What do you expect?
Some helpful hints to getting your foot in the door.
By Jason Collins
CPS, Security Consultant, CP Instructor
You have taken the time to go through one of the many Executive Protection schools around the world. You’ve sacrificed time and money for this training. You’ve learned the core fundamentals to becoming a bodyguard. Now you are ready to break out and start working in the industry.
How do I do this? First off, begin marketing yourself…..from this point on, YOU make or break YOUR future.
- Network, network, network…..get to know potential clients, fellow operators, job opportunities. The internet and today’s technologies, brings everything you need to begin, right to your fingertips. So utilize it…… your instructors, fellow students and former graduates are always a great place to start.
- Due diligence and following instructions- if you are on a job board site and see a job that interests you, DO NOT just apply for it….thoroughly read the post….if it says “in need of a Spanish speaking operator with 2 years experience in south America”, do not apply if this is your first attempt at finding work, you only speak your native language and you have never left your country. Find out all the facts before jumping into something you have no idea about. Know beforehand, what it is you’re getting into.
- Be professional…..again, you make or break your future. You will most certainly be overlooked if you respond to a job bid or post with poor grammar and an obvious lack of professionalism. Sell yourself.
- Know what you’re looking for … whether you want to go the celebrity, corporate, local or corporate warrior route, due your research. Utilize the resources out there for finding work in that specific niche. Start small. Make yourself known to local LEO agencies, state and municipal government agencies. Your local mayor, political campaigns, domestic abuse centers and currier services and strike work details are all good starting points.
- KEEP TRAINING. I cannot emphasize this enough. Just because you’ve gone through a “bodyguard” school does not mean you’re ready to take on the world…..It is just the beginning….train often. Keep your skill set fresh and evolving. The more you train, the better you become.
- And finally……apply with multiple agencies, multiple positions and multiple jobs. Always be on “a list” . more often than not, things don’t “just happen”. Things (jobs/contracts) take time. Logistics and regulations have to be met and followed through. So be on the list so when and if it does happen, you’re there. If you bank everything on one job, you’re going to get discouraged regularly when that job fails to take place.
Hopefully, this can get you on the right track to finding work….always ask questions, be professional, have integrity and don’t burn bridges.
A bodyguard profession is 90% pre-intelligence (mental awareness) and 10 % physical combat abilities. When an attack or fight occurs, it is the responsibility of the bodyguard to spurn the attack and get the client safely out of harm’s way. It is never a bodyguard’s job to fight. Another important point: bodyguards need to blend with their environment. In many photos taken with celebrities it is easy to point out the bodyguard. With diplomats and prime ministers or presidents, this should not ever be the case. Why? Because depending on the importance of the detail and threat level, it is known well the requirement to set when hiring a close protection agent. These requirements will always include: good physical condition, acceptable weight and those who can react and move fast.
Knowing what being a bodyguard entails, I wonder why 99% of the descriptive involving bodyguards revolve around the “huge” or “big guy” phrases. Simply put, the media is used to showing the celebrity bodyguards who have come from the doorman or club scenes and sometimes people have close connections in the music scene. What is most alarming is the large number of them having no relevant close protection-operatives training. In some cases those who do attend a training school are unable to meet the physical or mental demands due to the intensive training level. Therefore eliminating themselves from the program.
If you happen to be a “huge” or “big guy”, you will do good if you want to keep the paparazzi at bay and block photos of your clients, however it is not ok when you have to do an actual close-protection detail. Some may say that being that “big guy” will keep attackers from reaching the client or detail. This is not fact. Keep in mind those who have experienced boxing training or a street fight will say that they felt exhausted after 2-3 minutes of the fight. No matter your athletic ability or physical condition, you will find yourself exhausted after minutes. With this said, it is not my intention to offend, but to inform. Could you be so sure to rely that a “huge” bodyguard will be able to react as well as the physically conditioned and fit protection operative?
Gone are the days of the hired “thug” or “goon” as protection specialists…..today’s bodyguards are highly trained in their skill set and training and are of all shapes and sizes…..male AND female
Founder and World-Wide Director of Athena Academy of Female Bodyguards, LLC
C.P.S. Security Consultant
So whats the deal? Did the bodyguards of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s daughter go to far when they allegedly assulted two photograhers?
We say yes, if we are talking about un warranted assult. We say no, if they were truly protecting their client from intentional acts of harm real or perceived.
Hong Kong’s head prosecutor decided not to prosecute the male Mapfumo Marks and female bodyguard, Manyaira Reliance Pepukai, who allegedly felt that they had reason to expect that the photographers posed a threat to their client when they were trespassing. Photographers Colin Galloway and Tim O’Rourke, working for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper were alleged to get to close when the O’Rourke was gripped by his neck supposedly from the female bodyguard, while the male bodyguard some how bruised Galloway.
