School for 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 Mayol’s techniques of respiration and mental concentration. This new approach to apnea was in complete contraposition to the traditional methods.

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 Mayol’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 precise strategies.
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.


Vision A global teaching organization for underwater apnea.
Mission To educate the practice of apnea and wellbeing.
or awareness, safety and enjoyment in underwater apnea.
Strategies ● Development and evaluation of individuals that make part of the
   organization, by way of:
       - secretary
       - printing office
       - research and development groups
       - mental training and apnea
● Cultural exchanges based on the genuine sharing of values.
Policies ● 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 the environment.

● Promote Apnea Academy courses worldwide – 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
   and students.
● Promote competitions and gatherings.
● Produce quality teaching supports for students and instructors.

For more information visit the Apnea Academy website at

or send an e-mail to the secretary, Stefano Tovaglieri