Rainbow Divers with Grant Martin.
Vietnam’s only PADI CDC + IDCs: Rainbow Divers with Grant Martin
Take your IDC in Vietnam
PADI Platinum Course Director Grant Martin has been diving since 1994 with over 10,000 logged dives in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Borneo, India, Honduras, Laos and Malaysia; yes strictly warm water! Still actively diving and teaching all student and instructor levels, he feels that too many CD’s solely concentrate on just instructor level certifications, whereas Grant prefers to continue teaching all levels, including DSDs, to help keep his skills honed and in touch with the complete system of PADI training.
What is the philosophy of your company?
Although not directly involved with the running of dive centers in Vietnam, he is still highly active in an advisory role for Rainbow Divers’ 6 centres throughout the Country and works closely with Rainbow GM, Chris Ephgrave. Grant sees this as an advantage and benefit as he can totally concentrate of what he loves doing the most: diving + teaching.
Grant’s Diving Background
Grant carries 19 Instructor Trainer ratings with PADI, as well as EFR, CFC, DSAT and Dan IT ratings and has been team teaching over 1,500 professional level students and over 5,000 student level certifications at Rainbow Divers, Vietnam.
Grant is undoubtedly the most experienced Instructor teaching in Vietnam, but is the first to point out that with all DM + PADI IDC training, it’s very much a team effort! His ‘protégé’ Matthew Saw, focuses on the DM Trainees and then gently handles them over to Grant for the IDCs. Then they both work together to gain optimum results.
His Instructional style, definitely somewhat unique, has matured over the last 10 years by team teaching closely with Jeremy Stein (Rainbow Divers owner + founder) and with other CD’s in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Honduras and Malaysia.
Grants valuable experience, in his opinion, comes from a ‘never say die’ philosophy and never giving up on his candidates; going that extra mile, being available 24/7 when an IDC is in progress as he always seems to be happiest when he is taking on additional challenges. Such as using his large experienced staff to reschedule the IDC program so that he can focus on candidates taking the course in a language that he does not speak or people with learning difficulties, which he believes can only add to his experience as a professional dive educator.
Grant prides himself on the fact that the majority of his IDC candidates pass with a score of over 4 and are more than ready to take their place in the instructor community. Although a 100% first time pass rate is what every CD would like, Grant only achieves a 94-95% pass rate because of the added challenges mentioned above. However, with Rainbow Divers, he’s not looking to teach a high number of Instructors, just high quality!
Grant currently oversees professional training of 20-30 Instructors, 6 IDC Staff and 5 MI’s at Rainbow Divers throughout Vietnam. He is 43 years old and schedules just 6 IDC’s a year, so that he can also work with Tec and entry level students at grass root level.
With over 10,000 dives, 16 years experience, 5,000+ student level certifications and
over 1,500 Instructor-level certifications, Grant is regarded as one of the consummate professionals in PADI.
Grant would consider himself as coming from the ‘school of life’ and carries this philosophy with him in everything that he does. Honesty, hard work, commitment, doing your best and learning from mistakes are what drives Grant. He learnt this from an early age learnt that honesty was always the best policy. Grant comes from a modest family that worked hard to achieve their goals and who helped him get where he is today. However he is also responsible for a lot of his own success due to the philosophy that has been handed down to him by family, friends and co-workers.
Grant believes that you should not regret the things you have done in the past, but only regret the things that you have never done (within reason of course!)
Grant first discovered diving in Utila, Honduras in 1994 where he did his open water course with Captain Morgans, then went straight into his Advanced Course with the same dive company and never really intended to go any further with his education as he just wanted to fun dive around the world on his travels. It wasn’t until the late 90’s that a combination of meeting Jeremy Stein of Rainbow Divers in Vietnam and a proposal of marriage over the internet from a young lady who was back in England, that made Grant have a knee jerk reaction to stay away from England for as long as possible. Obviously Grant had to think for a means to finance this cowardly situation!
With Rainbow Divers, Grant completed his Rescue, MFA, MSD, Divemaster, AI and Instructor Courses. He took his IDC in Vietnam with Jeremy and the late Steve Blumenthal and passed his IE first time with 100% passing scores! This was history in the making as it was Vietnam’s first ever IDC/IE. Once his teaching status was received he was put straight to work and his first student was John Connerton the third. Grant remembers this for two reasons; the first he got the PIC wrong, and the second, at the end of the course John said to Grant “you must have been doing this for a long time”. Grant’s reply of course was “yes”.
Well, he could be described to be many things, most of which are probably true! But when Grant enters what he calls “IDC Mode”, it is what it says on the can. Aside from teaching in the classroom, pool, or open water within the IDC curriculum, he then makes himself available for consultation.
Why should you take your IDC with Grant and the Rainbow Pro-Team?
IDC’s with Grant are extended and can sometimes be intense for candidates, however he always keeps them light hearted but serious.
His IDC’s are individually named and the name usually derives from something stupid that has been said or done during the training.
Has anything funny happened during your IDC courses?
The knowledge development presentations are usually the best place for amusing comments to be made and a few of Grant particular favourites are…
- One candidate giving a Knowledge Presentation saying that if you spot an aggressive animal underwater you should take your reg out and press the purge button to scare it away. He was talking about sharks!
