstances, I would never tell another man how to shave his balls... but this device should not be kept secret.

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Re: No-knees Dive Training

Postby Grateful Diver » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:05 am

Peter Rothschild was instrumental in creating the new PADI paradigm for this style of training.

I used to train divers using a progressive method that started them out on their knees, and had them doing skills mid-water by the end of their OW training. And I had a mid-water dive in my AOW class where the entire dive was conducted far enough off the bottom that you could not see it, much less kneel on it.

I think it's very important to get divers off their knees as quickly in the training program as possible. The primary reason for putting them there at all is because that's what we're comfortable with, having lived our entire lives relying on gravity to keep us anchored and spending our entire waking existence in a vertical orientation ... and from a mental perspective, keeping people within their comfort zone helps them to stay focused on all the new skills they're trying to learn during the early parts of their training. However, it quickly reaches a point where it works against you ... since the whole point of diving is to experience the effects of "zero gravity" (i.e. neutral buoyancy), and developing skills while neutrally buoyant is easier the earlier in your development cycle you experience it. For this reason, the trade-off is that developing skills off your knees, and in proper trim, early in your training initially takes more effort ... but it also helps you develop better technique in less time, since you don't now have to "unlearn" poor diving habits that you will develop using the traditional kneeling method of OW training.

I don't know who's currently using this method, as instructors tend to come and go ... and most of the ones I used to know who used this approach are no longer teaching (including myself).

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
Threats and ultimatums are never the best answer. Public humiliation via Photoshop is always better - airsix

Come visit me at http://www.nwgratefuldiver.com/

JasonDiver
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No-knees Dive Training

Postby JasonDiver » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:59 pm

There is a move afoot in dive training. All the major dive agencies are encouraging open water dive instructors to teach skills in a more realistic, neutral buoyancy position. In other words, get the students off their knees. Do you know any dive instructor in the Puget Sound who have shifted to this new paradigm?


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