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Thread: International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association

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    Last edited by Madeline Scharpf; 06-24-2015 at 07:25 PM.

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    I've never heard if it and I wonder what official entity certifies this establishment.

    In looking at the locations and the lack of faculty profiles, it appears to me that Kat Felton may be expanding her "mermaid empire".

    I could be completely mistaken, though.

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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a "certified mermaid" or "certified mermaid instructor", and there is no consensus, much less an "international" one, on what exactly a mermaid is.

    Of course there are people who will give you a "certificate" for money, but they made the requirements for this certificate up (and the certificate in itself, of course).

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing- if you have no other way to learn to freedive and swim in a tail, and you think it'd be cool to take this course, more power to you.
    You could, however, make yourself a certificate with some Editing software, and it would be just as legit.

    And let's just say, I really hope it stays this way, because it would suck if some organisation suddenly had the rights to give out the only legit certifications to "be a mermaid", and everyone who wouldn't pay them for it would not be allowed to wear a tail.

    (This is, basically, what is going on with Freediving organisations, by the way. No one is allowed to dive in a diving tower without a certification from one of those organisations- no matter if you can freedive or not.
    And it costs a fortune. So yea.)

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    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod Nyx's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree with Echidna, this all seems a little bogus to me??
    No mermaid out here (as far as I know) has received any 'special training'.
    Everyone ranges from hobbyist to professional and is completely self made, and I hope it stays that way.
    It's a cool idea but the whole certification thing rubs me the wrong way, especially since it seems like they claim you need one to be a professional and to teach others.

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  5. #5
    I think that if you are a swim instructor already and have swum in a tail, you will probably be able to design your own swim classes that meet the needs of those who are trying to learn how to 'swim like a mermaid'. Build students' skill sets, teach them how to swim using a monofin, then swim with the full tail.

    @PearlieMae - I think you might be right!

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    It is like me using my credentials to run workshops on working with kids. I think being a mermaid is so multifaceted that these groups who want to teach mermaid swimming just have to focus on their presentation and not give people the wrong expectations.

    Weeki used to run camps for young folks too but they stopped because of liability issues with people wanting to go pro and trying to use the camp as a reference. And some tried to outright undercut weeki

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    Junior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    I live in the Philippines, so I'm a bit familiar with the organisation. I think they only call themselves an international association because it originated in Germany, and then branched out. They handle a school here called the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy, and hold classes in popular tourist sites and such. I've had friends who took their "mermaid swimming" course, and what they told me is that they basically rent out tails and teach them how to swim mostly with a monofin, and then with the tail for a little while, for 2500 php, which is around $56, and that's only for one 2-hour class! Most of the instructors are just swimming coaches, and some are also scuba-certified instructors. They also sell tails, but they won't sell them to you unless you've taken the course :/

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    I still think it's Kat Felton, the one who claims there are only about five real pro mermaids and she's the best one of them.

    EDITED TO ADD: From an interview she did with a magazine - I forget which one.

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    Last edited by PearlieMae; 06-22-2015 at 03:38 PM.

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    Senior Member Pod of Cali Ashe's Avatar
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    Pearlie, I find that so funny considering I've rarely ever heard of Kat
    she believed she could, so she did
    formerly known as Kalani



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    Senior Member Pod of Texas Seatan's Avatar
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    I think you would be better off getting certified by PADI or NAUI as a SCUBA diver and AIDA, ProTec, or Apnea Total as a Freediver, or simply use your swim instructor certification as a selling point. There is no such thing as a "mermaid certification" because it is not an actual type of diving or swimming. Some mermaids never get in the water. Some swim only on the surface which would not be considered diving. Some do simple pool tricks that require no training and are not truly "diving". Some practice apnea, some never hold their breath more than fifteen seconds. Some freedive. Some do underwater photography that requires the use of air at depth. You can't have a mermaid certification because there is no one thing a mermaid is. Better to say you are a "certified swim coach specializing in mermaid techniques with training in freediving to depth and use of underwater breathing apparatus" or, as Raina said, use other specialties. I could say that I am a "mermaiding coach with qualifications in childhood development and dealing with special needs and differently abled people who is also a certified PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder." I don't need to say I am a certified mermaid--my other certifications handle the load without putting down any extra money. After all, I AM a special needs teacher with experience in dealing with differently abled people who is a certified Rescue Diver. No, I didn't do any of those things to advance my mermaiding, but they still sound nice.
    Once upon a time I was known as Seavanna. Going by Seatan these days. I always wanted to be the high lord of underwater hell.

