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“Feel awesome and awed in one breath”

Just One Breath Freediving
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 10 August 2016

Perks for doing the course with John:

1) Personalized training, he doesn't crowd a bajillion students into one class

2) Big fluffy cats in the training area (well, yes, this is an obvious perk; and if you don't like cats [how dare you!!!], don't worry, they have their own caves and are out of your touch during sessions)

3) Stays positive, calm, and encouraging throughout the course: even when my finning was a total bleh, he still had positive things to say and that kept me going

4) Did not make me feel conscious about my weight (getting into wetsuits, boats, etc.)

5) Did not sell me equipment, just informed be about them

6) After sales communication, he doesn't suddenly forget about you after your course

7) They are building a bigger and better dive shop with rooms and a pool (should be open by end of 2016)

The dive shop where John teaches (Freedive Panglao) is in Danao, which is 20 PHP away if you ride on a habal-habal from Alona beach.

Thank Mavicity C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 14 March 2016

I've been taking freediving lessons with John for sometime and he is absolutely the man to get in touch with for freediving at Panglao. He really understands his students and is able to customise training sessions based on what you want to focus on. He is also a reliable buddy if you want to go on fun dives around Panglao, Balicasag and Pamilacan.

Thank BhutanTravelClub1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 March 2016

I have had a phobia for the sea (deep water, fish, snorkeling, sharks...yeah, pretty much anything that is connected to the sea) for more than 10 years. John really helped me in my mission to to conquer this fear, first on land with feeling secure on my breathing then in the water. I felt safe the whole way through and made it down to 6 meters which to me is doing the impossible. I even feel like I want to go free diving again! Biggest warmest thanks to John for being so professional yet amazingly good at reading me and understanding what I needed in order to be able to complete the dive.

Thank Monika B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 December 2015

I was lucky to "catch" John for my first freediving training (AIDA 2 star) as he just came back from training camp in Bali. Before I had personal trainers for other sports like gliding and boxing and I must admit that John's approach allowed me to make progress faster then I expected.
Hereby some pluses, I can specify :
+ mentioned calm and proffesional John's approach is in my opinion ideally suited to teach freediving
+ never in the hurry, always gradually increase the levell of the course
+ answers 99% :) of my questions during theoretical part, I did not expected that behind freediving there is such extensive knowledge
+ John was flexible, since I have some congestion in the eustachian tube, that did not allowed me to go deeper on the 3th day, he splited the course to I can prepare better physically; then he gave me some indications how to decongest it
+ he adressed well all my other problems - like gave me additional partial wet-suit (since I felt bit cold), changed my fins etc.
+ he proposed that my wife can attend rescue part of the course, so now when she is around when I dive, she knows what to do in case of emergency
+ he was asking questions for better consolidation of my knowledge.

As a result I was able to reach 20 meters with zero congestion problems, I passed the theory exam with really good result and I made static apnea in the pool for 4:30 minutes !

Some cons :
- the wet suite could be a bit tighter, but I am thin and very tall, so it was difficult to find the proper one
- unfortunatelly I had to leave so I had no time to make next levell (3*) of the course, but I would certainly do it again with John

Thank Michał O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 6 August 2015

When I booked my trip to the Philippines, I knew I was coming for some freedive training. I had researched freediving schools/instructors from Cebu (Mactan), Moalboal, Panglao and other locations as well. I sent e-mails and had several questions up front as coming to the Philippines is quite a journey and I wanted to make sure it went well and fit my schedule as well. Most places replied and answered my questions. John was very thorough in answering my questions - even when it came to coordinating how to get to Panglao, what sort of equipment I would need to bring or not bring, how long the class may take if things go quickly and how long it may take if I need a little more time. I would say up front choosing to train with John was based on this thoroughness and that I would be training with him one to one. I felt most comfortable working with someone one to one and not in a larger group setting.

Once I started training with John, I enjoyed the fact that he is low key and very relaxed. Don't confuse that with not being thorough, the material we covered was extensive and I took notes on my MacBook and had lots of questions - sometimes directly related to the material in the book and sometimes not. Either way, Joh would take time and explain or answer my questions. It flowed. It was not so much like a class as it was a discussion. He did a good job explaining things to me because I got a 107/111 on my written exam. he also informed me that many of his students score about this high (that means John is actually educating the students very well).

In the water, John has access to a great location where he was the one that put in the training buoys. Now that the buoys are there, other instructors are starting to come use this location as well. He has several spots depending on the time of year, but we used the Panglao Kalikasan Dive resort. It is quite remote and so beautiful there. It was nice to dive in such a beautiful location and not be swamped with roaming tourists. Other than one dive group each day from the resort next to us, we had the place to ourselves. There were local fisherman as well.

Our dives were fun and one of the most important things in freediving is being relaxed and calm. I had been freediving for several years (unofficially and only to 8 - 10M while snorkeling). I was planning on reaching the maximum depth allowed in the AIDA Two Star course of 20M (66 feet). When you are new to freediving, you realize when you are in the water, this is a long ways down...lol. In fact the second day when I went to 20.2M, we couldn't even see the bottom marker on the line from the top. We had some pretty good sized waves as a typhoon was passing Taiwan and the waves of storms was passing through. I learned rescue techniques with John and feel comfortable swimming down as a safety for a diver and bringing someone unconscious to the surface and stepping them through rescue procedures in the water.

I highly recommend John. He trains with the best and is even a freediving referee at some of the events here when people try breaking world records. I am confident he can teach you safely and help you relax which makes all the difference in reaching your depth goals in freediving. Thanks John!

Thank PaulRayAndrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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