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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

Satori Academy Rides Again!

The Satori Academy, which put together and trained thirty-five 4-way teams and two 8-way teams is starting up again!

Satori Green Exit
Satori Green Exit

Tryouts begin!

The project puts together 4-way teams from those who apply, matching people of similar skills, aims and personalities. Then the Academy arranges training camps – tunnel and sky – for each team, according to budget, availability and goals. So, they handhold you all the way to the podium! Tryouts are on 19 and 20 Jan, at Bodyflight Bedford.

The Satori project is run by World Champion Julia Foxwell/Swallow, with the aid of other Satori coaches. It first started in 2011 and ran for 5 years, creating the following teams:

  • Satori White
  • Satori Yellow
  • Satori Cyan
  • Satori Turquoise
  • Satori Fuschia
  • Satori Green
  • Satori Purple
  • Satori Black
  • Satori Red
  • Satori Blue
  • Satori Cobalt
  • Satori Orange
  • Satori Magenta
  • Satori Azure
  • Satori Crimson
  • Satori Claret
  • Satori Sapphire
  • Satori Aqua
  • Satori Zaffre
  • Satori Midnight.

Teams from the Satori Academy have won medals as follows:

Rookie – three bronze, four silver

A – five bronze, two silver, one gold

AA – two bronze, four silver, two gold

AAA – one bronze, three silver, one gold

8 way Intermediate – two Silver

Julia Foxwell, winning both 4-way and 8-way Nationals! — by Rob Lloyd
Julia Foxwell, winning both 4-way and 8-way Nationals! — by Rob Lloyd

Julia ‘Foxy’ Swallow is starting up the project again. Everyone, no matter what ability, is invited to apply for the tryouts if they are interested in a 4-way project next year. The tryouts take place in the tunnel on 19th & 20th January at Twinwoods, Bedford.

Team Training for the selected teams/individuals will be in 2019 at the Bedford Wind tunnel, Skydive Hibaldstow, Skydive Algarve and Skydive Spain.

We asked Foxy to tell us a bit more about the project…

Why did you start the Academy and what were your goals?

When I started wanting to be in a 4 way team back in 1996 I always struggled to find a 3rd and 4th person, and as the years went on that problem never seemed to go away. I always wished there was some kind of academy that I could join, as I had the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication but I just couldn’t find like-minded team mates. My goal was to build a network of people and therefore teams of team mates that have a similar drive to train and compete at the British Nationals.

What sort of person would benefit?

They need to meet the characteristics of the type of person that will fit in the academy. This is someone that has bags of enthusiasm, willingness to learn and progress, is prepared to be challenged and is committed to the importance of being a good team player.

Just to add, we don’t just take on individuals, we also encourage teams or partial teams to join the academy.

How do you decide who to put with who on the teams?

There’s a huge number of areas that are looked at when putting the individuals together. Some of the factors are; matching the characteristics I mentioned above, location, weight, experience level, future goals, goals in terms of jump numbers and tunnel time for that season. The personalities and potential of the individual are important factors. Sometimes we need to ask people to do extra work in order to join, such as lose weight, learn the dive pool, get stronger/fitter etc.

Is there a minimum budget for the training?

The minimum commitment for the academy is 60 jumps and 4 hours in the tunnel. Generally, Rookies & A teams will do 60 jumps, AA teams will do 60-80 jumps and AAA will do 80-100. You aim to budget around £3,500-£5,000 for the season which will include everything including coaching, tunnel time, jumps, packing, travel, etc

Why did you choose Bedford, Hibaldstow, Spain and Algarve as the training locations?

The initial reason was because we (Satori) were training at those locations and we would be already at the particular location just before or after the teams are training. The reason why Satori chose Hibaldstow, Spain and Algarve as training locations was because they allowed us to maximise the effectiveness of our day due to how well run the locations are and how many jumps we can get in each day.

The reason why we have continued at those locations with the Academy is due to how easy the day is run for the teams, the turnaround is perfect for training – it’s not too fast, but not too slow, they have great facilities and they are very much part of the team to help Satori Academy achieve their goals.

Satori Academy medal-winning teams
Satori Academy medal-winning teams

What is the most important benefit – the world class 4-way training or running the admin? From listening to people that have joined the academy, they love the fact that they get multiple coaches, that are all saying the same thing but in a slightly different way. As the coaches are all teammates and have been for years, the information that’s passed over is matched and communication between the coaches is high. The admin side is a major plus point. When teams that are formed at the beginning of the year fail to get to the Nationals it’s usually largely due to lack of organization or being let down by someone on the team. Satori have been in 4-way teams for over 30 years and our experience is passed on to the teams by running everything for them from sorting out packers, cameramen, replacement team mates, alternates, tunnel time, etc. We make sure that all teammates meet the commitment they initially promised.

What do new teams need most from their coach?

The biggest thing that a coach can give teams, particularly when they are new, is patience. There has to be a mix of taking it seriously but also ensuring that everyone is enjoying themselves. Motivation can wane for new teams when they are starting to get tired in the middle of a training camp, and a coach needs to be one step ahead to help to manage motivation levels.

What about the Academy are you most proud of?

When people tell me that they were strongly considering leaving the sport/4-way but the academy has given them a new lease of enthusiasm and has kept them in the sport. After years of forming particular teams, I still see those individuals jumping together and friendships cemented, which would not have happened without the academy.

Will the Academy take any new approach in 2019?

I’d like to get more involved with team members when they are not at the DZ/tunnel to ensure they are doing their ‘homework’ when away from the team, so when they are back together they can maximise effectiveness of their training sessions.

How do people join in or find out more?

They can email to ask for a registration form for the try outs. The registration forms will provide them with additional information about the academy, or they can visit or our Facebook page Satori Academy.

What sort of feedback did you have?

Well here's a nice letter we had that sums it up…

Hi Jules, Aaron and John,

Thank you for the information, Satori Purple are incredibly excited about the Nationals! The whole academy experience has been fantastic, we have learnt so much and made so many new friends.

Thank you all so much for the effort you have put into our training, Aaron you have been an amazing coach and Jules there would be no Satori academy without your incredible organisational skills!

We will do our best to make you proud!

Amanda, Stu, Paul and Katie.x