Category Archives: Kate Middleton

Female Close Protection Operatives Training, Level 1, September 1-9, 2012, Atlanta, GA

Athena’s Close Protection Operative certification is the next generation in Close Protection training. Our course has been adapted to meet the particular training and educational requirements, specific to female close protection operatives.

Basic Training:

-Principles of Executive Protection/Code of Conduct
-Solo Protector & in a Detail -Physical Security
-Protective Escort -Surveillance & Countersurveillance
-Protective Intelligence & Advance Operations
-Armed and Unarmed Combat/Krav Maga
-Anti-Terrorism (identification and and the terrorist cycle)
-Improvised Explosive Device
-Basic Pistol Training & Firearms Safety
-Event & Estate Security
-Behavioral Intelligence and Attack Recognition
-Dealing with Media & Paparazzi
-First Aid & CPR/AED

Our instructors are from Israel, Greece, and the United States. They brings ATHENA students unparalleled real world experience in protective service operations. Instructors that have served Prime Ministers, celebrities, CEO’s and other influential leaders will be teaching you.
We have an excellent success rate and once the course is completed we continue to work with our students to progress their development and assist their entry into the Close Protection world.

To learn more please visit:

For additional information and applications please e-mail:

Athena Academy official FB page:

Course cost is $2,000 with payment schedules available to those who qualify. Deposits for this course are $500, and full course fees paid 3 weeks before starting date.

Application date open until July 30

Do you know who you are hiring?

Do we really know what the role of the Close Protection Agent is? Do we really know what characteristics they must have before we start hiring people?

We have taken many times in the past analyzing what kind of training a CPO must have gone through, but this time, after the recent incident with Kate Middleton’s bodyguard I thought to share with you my thoughts in a different topic.(

Besides being well trained and licensed, a Close Protection Agent must be someone who you can trust, if you trust him/her your life then don’t you think they need to meet some ethical requirements? A CPO must be someone who will not use your personal or business information to write a book or make ‘’a story’’ in the TV. We have seen way too many bodyguards, that after being fired they discovered the author inside them and start putting on a book all the personal details of their ex client. Professional? I don’t think so. Remember that being responsible for your safety they are there with you, in almost every moment of your daily life, in your dates, when you discuss or arrange important business deals etc, so it is very important that person to be discreet and confidential.

What about their personal ethics? Would you hire someone that has been accused or charged for illegal actions? Of course we all deserve a second chance in our life. But it is necessary for you to investigate and do a good research on the person’s you are going to hire background. In my experience I have seen people who have been charged for financial frauds and run security companies, people who have pending accusations against their convictions of violence and many more examples.

So would you rather trust those kinds of people or stay away and look to hire those with Clean Criminal Record?

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

Prince William and Female Bodyguards

By Lauren Thompson

Prince William has a female bodyguard - so what?

BIG DEAL: Britain’s first female Beefeater at the Tower of London

A PHOTOGRAPH of Prince William’s new bodyguard – who happens to be a woman – featured on the front page of the Sunday Times this week.

The headline read: “Girl Power: William gets close protection”.

“Prince William leaves the Embassy club in London… accompanied by his two new female police protection officers,” read the caption.

Is it really newsworthy that a royal bodyguard is female? I doubt there would ever be a headline entitled “Boy Power” to point out William had two male bodyguards. Perhaps the fact that the bodyguard pictured was a young, attractive blonde woman helped to get the story on the front page.

It got me thinking about other women in traditionally male jobs that have featured in the news this year – and the prejudices and criticisms they have faced.

Britain’s first female Beefeater at the Tower of London, Moira Cameron, hit the headlines in September for shattering 500 years of tradition. When interviewed by the press, she said: “I had one chap at the gate who said he was completely and utterly against me doing the job.”

In April, Jacqui Oatley became the first woman commentator on TV’s Match Of The Day. An internet campaign to fire Oatley, imaginatively entitled “Woman Commentator On MotD – Go Back To The Kitchen,” gained 3,172 members in one week. Many sexist commentators, including Jimmy Greaves in The Sun, appeared to be dumbfounded by her appointment and lamented back to an age when “Men were men, women were women and we knew who each other were.”

Another Jacqui, Britain’s first home secretary, came under fire in the first week of her job for – god forbid – having breasts. Several derogatory remarks were made about Ms Smith’s (barely visible) cleavage when she addressed the House of Commons regarding the Glasgow airport terror attack. She rightly told such journalists to “get over yourselves.”

We may have female bodyguards and football commentators, but the controversy surrounding their appointment shows how far women still have to go.

China – Wealthy Use Female Bodyguards

by Anthony Kuhn

Some wealthy Chinese are seeking a measure of protection by hiring private bodyguards. There are some occasions, though, where it can be awkward to have a burly guy with a buzz cut and shades by your side. So some businessmen have begun hiring female bodyguards.

Zhao Xin, 23, grew up in a family of athletes in Changchun city in North East China, a region traditionally known as Manchuria. She’s heavy-set, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and her right roundhouse kick slams into the heavy punching bag with a meaty thud.

“Before I got into sports, I was rather introverted,” she says. “I didn’t dare to talk much. But once I started practicing martial arts, my character started to change. I became more outgoing… just like a boy.”

At sports school, Zhao trained in full-contact sparring. She recently joined a training program for bodyguards at the Tianyu martial arts school. The course includes instruction in driving, computer skills and self-defense-related laws. Zhao says she has already found work.

A local executive, who had received threats that his child would be kidnapped, hired Zhao to escort his child to and from school.

Zhao’s classmate Jiang Meng, 22, says she can’t wait to graduate from the bodyguard course and go on her first assignment.

