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UTD essentials class in key largo

Discussion in 'UTD: Unified Team Diving' started by kcolombo, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. kcolombo

    kcolombo Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Michigan
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    A special thanks to James Mott, UTD instructor.

    Hello, I just got back from Key Largo where I took a Unified Team Diving Essentials class instructed by James Mott. I have been a certified diver for a year now and prior to taking the Essentials class I logged about 70 OW dives thinking I was at least an above average diver, so I thought.

    I was introduced to James and DIR diving through Sea The World Scuba Center, located in the metro Detroit area, and I started diving with James and his dive buddy Chad. It was evident that they were diving on a professional level the first time I observed them underwater. I was oblivious to the fact that dive planning, gas management and underwater skills could be so involved and I knew at that moment I wanted to dive at that level. My dive buddy Wes also also on the same page with me.

    Wes and I started talking with James and UTD's philosophy and approach to diving, to which we took an immediate interest. James set up an evaluation dive for us at Maceday lake and he recommended we take the Essentials class. The class was set in stone and planned for Key Largo the last weekend in Jan/2010. Prior to leaving, James recommended a list of DIR dive equipment needed for the class which we purchased and practiced with before the class. We also purchased the online Essentials classroom, watched the power point presentations and filled out the test. UTD's website is very easy to navigate and put together well.

    Our first day of class took place at Conch Republic Divers in Key Largo. James reviewed the online power point presentations with Wes and I and a third student, Ryan. James was very thorough with explaining the rules of diving, dive planning, gas management and the in-water skills. After our classroom portion in the morning we checked our gear for proper fit and began to practice the skills on land before entering the water.

    Once in the water we practiced propulsion techniques, bouyancy and multi-tasking while concentrating on bouyancy. Each of the three days of training were set up like this and we (The students) honed our skills and began to see results. The training was very involved, planned and instucted very well by James, leaving no room for confusion. After each day of training James reviewed with us a video debrief. This was an excellant tool for teaching. James would critique our day of training and we could see how we were applying the skills we were learning and where to improve on the mistakes we were making.

    James and this class forces you to become a thinking diver and prepares you for future training, whether it is Rec or Tec. You become more aware of your team, your evironment and your equipment. James' years of training, experience, passion for diving and his level of instruction will give you that awareness to become the thinking diver we all should be. I am looking forward to future training with James and I highly recommend James Mott as an instuctor and as a friend regardless of what your level of training is.

    Keith Colombo
     
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

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    Glad to hear you had a good class. I've heard nothing but great things about James as an instructor, and the class is really a superb concept. But just wait -- the best is yet to come. You won't realize what the class was really worth for about six months, when you turn around and realize how much more FUN you're having than you were having before!
     
  3. carry93

    carry93 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hong Kong
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    Keith, thanks for sharing! You are so lucky indeed! I said so because I am in Hong Kong, the closest UTD instructor is in Singapore and I got to travel and take leave if I want to take any physical course.

    I totally agree with you. I did attend the ratio deco class from UTD by Andrew and BootCamp by Todd, they are all great and helpful people which I really would like to learn more from them! Keep it up UTD!!!

    Hope they will soon grow up and expand worldwide to share such great diving philosophy with ppl from different countries!

    Cheers,
    Caron Wong
     
  4. pso00058

    pso00058 Guest

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    Keith,
    I couldn't have said it better. DIR is the way to go and UTD is the way to get there. The instruction, the customer service, and the commitment to the growth of DIR truly make UTD a great organization. I also feel very lucky to be in an area with so many UTD divers and right around the corner from Sea the World. The wealth of knowledge is endless. I can't wait for the next opporitunity to get in the water, and for the next class.
    Having James as an instructor was great. He is a very knowledgable and dedicated diver. Diving and talking with him before hand, I knew what to expect and he didn't dissappoint. There was no doubt about where you stood, he didn't leave you guessing on what he thought, yet didn't make you feel stupid. The video debriefs are a great tool to see yourself, and see exactly what you need to improve.
    Wes
    unifiedteamdiving.com
     
  5. Blackwood

    Blackwood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Southern California
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    Like Lynne, I've heard nothing but good things about James. I actively dive with three UTD instructors (Andy, Jeff and Maciej) and have trained under two (Andy and Andrew), so I need little convincing as to the UTD standard and commient to excellence.


    It's great that you both enjoyed the course, and even better that you learned and grew as divers.

    Remember: this is just the beginning.
     
  6. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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    Agree.

    Sounds like you had a very nice class. Congrats!
     
  7. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

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    Thanks, Chris, for correcting things . . . but it's pretty typical of the intense enthusiasm of people who are exposed to this type of diving and instruction for the first time, for Carry93 to have posted that way. It's such an eye-opener, and most of us are so intensely glad to have stumbled into that kind of teaching, that we err in understandable excess. It's why Bob Bailey told me there was a 30 day gag rule on Fundies graduates :)
     
  8. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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    Hayes would repeatedly tell us in Fundies: "This way of diving [DIR] isn't better, it's just different."

    Doesn't mean it can't be the "best for you/me", but it's something worth keeping in perspective.

    I did find it a wonderful way to learn, and still very much enjoy diving within this system.

    Again, congrats to the OP.
     
  9. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
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    I read your review of the class and it really fired me up to find out more about it. I would love to get some more training, and not just "types" of dives, like deep or night (nothing wrong with those though). I'm looking for refinement of technique. So this sounds great.

    But I went to the UTD website, and, for the life of me, I can't find a listing of when/where any or all upcoming Essentials classes are. All the links or tabs that look promising lead to dead ends or other info.

    It's probably just me, but I went away thinking, "man, that website is frustrating," and then tonight when I was looking over this thread again, your words jumped out at me.

    So it's probably right at the end of my nose, but... where?

    Can you tell I'm rabid for my own gear and some more training? :cool2:

    B.
     
  10. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

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    The reality is, for both UTD and GUE courses, it's really up to you to put together a class. It's just a function of the small nature of each agency. If you'd like to organize a class, just e-mail an instructor. They can then put together a course that fits your schedule. Remember, most of these instructors are quite willing to travel (yes, the group will have to cover those expenses, but they're actually quite reasonable once split among the group).
     

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