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Element Freediving

Freediving is holding your breath and traveling through depth, distance, or time and in a number of disciplines and contexts. For some, freediving is a way to increase time underwater for sightseeing or spearfishing. For others - it's an outlet to explore breathing techniques to better wellbeing and mental health. For others, it's a recreational and competitive sport to advance, push and discover athletic abilities and mental limits. For others, it's a vehicle for accessing the felt presence of direct experience. Freediving is different for everyone and the list above is by no means exhaustive. For most, the pull to freedive comes from a mix of all of the above.
Element Freediving is a school based in Victora, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. It is a school, resource, and community of people sharing in the challenge and joy of moving beyond mental and physical barriers to go deeper, longer, and to experience the fun of endless positive progression. In freediving, all divers no matter their skill level, are humbled by a depth, distance, or time. The beauty is in this shared reality and the satisfaction of each incremental success.
Why get certified?
When the physiology, safety procedures, and skills are properly understood and practiced, freediving is a safe, rewarding hobby and community activity. Certification gives you, and the diving community, the confidence to connect with new divers recreationally worldwide, to travel and enjoy the worlds oceans, and to advance comfortably. A diving course is designed to lead you through a wide range of skills strategically to catalyze rapid growth. The experience you get in a multi-day course will be remembered as a milestone in your freediving journey. Certification and courses also connect you with other divers in your area and to the wider community.
Molchanovs Education System
Element Freediving offers courses within the Molchanovs Freediving Education System. These courses are designed to introduce concepts and skills in a thoughtful sequence so students progress confidently to safely reach greater depths and longer dives with efficient technique.
Natalia Molchanova, one of the greatest and most decorated freedivers in history, was a passionate educator and a role model to many in the freediving community. Her son, Alexey Molchanov, world record holder in multiple disciplines, began developing freediving gear in 2010, officially creating the Molchanovs brand. In 2015, Alexey began gathering materials for a new freediving education system based on the system his mother developed.
Alexey, together with Chris Kim and Adam Stern, officially launched the Molchanovs Movement in early 2018. The Molchanovs Movement comprises of a global community of passionate freedivers who have access to the latest freediving education with the Molchanovs Education System, Base Training workouts, badges and challenges, and exclusive early access and discounts on Molchanovs freediving equipment. The Molchanovs Movement is the first and only freediving system to create a professional and recreational freediving community built around certification courses, quality training, and providing high-quality gear that freedivers need.
I have experience with multiple agencies (SSI, AIDA, Molchanovs) and have found Molchanovs to be the most coherent, logical, up-to-date, and comprehensive education system - which is the reason I chose it as an instructor. Resources for students and certified divers are also unmatched.
Natalia Molchanova (from
Alexey Molchanova (Taken from Mens Health)
Course Components
Each course is comprised of three components. They are:
Theory (T1, T2)
Pool (L1, L2)
Open Water (W1, W2)
One Step at a Time
Students are able to progress through Molchanov Wave courses one step at a time and can be certified to their corresponding level. At Element Freediving, you can do Theory and Pool together as a Lap course (Lap 1 or Lap2) and be a certified pool freediver. You can then upgrade to a full Wave 1 or Wave 2 certified diver after completing the Open Water sessions and skill requirements if you like. Alternatively you can do all together as a full Wave course.
Molchanovs Courses at Element
Discover Freediving Experience (Theory + Pool or Open Water)
Lap 1 - Beginner Freediving (Theory / Pool)
Wave 1 - Beginner Freediving (Full Course)
Wave 2 - Advanced Freediving (Full Course)
I'm a certified freediver, what Wave level am I?
Private Coaching
If you are looking to break through a plataeu or work 1-1 on any aspect of your freediving, reach out and we will get to work. I love creating tailor-fit training plans to reach a specific goal or performance target.
โœ“ Consultation: We'll connect however you like - on the phone, messaging, zoom, and we'll get a picture for where you've been, where you are, and where you would like to be in your freediving journey.

โœ“ Coaching Session: This can be a combination of Dry/Pool or Dry/Open Water for a total of 2hrs. I will come with a series of exercises based on our consulation as well as any combination of dry training exercises that may benefit you to take home.
1 Coaching session (Dry - 1HR): $60
1 Coaching session (OW or combination - 2 HR): $100
2 Coaching sessions (Dry - 1HR + Follow-Up Session): $110
2 Coaching sessions (OW - 2HR + Follow-Up Session): $180
My name is Iain Belcher. I grew up in Indonesia - swimming, snorkelling, being tossed around the surf, and diving down to check out sea creatures and corals. Over the last decade I had a growing interest in meditation and a fascination with trying to deepen a sense of present awareness in the here and now. In 2017, I took my first freediving course which married my passions for sport, health, meditation, and my love of the underwater.

My first certification was an SSI certification from Apneista in Bali, Indonesia. I then crossed over to AIDA, and then into the Molchanovs system in 2020/2021 with Canadian record holder Luca Malaguti. In 2022, I connected with Canadian record holder Matt Duvault of Cenote Freediving in Mexico. I have worked with Matt since 2022, who has generously shared his knowledge of the deep, leading me down the path to becoming an instructor.

I have also completed my AIDA Competition Safety certification with Oceanoid and participated in the 2023 Howe Deep Competition as an official AIDA Safety Diver.
Element Freediving is a vehicle for me to introduce and tailor-fit freediving for anyone with the slightest interest. It's a fascinating world of self discovery and, no matter your motivation, the path is deeply rewarding.
Training Sessions
Community training sessions are kicking off in June, 2024. If you are a certified freediver in Victoria - come join for community training sessions to work on depth, equalization, bottom time, mental techniques, buddying, etc.
Reach out for details / spot availability.
Stay tuned for more community training opportunities, events, and more.
Free Immersion is a depth freediving discipline where the diver pulls themself down and back up on the line (rope).
Constant Weight is a depth feediving discpline where the diver moves through the water propelled without the use of the line. This usually involves bifins, but a monofin is the most efficienct when proper technique is mastered.
Dynamic Freediving encompasses all freediving disciplines where the freediver travels a distance underwater. Usually performed in a pool.
Dynamic Bifins is a dynamic discipline using long fins
Dynamic No-Fins is a dynamic discipline without fins. The technique looks like a modified breast-stroke.
Static is the discipline of a breathold facedown in water.
I'm an open book and annoyingly passionate. Reach out with any questions or thoughts and I'm happy to chat about freediving and your interests. If your schedule allows for it, I can run coaching, training, or course sessions during weekdays.