Why No Fundies for DIR Agnostics

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BCSGratefulDiver

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You misunderstood my second comment, trying to tie it into the first comment and put words in my mouth. :no: whatever.

Not my intent ... in fact, a pet peeve of mine, so sorry.

The fact is that there really can't be a "groupon" for Fundies ... in order for the class to be effective, it has to be small, focused, and rather intense. If they compromised on any of that, it would lose the very qualities that make people want to take it. I can't see Fundies being done in any class larger than six ... and I think it's probably more effective with four. The class is typically long days ... 12 hours isn't uncommon. It's not a "mimick the instructor and call it good" kind of skills evaluation ... you really have to show some level of proficiency in order to pass, and that takes time and effort.

Add to that there aren't many instructors, and so they typically have to travel. That's expensive, and has to be factored into the cost of the class.

Frankly, for what you get, I don't think the class is all that expensive ... far less so than some other classes I've taken.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
 

Ripple in still water

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OP here. A lot of stuff to chew on in this thread, though I don't feel like I've seen a good answer to the question "why don't other agencies offer something like this." The kind of stuff that I think is taught in Fundies -- including better buddy and situational awareness - strikes me as the kind of stuff many divers would expect of a class called "Advanced Open Water." I appreciate Mr. Lapenta's plug for his AOW on steroids class, but one wonders why the "on steroids" suffix is needed to describe an AOW class.

I guess my question is partly rhetorical, but then I thought maybe somebody from PADI or NAUI would pipe up to say they were moving in this direction. Not so much, apparently.

As I alluded to at the outset, I think I already got a good dose of what would be in Fundies via the NACD Cavern course I took last month. Of course, whether the overlap between Fundies and Cavern is significant actually occupied a thread longer than this recently in the Cave section of SB. . .
 

BCSGratefulDiver

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OP here. A lot of stuff to chew on in this thread, though I don't feel like I've seen a good answer to the question "why don't other agencies offer something like this." The kind of stuff that I think is taught in Fundies -- including better buddy and situational awareness - strikes me as the kind of stuff many divers would expect of a class called "Advanced Open Water." I appreciate Mr. Lapenta's plug for his AOW on steroids class, but one wonders why the "on steroids" suffix is needed to describe an AOW class.

I guess my question is partly rhetorical, but then I thought maybe somebody from PADI or NAUI would pipe up to say they were moving in this direction. Not so much, apparently.

I think the answer boils down to economics. The major agencies offer a product that's designed to appeal to the largest potential market ... which is the person who's going on vacation, wants to do a couple of dives while they're there, and isn't particularly interested in spending a lot of time or money. Fundies skills simply don't fit that model. It's possible within the structure of the agencies to offer a class that trains divers in the skills you mention ... and in locations where the environment forces the "typical" diver to be a bit more hard-core, you'll find those classes. I offer an AOW similar to Jim's ... which I've been teaching since 2004 ... and have had several divers fly to Seattle from other states to take it. So there is a market. But it's a small market ... and so the major agencies aren't going to put the resources into promoting such a class.

GUE is a small agency ... they get a lot more press than their size would suggest primarily because they offer a unique product, and those who purchase it tend to be rather vocal about it. But, realistically, it's a "boutique" product ... designed for a rather small percentage of the diving population. The vast majority don't really want it ... and even if it were available, I doubt you'd see that many people electing to take it.

Those that would ... for the most part ... already do.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
 

tddfleming

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why don't other agencies offer something like this.

I guess it would be better stated, why should they?? For all purposes, the extra "fancy" stuff is not needed, for most people that just want to dive. Most never want to learn to hover like superman, or care if they move in the water column by x feet, think that it is an issue if you bounce off the bottom several times, think that gas planning is their concern, the DM will take care of that. Buddy system is only given limited lip service, why complicate things and push the subject? Were all out just to have fun, right? Most don't even know there is another way to diving. As most are only ever exposed to Padi and the likes. How do you know there is a better way if you just don't know it is there. I can't tell you the times I have been talking to inst and such that claim to be tech trained and I bring up GUE/DIR and you would think I had two heads. All of a sudden, I am just standing there staring at them and they back at me, I start rocking from my heals to my toes and whistling, eyes moving all about, awkward silence. Then on to the next subject, did you see the slam dunk contest last night??? My point being, most people that go into diving know no better than what they are tought in their OW class, so why make things more difficult, plus time is money. In business, time is money, let's push them though. More students mean more money. Many won't even know they had bad training until all said and done or maybe never. I was talking to my dentist about diving, after 15 min of talking, I was thinking, avoid him in the water. I believe he was OW cert same place as me. Also, his sisters friend was too, and she went out to practice after OW and drowned in the quarry. From talking to him, there was no connection between training and what happened. Or lack there of.

I like to think of this as the Walmart effect. And if we are all super lucky, in the future, we can pick up this special training at Walmart for only $195.97. Made in China.
 