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    Senior Member Pod of Texas Seatan's Avatar
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    Also, never trust a "certification" program that states: Members of the association will be certified and will be recognized as the authorities in the industry, setting them apart from copycats and wannabe’s, with credibility and respect that can be earned through hard work and training, with good doses of exhilarating fun!

    PADI doesn't hiss: Members of PADI will be recognized as the most awesomest of divers unlike those loser wannabees certified by (ugh) NAUI!

    Real certification programs are interested in money, sure, but they also care about seeming professional and offering certifications that will really help you be a better [insert whatever]. The statement above has to be the most unprofessional thing I've ever read.

    Plus PADI can state that getting a Divemaster certification or whatever from them will actually mean something in the industry. These people are talking through their asses. Nobody even knows (or cares) who the hell they are.

    EDIT: And this is such a bullshit class:

    Mermaid Scuba Diving: Learning how to use the mermaid tail using a scuba unit. Scuba diving license is a must.

    ANYONE WITH A SCUBA LICENSE CAN SCUBA WITH A MERMAID TAIL ON IF THEY WISH. There are no specifications as to fin requirements when SCUBA diving if you are certified. I can tell you how to use a mermaid tail with a SCUBA unit: Sit on the edge of the boat in your tail. Have your dive buddy carry your BCD to you. Strap your ass in. Insert regulator and pull on mask. Push yourself off the boat. Make descent. SCUBA dive using dolphin kick. Follow all safety procedures you usually use. Ascend with buddy. Have someone pull you onto the boat or remove your tail in the water and climb out. Class dismissed. What they DO need is a: How to SCUBA dive in a mermaid tail without smacking the crap out of the coral wall and destroying fifty years of growth like a big dummy in an oversized fin--something I could see happening.
    Last edited by Seatan; 06-22-2015 at 01:31 PM.
    Once upon a time I was known as Seavanna. Going by Seatan these days. I always wanted to be the high lord of underwater hell.

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalani View Post
    Pearlie, I find that so funny considering I've rarely ever heard of Kat
    Yeah, she sort of put her fin in her mouth a few times, now very few take her seriously.

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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seavanna View Post
    Also, never trust a "certification" program that states: Members of the association will be certified and will be recognized as the authorities in the industry, setting them apart from copycats and wannabe’s,
    LOOOL omg
    I didn't even see that.
    Yep, that sounds a lot like someone we know.

    Also, the BS is strong in this one.
    Avoid.

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    The whole vibe of the association is very... money make-y?? Like, it's a big scheme to make a ton of money.

    And I completely agree with Seavanna. What these guys have are just scuba credentials and swimming experience, and then packaging it up by saying that it's enough for them to be #real mermaids. I don't understand how they can legitimately certify you to be a mermaid, let alone instruct other people to be mermaids???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seavanna View Post
    Mermaid Scuba Diving: Learning how to use the mermaid tail using a scuba unit. Scuba diving license is a must.

    ANYONE WITH A SCUBA LICENSE CAN SCUBA WITH A MERMAID TAIL ON IF THEY WISH. There are no specifications as to fin requirements when SCUBA diving if you are certified. I can tell you how to use a mermaid tail with a SCUBA unit: Sit on the edge of the boat in your tail. Have your dive buddy carry your BCD to you. Strap your ass in. Insert regulator and pull on mask. Push yourself off the boat. Make descent. SCUBA dive using dolphin kick. Follow all safety procedures you usually use. Ascend with buddy. Have someone pull you onto the boat or remove your tail in the water and climb out. Class dismissed. What they DO need is a: How to SCUBA dive in a mermaid tail without smacking the crap out of the coral wall and destroying fifty years of growth like a big dummy in an oversized fin--something I could see happening.
    OH MY GOODNESS, THIS CLASS. UGH, IT ANGERS ME TO THE CORE. They basically just give tails all willy-nilly to divers who have only learned how to swim with bifins, so THEY KNOCK EVERYTHING DOWN AND MUCK UP THE WHOLE SITE. The divers also usually end their dives early cause they weren't used to the monofin. I mean, come on

