Re: DIR? or DIW?

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Posted by MHK on April 27, 2006 at 11:13:23:

In Reply to: DIR? or DIW? posted by Mark W on April 26, 2006 at 22:13:18:


I don't normally contribute to this list, but sense I've been shamelessly promoting the Chamber Instructor Challenge I thought I'd chime in on this thread as the GUE instructor that has taught more DIR-F classes then any other current GUE instructor.

It's clear that the original author is misguided and ill-informed as to anything having to do with the DIR-F class, and rather ill-logical with respect to his comments of the DIR system taken as a whole.

Specifically he wrote:

"DIR is a poor form of advanced training for inexperienced divers."

In order to properly deconstruct this personís argument one must consider that the starting point of his analysis is false. The sentence above makes little sense from a pure English language standpoint. If in fact the author is talking about the DIR-F class, then he is simply factually wrong since the class is anything but "advanced" training. If he is talking about the DIR system taken as whole, then once again he is incorrect since built into the training paradigm is a system to preclude "inexperienced" divers from progressing from one level to the next too rapidly, so I fail to see this author's point.

Next, this author wrote:

"Unfortunately, many of the people who take DIR-F classes are so naive as divers that they end up being completely taken-in by what they are presented. Beginners lack the experience by which to critically evaluate what they are taught in such a class."

The DIR-F class is a class that can only be taken by students that have previously been certified by another organization [ save for the new GUE OW class], but heretofore the only students we have taught were certified by some other organization. With that said, the only goal of the DIR-F class is to improve basic skills, hence the name of the class "FUNDAMENTAL". We spend copious amounts of time reviewing basic skills such as balance, buoyancy & trim. We do mundane skills like regulator remove and replace; mask R & R and so on. The class takes place in 20' of water, so I'm confused wherein this author suggests that we are marketing and teaching "advanced" skills to novice divers. It seems to me that given that every student I've ever taught this class too has been certified by a different agency, that asking them to do a simple mask R & R with neutral buoyancy shouldn't be considered and "advanced" skill.

He goes on to write:

"They come away with a sense of awe for cave divers, and a dangerously undeserved confidence in their new diving "skills." Organizations like TDI offer much better alternatives to DIR-F, unless you specifically want to become a cave diver."

I believe strongly that if you ask any of my former students if they've walked away from my class with "undeserved confidence" they'd be pretty confident saying that they walk away with the exact opposite. If anything, most walk away with a determined desire to improve on their basic skills, and an appreciation for how much room they had for improvement regarding their existing skill set.

Moreover, I would also ask this author, what specific "much better alternative to the DIR-F" [class] does TDI offer?

The author continues his wayward adventure with the following:

"To spread their teachings, DIR adherents have developed the DIR-F course, or "DIR-Fundamentals". This is DIR for open-water divers, and is marketed aggressively to beginning divers as advanced training."

Again, the author is woefully ill-informed. The DIR-F class is in no way, shape or form marketed as "advanced training" We spent a considerable amount of time naming this class, and one of the primary considerations that went into naming the class "FUNDAMENTALS" was that we believed in encapsulated the core premise we are trying to teach. It's a FUNDAMENTAL class taught primarily in 20' of water. It is definitely NOT aggressively marketed as "advanced training"

Lastly, he writes:

"While many aspects of DIR make sense in a cave environment, and are at least workable in open-water, they are far from optimal in the ocean. This is especially true for North Atlantic ocean wreck diving, where many DIR concepts are flawed and even dangerous."

This is such a common misconception, and has been addressed so many times it barely warrants a repeat performance so I'd like to specifically ask this author, which "Dir concepts are flawed and even dangerous" Rather then speak in baseless platitudes, why not list one single DIR concept that is dangerous? Please feel free to be as detailed and as specific as possible, but to openly suggest such a premise requires some level of support for his position. I'm comfortable explaining every single aspect of the DIR system, and if I critique some aspect of someone else's chosen diving methodology I have support for my position, so all I'm requesting is that if this author truly believes that the DIR system is "dangerous" in an open water environment then to supply support for the position.


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