This should have never happen. First, how did the photographers get so close to the principa (client) that the bodyguards had to take this action? Second, there is something that happens to bodyguards when they perceive a threat. Their adrenaline pumps and they may not think clearly. It is imperative to train for issues where a potential threat does get close to your client. The most important issue is to determine if they are a threat in very short order so you do know how to handle a situation.
It is my opinion that the male and female bodyguard both were aware that these visitors were photographers. Is it possible that they felt untouchable because of who their client was? Were they trained in how to identify a real threat? Is it possible that they are just inexperienced and have not had the training in when it is appropriate to use combative or defensive techniques.
We don’t know the answers. We are not assuming that the male and female bodyguards did anything wrong. However, when an incident ocurrs with a bodyguard you will be sure to read about it. Our job is to not only protect the client from intentional acts of harm but also protect them from embarassing situations. Is it possible that the client or family is embarassed by the negative attention?
Professionalism, education, training and more training are required in this industry. A professional bodyguard should not go a year without refresher training for some of the basics and should not fail to update themselves with the latest in combatting terrorism and keeping their clients safe.
Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS
I just thought you would like to read something about other women in the bodyguard industry. This is just another example of how much female bodyguards have been used over the years and that their is a rich history behind not only the bodyguard profession but the female bodyguards who have been providing security for hundereds of years.
-Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS
King Houegbadja (who ruled from 1645 to 1685), the third King of Dahomey, is said to have originally started the group which would become the Amazons as a corps of elephant hunters called the gbeto. During the 18th century, the king had some of his wives trained as royal bodyguards.
Houegbadja’s son King Agadja (ruling from 1708 to 1732) developed the female bodyguard into a militia and successfully used them in Dahomey’s defeat of the neighbouring kingdom of Savi in 1727. European merchants recorded their presence, as well as similar female warriors amongst the Ashanti. For the next hundred years or so, they gained reputation as fearless warriors. Though they fought rarely, they usually acquitted themselves well in battle.
The group of female warriors was referred to as Mino, meaning “Our Mothers” in the Fon language by the male army of Dahomey. From the time of King Ghezo (ruling from 1818 to 1858), Dahomey became increasingly militaristic. Ghezo placed great importance on the army and increased its budget and formalized its structures. The Mino were rigorously trained, given uniforms, and equipped with Danish guns (obtained via the slave trade). By this time the Mino consisted of between 4000 and 6000 women, about a third of the entire Dahomey army.
To read the rest of the story:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahomey_Amazons
It was close to midnight. Sarita Mehra, a senior executive at a multinational company, was driving back home from the office. Suddenly, two men on motorbikes zipped by her, making obscene gestures as they sped by. “It had been going on for days. These men always harassed women drivers,” Mehra told DNA.
The next night, however, Sharma was prepared. As soon as she spotted the culprits, she pulled up by the side of the road. The bikers stopped and menacingly approached the car. What the goons weren’t expecting, however, was the woman seated in the passenger seat getting out and fighting back. She kicked one in the groin, while punching the other’s face.
“We had called the police earlier, and within minutes the men were nabbed,” said Jyoti Singh, the woman who rained down the pain on the eve teasers. Singh belongs to a growing breed of women bodyguards who are trying to make the city safer for other women.
With incidents of sexual crimes on the rise, security agencies are cashing in on the idea of providing personalised security services for women, by women. “Our clients feel comfortable around female bodyguards,” said Deepak Monga, head of marketing and communication, Topsgrup security agency.
However, the service does not come cheap. Priced between Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 per month for an eight to 12 hour shift, it is affordable only to high profile clients.
Despite steep rates, the demand in Mumbai and other urban areas is growing. According to industry estimates, there are nearly half a dozen security agencies in the city, employing 30 to 50 women bodyguards each. “We started out a year ago with only a small number. Now we have 60 women bodyguards working actively across India, 45 of which operate in Mumbai alone,” Monga added.
Women bodyguards are also ideal for ‘covert security cover’, when clients don’t want to bring unnecessary attention to themselves.
“A man with bulging muscles will not only scare away potential molesters, but also colleagues and acquaintances,” laughs businesswoman Leena Shah, who has a woman bodyguard posing as her personal assistant. Others like Swati More and Deepa Patnaik guard children of the rich and the famous at schools and playgrounds while pretending to be nannies or maidservants.
Meanwhile, security agencies are busy touting the idea of female bodyguards as a solution to crime against women. “Once the trend catches on there will be a drop in incidents of harassment, and rape,” feels Monga. That remains to be seen, but efforts to make Mumbai a safer place for women seem to have begun.