- Grant was helping a candidate out with a Knowledge Development presentation making some suggestions for a contact and value, the candidate replied to Grant that his idea was not a bad one and it might just work!
- Grant once took one of his future IDC Candidates out for a check out dive. Once back on the boat the candidate went up to one of his staff and said, “That Grant can Dive!”. Thanks.
- And perhaps the funniest of all that has just been released in the current IDC. One candidate was promoting continuing education up to Course Director. She did her math based on the number of candidates in the room and suggested that as a Course Director you could earn $6,000 every two weeks; that’s $12,000 a month. Clearly inaccurate information! That has to score a 1!
Grant prides himself, and some would call it an obsession, on whatever course, entry level or professional level, whatever student or candidate, whatever learning difficulty or disability, he will never give up and will always strive to produce a higher level. Basically if he starts something he finishes to, no matter how long it takes.
Grant enjoys all levels of certification but his particular favourite has to be Tec Diving which includes dry specs such as Gas Blender, through Full Face Mask, Nitrox, Deep, Rebreather and of course Tec 40/45 and Tec 50.
What do his IDC students think of Grant?
My experience with Grant Martin started in March 2010 when I joined Rainbow Divers for a Dive master internship. One of the things that impressed me about Rainbow was the high level of experienced instructors that I would have as mentors through my program, Grant being the head of this. I personally have never come across not only a dive instructor but a teacher from any field that consistently finds a way to get 110% from his students and teach in a style that assists that students learning so they can understand then put into practise there learning. All this is done in a serious but a very fun and enjoyable manner, which is let’s face it why people dive.
Throughout my dive master internship Grant was always there to lend his assistance and knowledge anytime I had a question or just a general chat about diving or life. But my real interaction as a student of Grants came when, after enjoying my time so much at Rainbow and realising I was in a very good place to learn and discover the professional side of the dive industry I decided to enrol in the Instructor Development Course.
The course, which was tough at times with long days and a lot to learn, was made a lot easier with Grants experience and expertise. It was amazing to watch him teach the five candidates in the room, myself included. I could see him using different styles of teaching and his ability to read people and quickly figure out how to portray the information so all could understand. When you do make a mess of something Grant isn’t afraid to tell you, but this is soon followed by a complete explanation of where you went wrong and a few solutions to fix your problem so you could understand. It was rare to see anyone make the same mistake twice due to this in depth teaching and understanding which I think is a credit to Grant.
When it came to our Instructor Examination I found it very easy and simple. I was understandably nervous but with a certain amount of confidence knowing that I had been taught over the previous two weeks by someone with an outstanding knowledge of the Padi System and a lot of experience with, at the time, nearly 30 IDC’s under his belt. All four candidates that participated in my IE passed with flying colours (the fifth candidate pulling out due to an ear problem). I think that all candidates would agree we owe this to Grant.
The wisdom and mentoring hasn’t stopped there. I am now employed by Rainbow and Grant is always around to give his help and assistance whenever needed. He recently helped me gain my specialty instructor rating in my chosen areas, giving me a full understanding of what the specialties involve and the confidence knowing that anytime I have a question he is always around to help.
All in all I feel very privileged to have had Grant as a mentor during my time at Rainbow. His help and guidance has shaped me as the Instructor I am today, and I am constantly learning from the little bits of advice he gives from time to time or the conversations we have about my teaching techniques. I feel very lucky to have someone to turn to like Grant with his experience and wisdom.
Ross M. Farmer
PADI Instructor Number 271143
What else do you like (not diving related)?
When Grant is not working (chance would be a fine thing!) he helps his wife manage and run the Rainbow Bar + Restaurant in Nha Trang, but outside of work Grant likes to relax and play with his two year old daughter Abigail. When Abigail is not around Grant loves to jump on his Honda Hornet and ride with the Nha Trang Motorbike Club, of which he is a member, only two of which are westerners. When at home Grant also has a love for scalextric racing cars and x-box, racing games of course!
Deep down Grant is a bit of a speed freak and his heart rate never slows down especially when he is watching his beloved Wolves!
Grant considers himself very lucky to be a PADI Course Director, knowing that without the support of certain people he would have never have been given the opportunity and is always grateful to those who helped him succeed. He loves the respect that he is given, but always remembers this and never abuses his position. The great thing about being a CD is the flexibility he has with the variety of courses that he is able to teach. Basically never getting bored as it changes from one week to the next and is never same, same: always same, same but different!
What does the future hold for you?
As for the future, on the whole Grant his happy and contented with his life. He has good friends around him, a great dive operation, a lovely environment to work in, great wife, a lovely daughter and of course his Honda Hornet. Grant feels that he will always be based in Vietnam as it is home for him and he wants to continue to spend the extra time and effort into further training locals to continue their education correctly. The Vietnamese really do respect anybody that can do this for them and it is a nice feeling to have.
To further his education Grant would like to spend some time team- teaching IDC’s across the globe and learning from some other Course Directors that he looks up to.
Click on the photo to the right to view a photo gallery from a recent IDC class