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Jim Lapenta

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I added the "on steroids" comment because compared to the AOW class I took the one I teach is. It is a pass or fail class. Just because you paid for it doesn't mean you will get a card at the end. You need to meet the standards I've set. And depending on one's experience and attitude, a diver may not even get the chance to take it when they want to.
 

tddfleming

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I guess it would be better stated, why should they??

Just a couple more thoughts on this. Think back to your OW class, we were just happy to surface without dying and excited about being UW. No matter the experience or level of competence the inst or DM have, they look great to us. Man, if only I can look like them, I was thinking back then. Then one day, I was waiting in line at the LDS for a fill, and there stood the DM in my class also for my husbands class. Started talking to her. Asked if she finished up her DM, yes she did, what was holding her back from finishing was her DM training was a lack of 60 dives. Ok, I am not very good at holding back facial expressions when talking to someone and something is said that shocks me or makes me start thinking. I am sure I did not do very good at this time either. But I started thinking, really, there was only less than 60 dives between her and myself during class and I thought she looked great in the water. Boy, do I still have a lot to learn. Gee, that is all that seperates me, the OW student, and the people teaching me. Just got to wonder. I also, feel that if someone is going to get into this as a professional, they should know that there is more out there than Padi and such. It should be no surprise when a students starts talking about another agency like GUE. Educate yourself, for heavens sake. Rant over.
 
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Peter Guy

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The op wrote
I don't feel like I've seen a good answer to the question "why don't other agencies offer something like this."
You've gotten some practical reasons - time, money, desire and yes, need -- but perhaps there are some other ones too -- and perhaps this is one:

Most instructors don't know any better.

This is something that has been discussed at length (ad nauseum!) within part of the Instructor community that too much of the "instructor training" is focused on how to teach specific skills (and other things such as how to get students to continue their education) and very little on making sure the instructor corps has a very high skill standard/skill set.

My wife has just started doing some research on how GUE (and Fundies) is impacting the overall instructor corps and I think the resulting essay will be very interesting. One by one, bit by bit, the ideas taught in Fundies does seem to be "creeping in" to the general instructor population. As it does, you will see more integration of "Fundies like" ideas into the general recreational, Open Water, diving community.
 
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Ripple in still water

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Thanks all. Jim, I didn't mean to criticize you in any way. It's great that you and NWGrateful offer the AOW-on-steroids classes. I just think that something like those classes should be offered by the major agencies as a matter of course (hence no need for a reference to steroids).

I find Peter Guy's last comment most persuasive. Yes, the bulk of divers want to learn enough to survive on infrequent trips to the tropics on DM-guided dives -- and there's nothing wrong with that. At the same time, though, the major agencies do offer courses such as Rescue and Course-collections like Master Diver, so there is broader market for folks who just want to be better divers. That suggest that big factor is, as Peter speculates, that the broader instructor community needs to catch up.
 

Kingpatzer

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The more I do this the more I'm convinced we are way too hung up on "classes" rather than "learning."

Agreed. If all you want to do is work on fundamental skills, find some good divers and go diving with them. Ask them questions. You can learn far more from good mentors than you will learn in any class (even one taught by GUE). And in general it's a lot cheaper.
 

ScubaFeenD

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Agreed. If all you want to do is work on fundamental skills, find some good divers and go diving with them. Ask them questions. You can learn far more from good mentors than you will learn in any class (even one taught by GUE). And in general it's a lot cheaper.

This is a bit of malarky that people like to put out there. Sure, if I end up next to someone who ACTUALLY knows something and is willing to teach me, then fine I can probably learn alot that way. BUT, how would a newer diver know who actually knows something worth learning? If there is no model of what should be expected of divers (ie control and awareness with great planning skills). Experience and ad hoc advice is worthless without a model of what you should strive for. The diving industry doesnt provide a model. IF you can breath off a regulator and move underwater you are generally deemed OK to dive. GUE on the other hand does that, provides a model and then expects you to meet a high standard. They dont teach you everything, as they cant possibly do so, but I learned a lot more from a fundamental skills class about deco, control, planning, gas, physics, and physiology than i ever did from other classes provided by the bigger agencies. I can only imagine what higher up classes teach.

I have learned a ton from experience, and i wont ever discount that. Diving, just diving, has taught me so much about my limitations (the few there are :D ) and about how to better plan, and what is feasible, etc, that I could never say it is unimportant. BUT, without a model, a goal, and guidance I would never know some of the things that have been messed up, were.

And, FWIW the being ok with mediocre divers used to be OK in my mind. Sure, live and let live. BUT that was until I watched a "trained" tech diver drags his fins and all his hanging crap through a beautiful reef. That only cemented in my mind that there is a RIGHT way to do stuff. Whether that is GUEs way or not, you can argue whatever you like, but just being ok with crappy divers because you dont want to seem argumentative or like a jerk is just disingenuous and preposterous. And the horrible, ignorant instructors out there that peddle the BS and crappy training are just as bad in my mind.
 
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