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    Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Sorry, I just landed here looking for more info,,, er I believe the first post was edited to erase it.... was there a problem??
    I mean I wanted the links and more info.
    anything we could get, People in my country is getting crazy about this and I wanted to know who certified that school in first place, or did they certify themselves? How long do they exist, who teaches
    that kind of thing...
    Last edited by H-SAMA; 02-07-2017 at 04:40 PM. Reason: more info

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    Curious to know if, in 3 years, any of these "certified mermaid" classes have improved in their curriculum. Reading through the thread, Seatan has a point about how the certifications with SCUBA diving associations are probably sufficient and have figured out the drama to professionalism ratio. I was also actually seeing something about SSI (NAUI/NASDS) promoting a mermaid instructor class. Would a weekend class from Weeki Wachee work?

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    Senior Member Ransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vabs View Post
    Curious to know if, in 3 years, any of these "certified mermaid" classes have improved in their curriculum. Reading through the thread, Seatan has a point about how the certifications with SCUBA diving associations are probably sufficient and have figured out the drama to professionalism ratio. I was also actually seeing something about SSI (NAUI/NASDS) promoting a mermaid instructor class. Would a weekend class from Weeki Wachee work?
    I've given this 'certification' thing a lot of thought. It does play a role in assuring others that you know what you're doing, and partially takes care of any liability issues. It really only works for specific, measurable skill-based things -- which is why orgs like scuba- and freediving agencies (not to mention driving) have all those checklists and minimum standards. You MUST meet those specifications; the agencies don't really dictate what you do with the certification once you have it.

    But mermaiding isn't a skill since anyone can put on a tail; in short, there is no one set of skills you need for anyone to say you are or aren't a mer.

    Those classes can only 'certify' you insofar as you've gone through the checklist, like monofin swimming, posing and quickly getting out of the tail should a problem occur. The cert you get is merely a souvenir, and completely useless as a reference for other activities like children's parties. The relevant skills there simply can't be taught in a weekend.

    (That said, lifesaving and rescue are far more relevant for pool work. THOSE can be certified, and savvier parents and clients will probably look out for those things.)

    I'd check out the 'mermaid instructor class' in more detail before saying anything either way. It seems to me that when teaching others, your students' safety is paramount and you've to be at the top of your game yourself since no one will be a 'buddy' with the sole duty of keeping you safe. How this works in mermaiding can be learned from an experienced trainer, and a cert does reflect that the person has the skills needed to hopefully take care of you.

    The important thing is to ensure that students don't come away with the wrong expectations, and clarify that the class is simply to look good, stay as safe as possible, and have a ton of fun.
    "Only in death does duty end." -- Warhammer 40,000

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    Senior Member Euro Pod MermanOliver's Avatar
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    Hm. Sorry to revive an old thread, but here in Germany there is an event planned called "MerLympics 2019", set in Wolfsburg end of September. It seems to be associated somehow with the International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, at least the group organizing the event has a big logo of them on their homepage. Prerequisite to attend at the Merlympics is completion of at least the basic training for selected disciplines and advanced training for all. On the website they state it is also for adults and men, so
    I have tried contacting them on Monday via e-mail, but have not received a response yet. Trying it now on Messenger.

    As the basic course is set at 40 euros, I guess it is at least worth a try, so I will try to enroll and keep you all updated.

    Sent from my H3311 using MerNetwork mobile app

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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    I see they've held that Merlympics event in the UK too.
    Having their own swimming courses as the prerequisite would be an absolute no-go for me.

    They don't hold the monopoly on swimming.
    Sadly, this kind of behaviour is typical for many german institutions (you have it in the business world and of course with schools and universities- they all only accept their own course takers, no matter what the subject)- figures since Kat is german.

    I do hope you have fun nontheless!

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