About Our School


Hight quality Apnea School

The Apnea Academy method will teach and prepare you to become a real freedivers.

What is a freediver?

Someone whose body and mind went through a metamorphosis. It is someone who reawakened a part of his brain and natural instinct to adapt to the depth. The Apnea Academy method creates a natural and reliable process for this adaptation.


What is freediving according to Apnea Academy?

Freediving is above all learning to breathe and to relax.

Then it’s about moving freely  and safely underwater, while feeling all the pleasure and good sensations that only freediving can give you.

It is very important to understand that a gradual progression is essential for each new depth and there is no short cut to the depth.

A gradual adaptation of our body to each new depth is necessary to pass from “man” to “dolphin-man”.

In short we wish to show you how natural it is to hold your breath and be able to dive easily to any depth according to your level of progression.


Why is it important to adapt body & mind?

Once you have reawakened your marine mammal brain, it will stay with you forever and help you readapt faster each time you go into the water.

Well-being and good sensations, what do they mean?

They mean that you are on the right path.

Freediving is the only sport that requires you to be in a state of inner peace (instead of excitement) but also the only sport in which the mental training is more important than the physical training (70% over 30%).

“There is an Ocean within us” Jacques Mayol 



The Dolphin men

Umberto Pelizzari & Jacques Mayol


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.

Homo Delphinus is the name of Mayol’s autobiography book in which he exposes his unique approach to freediving. Jacques was the first to integrate mental awareness and relaxation together with body fitness within this sport (nowadays every high level athlete train according to this concept, and that’s why Jacques is considered father of modern freediving).

He explains that only deeply relaxed states of mind allow the natural marine mammal reflexes to awaken, and take us safely into the depth as it does to dolphins and whales.

While the scientific research of the time affirmed that the human body could not survive the pressure beyond -50 meters (in 1960 French doctor Cabarrou “After -47 the thoracic cage collapses”), Enzo Maiorca touches -50 meters, followed by Jacques (-60 meters in 1966 and -70 meters two years later).

At these depths Jacques describes to the doctors a sensation which according to him was the cause of his quick adaptation to the pressure: The phenomenon of blood shift was discovered.

Jacques was right concerning the link between dolphin and human physiology.

Jacques Mayol transmitted his philosophy and his approach to Umberto Pelizzari whom he saw as the next Homo Delphinus. Jacques was the only freediver to go beyond -100 meters in his generation and Umberto his successor is the only multi world record freediver until today (17 world records in all the disciplines).

Umberto at the top of his performance gave up the competition world in order to transmit to the world his knowledge and he becomes the greatest freediving teacher recognized worldwide.

That’s how the Apnea Academy was born.

The coconut, the coral and the sea: A small story, almost Zen

Brisby, the old Maldivian fisherman: “I saw you in the sea today. My compliments”, he says, in uncertain English: “I really like how you move underwater. I am only an old fisherman, but allow me to give you a piece of advice. Remember that you can go underwater in two ways”. So saying, he takes out a small piece of coral and throws it into the sea, then from a coconut he pours the sweet, white liquid: “Look”, he continues, “coral and coconut milk are now together in the water. But the coral is still coral, while the coconut milk is now sea: when you move underwater you must not be like the coral, but like the coconut. When you dive you must not go against the sea, it should not be you, your body, your skin and the sea, but each part of your body must become at one with the water”.    Umberto Pelizzari

“The man who will become Homo Delphinus will understand that he’s not separated from Nature and the Ocean. He will know that from microbes to whales no creatures are inferior or superior. Everything is related.

I don’t see the Ocean as a frontier to be conquered, a new territory to exploit. I see it as the primary element. I am the Ocean.”     Jacques Mayol