the Instruction and Research of Subaquatic Apnea
In recent times
Scuba diving has made significant advances in both education and
technology. In contrast Freediving, although it is a far older
sport, has been left somewhat in its wake.
In 1995 Umberto Pelizzari (multi world record freediver) and Renzo
Mazzarri (three times world champion spearfisher) decided to fill
this gap with the creation of a school called the Apnea Academy.
Together with Angelo Azzinari and Marco Mardollo they would
instruct the technical aspects of apnea, while to respond to the
necessity of research a scientific group was soon established,
with Prof. Ficini studying the physiology of the apneist, Prof
Odone, a psychologist with a long history in the field of apnea,
Doctor Luigi Magno in charge of hyperbaric medicine and Doctor
Nicola Sponsiello for dietology.
In 1996 the first Apnea Academy Instructor course was held on the
island of Elba, and after a week of intensive lectures and
exercises the first 45 instructors graduated. The school drew on
the experience of Pelizzari, who in turn had combined the
indefatigable physical training of Enzo Maiorca with Jacques
Mayolâ€™s techniques of respiration and mental concentration. This
new approach to apnea was in complete contraposition to the
In the years since its formation the Apnea Academy has expanded
rapidly, with the addition of a printing office, freediving
centres, AA trophy competitions, educational literature, videos
and specialized courses in such topics as Mental Training and use
of the Monofin.
AA Centres are now being established all over the world, and the
Apnea Academy is set to become the global standard for the
instruction and research of sub aquatic apnea.
The emblem of the Apnea Academy is two dolphins, symbols of the
bond between man and the sea, and an allusion to Jacques Mayolâ€™s
concept of Homo delphinus.
The Apnea Academy is a sporting association and a school that has
chosen a precise direction (research and instruction) and adopted
The idea is that the students of the Apnea Academy can draw
personal health and well being from the practice of apnea. Apnea
is therefore a means of improving quality of life.
teaching organization for underwater apnea.
educate the practice of apnea and wellbeing.
or awareness, safety and enjoyment in underwater apnea.
Development and evaluation of individuals that make part of
organization, by way of:
- printing office
- research and development groups
- mental training and apnea
● Cultural exchanges based on the genuine sharing of values.
Maintain total organizational autonomy with respect to any
other didactic federation or organization.
● Collaborate with other entities, associations and
federations to develop competitive activity and to preserve
● Promote Apnea Academy
courses worldwide â€“ i.e. form new apneists.
● Organize an Instructor Course every year
(alternating between Italian and English courses).
● Organize courses of
Mental Training and apnea for both instructors
● Promote competitions and gatherings.
● Produce quality teaching supports for students and
For more information
visit the Apnea Academy website at
or send an e-mail to
the secretary, Stefano Tovaglieri