My name is Mark Harding, I took Joe’s specialist watermanship program in Byron Bay from 19-21st May 2017. I a 39 year old kiwi, a keen surfer and spear fisherman, who has spent my whole life plugged into the ocean in some form or another and who is always looking to improve my skills in the water and improve myself both mentally and physically.
I totally recommend Joe’s course to anyone who wants to increase their level of competency in the ocean. During the 3 day course Joe showed us so many practical methods to improve our ocean performance and to keep us safer. Specifics of passive apnea, practical rescue techniques, CO2 dry training drills, wipe out and hold down training, high heart rate breath holds, swimming stroke technique, open ocean free diving, and this is but what I can remember off the top of my head. Everything we learnt was super practical and immediately able to become part of my training regimen. Joe was able to explain all the theory behind everything, so you could understand clearly what was happening physiologically with our bodies as we were undertaking the exercises. Also, perhaps the greatest asset was the mental techniques to focus and keep calm and relaxed during a wipe out, hold down or forced breath hold. Joe really understands this space, and you can tell its not because he read it in a book, but because he himself has constantly put himself into extreme conditions, experienced the edge and thoughtfully looked into what enables us to perform better in these extreme conditions.
The best aspect of the training is getting the time to train with Joe. He is the embodiment of what he teaches a rare combination of someone who knows their shit, has the practical application and experience to be an authority on what he talks about, and is a great teacher . You get the sense that Joe is really on a never ending quest to be a better waterman and is open in any path to further that goal. In this sense, you can tell that Joe will always be improving what he is personally doing as well therefore as what he teaches.
I’m booking myself in again next year for a next level course as well as bringing my two boys along to get a course as well. As long as you are prepared to train hard and expand your limits mentally and physically you’d make a good decision booking in a course with Joe.