“In traditional China, education didn’t do women much good,” Meng says. “They’d just find a husband, get married and lead a stable life. That’s not what I hope for. I like danger. After all, we only live once. I want to show everybody what I’ve got.”

Zhao and Meng’s teacher is Xing Tianzhu, a veteran martial artist, former special forces soldier, and a former bodyguard.

One company in southwestern Yunnan province recently hired one of Xing’s bodyguards, a woman named Sun Linlin. The company’s president spoke on the condition that he be identified only by his family name, Zhao. He notes that Chinese have long prized Manchurian bodyguards for their physical size, loyalty and bravery, and female bodyguards have advantages of their own.

“I think that women tend to work more carefully and their powers of observation are sharper than men,” the company president says. “My company also has three or four male bodyguards, and I find it works best when we use men and women in different combinations, depending on the task.”

He confirms that his female bodyguard handily fended off four assailants who harassed his wife in a local restaurant in January.

China’s government has not recognized the bodyguard profession’s legal status, so for the moment, Xing calls his bodyguard firm a “business etiquette” company. Some law-enforcement officials believe the protection business should not be left to the private sector. But Xing says that firms like his need recognition and regulation.

“Every dynasty in China has had private security firms,” Xing says. “They fill a definite need within our society. After all, the government can’t send troops and police to give private entrepreneurs personal protection.”

Russian Women Flock to Female Bodyguard Training

“I like to defend the weak,” the bodyguard said at a recent training class. As another participant lunged at her with a plastic knife, Korolyova cracked the assailant’s arm and slammed her to the floor. Retreating, knife in hand, Korolyova triumphantly fired a fake gun at her attacker.
The 27-year-old’s clients are businesswomen and rich wives, though she won’t name names. She used to be a hockey player — now she’s an expert at hand-to-hand fighting and extreme driving.
“People arrive at the idea that it’s not bad to have a woman in a team of men,” she said. “A woman thinks differently, feels differently, acts differently. She’s softer. She smiles.”
For those who hire bodyguards in Russia, the market is becoming ever more diversified. Now they can turn to schools with standardized qualifications, and employ someone like Korolyova, one of perhaps 10 female bodyguards in the country.
More people might well feel like they need to hire bodyguards. With the recent slayings of Andrei Kozlov, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, journalist Anna Politkovskaya and other figures, bodyguarding seems as relevant as it did during the chaotic 1990s.
At least seven businesspeople, including Kozlov, have been killed since September 2006, said Dmitry Fonarev, a member of former President Mikhail Gorbachev’s security team who runs the National Association of Bodyguards of Russia.
The body count among private security guards is also high. “There wasn’t a week when a bodyguard or a member of personal security wasn’t killed in Russia” last year, said Vyacheslav Zanevsky, head of a Moscow bodyguard school.
“A war is going on the whole time — a war is going on everywhere,” he said.
There are about 15,000 bodyguards in Russia permitted to carry firearms, Fonarev estimated, with 5,000 in Moscow and the Moscow region. There are 1,500 in St. Petersburg, and 2,000 in the Volga River cities of Samara and Tolyatti. Their combined population is less than half that of St. Petersburg, but the region is a major industrial center.
At the schools churning out bodyguards — there are perhaps 20 in Moscow — attention is focused on the needs of affluent clients. There are women like Korolyova, who can slip past face control into a club with a female charge, or can inconspicuously accompany her shopping.
And at Zanevsky’s school, founded in 2001, there’s an etiquette teacher who lectures on smart attire and how to behave in wealthy society.
“People are paying attention to how [a bodyguard] talks, dresses,” Zanevsky said. “It’s important that he carries himself, cynically speaking, like a very high-class purchase — one that you can show to friends, with whom you’re not embarrassed to walk down Novy Arbat.”

Having a polite, more sophisticated bodyguard is key also because there’s a trend for bodyguards to be more than heavies, and something like a personal director, Zanevsky said. They can decide how and when a liege travels to a particular meeting, for example, or whether it’s inadvisable altogether.
“He doesn’t chat with his client like a bodyguard,” Zanevsky said.
“He has to be an artist. There are some situations where you have to find solutions to problems, and it’s not clear.”
Schools like Zanevsky’s have only existed since the Soviet collapse, he said. A basic two-week course including lessons on escorting cars and extreme medicine costs 29,000 rubles.
When hiring a bodyguard, experts advise finding one through personal recommendations, and not by trawling phone directories. Also, they say, be aware that the profession of bodyguarding has almost no legal status in Russia, and so if something goes wrong, questions about insurance and compensation can get very messy.
“There is a void in the law locally,” said Alex Vlassoff, a French security consultant based in Moscow. Security firms “write a contract to protect a person’s tie, their briefcase” — and in that way the person is protected.
A bodyguard without firearms should cost about $1,500 a month, and with firearms around $2,500 a month, Fonarev said. His group rents out armored BMW 750s for 1,400 euros a day.
There are approximately 4,600 security companies in Moscow, Fonarev said. It’s a fractious community: Fonarev and Zanevsky used to work together, but split after a dispute.
A prominent Western bank official who has been in Moscow almost a decade, and asked not to be identified, said he had not yet observed a surge in demand for bodyguards from foreign businesses as a result of the recent killings. “A number of companies on the Western side don’t even use bodyguards,” he said.
The murders of Kozlov and Politkovskaya were “only something that startled the community.”
Korolyova, the bodyguard, also said that so far, there had been very few occasions when she had been required to deploy her carefully cultivated combat skills on the job.
“Most often, thank God, only in life — on the streets,” she said. “I’m a peace-loving person.”Via The Moscow Times