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Comparing Doppler's class and GUE's DIRf class...

Discussion in 'Ontario' started by Vinnie, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Vinnie

    Vinnie Registered

    Sure sounds like a the DIRF course repackaged.

  2. Col.Cluster

    Col.Cluster Guest

    Yes, without the fitness requirements.

    Vinnie could your instructor shut down and manage his own valves this past Easter Weekend? Mine could!!!
    Hope to see you in the water when I get back to town.
  3. Doppler

    Doppler Contributor


    Well, having never taken a GUE course -- or not having seen a DIRf course outline -- it's difficult to say. JJ and I had a couple of long conversations about training standards eight or nine years ago so I can make some assumptions... and since both courses are aimed at the same typical demographic, one could certainly say the two courses have similar desired outcomes.

    I am not sure why you would say that... There are fitness requirements in all my courses, and I have washed candidates who couldn't demonstrate the required fitness level.

    Something I feel is important in any training program -- whether it's teaching someone how to use a piece of software, how to climb a rock wall or how to conduct a dive in a safer more controlled manner -- is to resist the temptation to adopt a cookie-cutter approach. Naturally there has to be a baseline and one cannot deviate too far from the practical necessities of the environment. So fitness is always an issue for me... on a personal level, it's much harder -- impossible really -- for me to maintain the fitness level I once had. I used to race on nordic skis and ran middle distance competitively into my forties. I do citizen races now and actually find it a bit frustrating not to be at the front of the pack...but that's part of the aging process. I think it gives me some humility and empathy... and some background as a coach, which is part of the instructor's toolkit.

    I designed the course because there are a lot of people coming into technical programs without certain skills and / or a deep understanding of some essential "truths" about diving.

    Don't get me wrong. It's not a technical program. I just wanted to put something together that covered those basics without taking a cookie-cutter approach and that did not intimidate candidates but that did shake them up and make them reconsider the way they approach diving. Open water, technical , wanna-be or whatever.

    Any technical instructor who is unable to manage her or his own valves and who cannot demonstrate any required skill near perfectly, should not be teaching.
  4. barb

    barb Contributor

    .... is repackaging such a bad thing.
    Keep the good parts, throw out the bad parts and then you have room for new and improved parts.
  5. Vinnie

    Vinnie Registered

    Doppler stated

    So what are the standards for this course both on the fitness side and the diving side.
  6. Doppler

    Doppler Contributor

    Not sure what you mean by "on the diving side." But here are the prerequisites:

    1. Must be a minimum age of 16 years of age
    2. Must be a certified open water diver from a recognized training agency
    3. Must show proof of experience diving in environmental conditions similar to those in which course is offered
    4. Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters submerged on a breath hold and must be able to tread water for 2 minutes with hands above head
    5. Must demonstrate to instructor’s satisfaction a good level of CV fitness. Instructor may ask for surface swim, jog, bike ride… whatever she is most comfortable with.

    Although it is not in the guidelines -- which of course I wrote -- I also like to see people with doubles prove to me that they can lift and manage them when they are on their back.

    If I had my druthers, I'd love to run VO2Max tests but that's a bit over the top!
  7. Kevin R

    Kevin R Guest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Specifically what dive skills are you teaching and/ or improving upon?

  8. Doppler

    Doppler Contributor

    Hi Kevin:

    Lots of mental and many physical...

    The specific skills on which the course focuses are those that I've found either completely lacking or in need of improvement when people have come for other types of "advanced" training in the past. Briefly they are:

    Team oriented behavior and general awareness of environmental changes and stimuli.
    Process analysis and risk management
    The value of practice and building of muscle memory for "mission critical" reactions
    Being in Harmony with the enviroment

    The drills and techniques used to work towards these fall into the following categories: Gas Management -- gas planning, gas sharing, contingency management -- Buoyancy and Trim, Swimming / Fining, Hogarthian equipment management and choices, Underwater Communications, Basic Dive Logistics -- such as deploying a marker from depth using a spool, mask switching, reel and line use, why bottom timers are better than computers... et al.

    Nothing too earth shattering... just basic stuff that I think most people would agree helps expand the comfort zone...

    Speaking of comfort zones... I am a little uncomfortable using this forum to advertize programs... and that was not my intention when I posted the first thank you... however, if there's anything else I can help you with, please let me know.
  9. pufferfish

    pufferfish Contributor

    Sounds like a great course Doppler and something a recreational diver who has no intention of moving into the technical sphere might take just to improve his or her skills.

    I just hope in that gas management curriculum there is a small section devoted to gas quality, accredited labs, and air certificates :D
  10. Dan MacKay

    Dan MacKay Guest

    A Fundamentals course by any other name is a Fundamentals course. Imatation is the sincerest form of flattery. When you look at the GUE cirriculum you see that the tenets of the program are simple. No deep air, Team work, Individual skill and Situational Awareness are key components that focussed on during the course.

    The outlay and the content of the Fundamentals is readily available on the GUE site under the standards section. This leaves it wide open for imitation. Take the standards as a start point and go from there. Cut out what you don't like, insert what you feel is good and away you go you have a High skills or Essential Skills, etc.. course.

    The difficulty is that if you ask anyone who has taken a GUE Fundamentals course that there is nothing that should be removed or added. This is a course that is now being often imitated but never duplicated because the rip off artists that are trying to cash in on the Fundamentals or Fundamentals like course lack the skill, tools and experience to execute and deliver the training. That and once again they are trying to offer a product that is GUE like but does not have the stigma of a student not actually not meeting the bar.

    All that being said I am not taking a shot at Doppler here because I do not know him. As the contents of his course are not public and the requirements or actual skill level required to pass are not know the best that can be said at this point is that it sounds like a repackaged and more palatable version of the Fundamentals course. I applaud his efforts in trying raise the bar for diver training but in my opinion if you want to find out exactly where you are and help in deciding where it is you wish to go and how to attain your goals take the real meal deal. One of the most effective tools for GUE training is the video camera, having someone that knows how to use it and how to properly debrief is this part of the course cirriculum for the imitators as well? I doubt it as no one mentioned it.

    On the other had I would assume that it cost less as well and you know what they say..you get what you pay for.

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