I chose to do my Molchanovs freediving instructor course in Panglao, Philippines, with Alexey Molchanov himself. Since I’m already a freediving instructor with SSI (Scuba Schools International), I only had to do “half” the course to verify my instructor skills and knowledge. Well, at least so I thought. This was however not Alexey’s intention…!
An instructor course is between 8-12 days depending on how quickly you master the skills, presentations and examinations. We started every morning with some breathing gymnastics led by Alexey, these are part of the Molchanovs base training and an excellent way to maintain and develop your intercoastal flexibility and to give a nice stretch of your diaphragm. What every girl wants in the morning, right!?
We spent the first days going through the comprehensive theory package of the Molchanovs educational freediving system, I was severely impressed by the structure, pedagogics and content of these handbooks. It’s amazing to learn about handsfree equalization, meaning that you don’t have to pinch your nose since the change of pressure in the nasopharynx happens “manually”. For me this is fantastic knowledge to read about, not at least since I’m a complete geek when it comes to anatomy and science…! You can definitely tell that it is an educational system developed by professional freedivers for freedivers.
As an instructor you also have to be able to present the material in a pedagogical and understandable way, so just being an awesome freediver isn’t good enough…! We held presentations of the different topics included in the different courses, such as Boyle’s law, equalization, the physics and anatomy of freediving/freedivers, with very little or no preparation at all. Alexey simply pointed at one of us and gave you a topic.
Jag gillar egentligen inte Filippinerna. Mest pga maten, friterad kyckling, ris och/eller friterad kyckling, samt de facto att det är dyrare att bo och resa där jämfört med Indonesien, Thailand, Kambodja och Malaysia med samma eller bättre standard.
Apart from being a quite hard teacher in the classroom, Alexey also kept us alert during the open water and pool skills and examinations. I did the requirements to become a Wave II instructor, which included 42 m CWT with mask and proper mouthfill equalization, 35 m CNF, 75 m DNF, 100 DYN, 4:30 min STA, and 1 min hang at 25 m with rescue of “unconscious diver” + 100 m towing.
While recovering between the skills Alexey usually came by the buoy and wanted us to perform under water sprints, such as 1 min bifin kicking with your hands up in the air followed by a dive to 25 m, or just sneaking up behind your back saying “one breath, last one down to 20 m and up again looses!”.