Tag Archives: celebrity bodyguard

Celebrity Bodyguard Training (July 7-11)

Icon Services Corporation presents our highly regarded five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection. If you are new to the bodyguard industry or a current operator looking to refresh and polish your skills, this course will offer excellent instruction into the professional side of Close Protection work. Taught by industry veteran Elijah Shaw, who in addition to his corporate clients, has traveled the world as the personal bodyguard of international public figures such as musical giant Usher, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and rap megastar 50 Cent, the course will offer real world problems, scenarios, and solutions from instructors that are currently active in the industry.

“Your training is an invaluable tool to your industry. I was very impressed how close to realistic training you all provide. Having been taught by the best, I can honestly state that I learned quite a bit in your class. There is always room for improving ones skill set, and your training definitely added to mine.”

Special Agent Robert E. Jones / US Secret Service

 

to learn more visit www.Industry-Icon.com/CPC

ICON Advanced Pistol Training (July 12-14)

ICON presents a fast paced comprehensive course for intermediate to experienced shooters.  Taught by our highly qualified instructors, this two day course is open to the public and will prove a dynamic experience into the world of offensive/defensive shooting using a combination of classroom, drills and extended live fire exercises.  In addition, an optional 3rd day is offered to members of the Executive Protection Community so that they may enhance their skill set. 

Limited seating available.

To learn more or sign up for the course, visit www.Industry-Icon.com/Training

Fashion Trend: Bulletproof Polos?

While you won’t find them at Macy’s or Saks, Colombian designer Miguel Caballero has created a polo shirt “resistant” to rounds from an Uzi machine gun.  Mr. Caballero claims to have outfitted dignitaries such as President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia.  I could see the demand from both of these guys.

The  shirt comes in multiple levels of protection:

Level 1 IIA: 9mm / 40 Smith and Wesson FMJ
Level 2 II: 9mm / .357 Magnum / 38 Super / Mini Uzi submachine gun
Level 3 IIIA: Uzi machine gun / MP5,MP9 submachine gun / 44 Magnum SJHP / Stab-proof

And of course the price $, 4000 USD.

Advanced Pistol Vehicle Engagements

A small preview of the training for the upcoming ICON Advanced Pistol Course.   Here Senior Firearms Instructor’s Justin Johnson & Mike Briggs run through a live-fire vehicle engagement.

For more information on signing up for the advanced pistol training, or other classes offered, click HERE.

Video behind the jump.

The Circuit Magazine Preview Page

The Circuit is a Magazine co-produced by the British Bodyguard Association (BBA) and the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) who’s goal is to spotlight the role of Executive Protection & related fields to our community and the outside world.  A full-color glossy with high production values, the publication is truly international, with contributors and readers from New Zealand to New Hampshire.   In addition to being the Managing US Editor, I currently write an ongoing column entitled, “Keeping Your Edge”, which gives my opinions on a variety of topics that affect our industry.  Take a look at some of the past columns from me as well as other valued contributors.

Currently in the library:

Keeping Your Edge

by Elijah Shaw (yours truly)

The Role of Firearms in Executive Protection

by Justin Johnson

To check out the Books & Magazine Page, click HERE.

Introduction to Executive Protection

The Event:

Icon Services Corporation is proud to introduce our exciting 1 day seminar on Executive Protection held August 7, 2010 in Phoenix AZ.  Hosted by the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) this class is a must for those seeking to enter the field as well as existing Operators looking to make a bigger mark in the challenging world of Executive Protection.  A fully immersive interactive class, attendees will get a whirlwind overview on the vital steps needed to successfully be a bodyguard in more than just name.

The Agenda:

  • The Business of Protection
  • Client Interactions
  • Protective Formations
  • The Advance
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Critical Analysis
  • And more…

The Instructor:

Taught by industry veteran, Elijah Shaw, who in addition to his corporate clients, has traveled the world as the personal bodyguard of international public figures such as musical giant Usher, Supermodel Naomi Campbell, and rap megastar 50 Cent.  What sets this course apart is the instructor’s proven method of teaching not from a textbook, but speaking as a current operator with his finger on the pulse of the market.

The Benefits:

  • Free 1 year Membership to the North American Bodyguard Association
  • Professional Head shot by Contact Front Photography to market yourself
  • Access to members only job board (NABA)
  • Automatic discount on future courses held by ICON or the NABA
  • Industry useful hand outs and give-aways

The Host:

The North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) goal is to unite and support both trained and aspiring  bodyguards within North America with the larger representation of security professionals around the world via its membership and information programs.  The association is a vibrant networking and resource hub, which provides members with the opportunity to network and actively engage with their peers in the spirit of professional brotherhood.  Learn more by visiting www.AmericanBodyguards.org.

The Cost:

$220.00 investment

Attendance upon pre-approval only.  Limited seating available.  For more information contact (651) 695-8778, email training@industry-icon.com or  click HERE

VIP Protection Paper Targets

So last year during one of my after-action meetings with trainers Justin Johnson & Mike Briggs I commented to them how during the live-fire drills of our training courses I would like to use a paper target that spoke more to our industry as Executive Protection Agents.  Prior to this we had been using some of the fairly common full-color situational targets that law-enforcement and the military shoot for practice.  While some of those were pretty good, none of them seemed to give me exactly what I was looking for — the scenario that I, as a bodyguard, has to suddenly pull my firearm to defend my client (as opposed to disarming a masked robber or shooting Bin Laden).  As mentioned we tried a few… then tried a few more, but I still didn’t “love ’em”.  Then inspiration struck.  If I couldn’t find what I was looking for, then I might as well create it.  Long story short, ICON was able to partner with North America’s largest distributor of paper targets to create the ICON VIP Protection Target Line.  Shot by the wonderful photographer Kiki Koralesky of Contact Front Photography, our initial series of 6 has been well received and have been met with brisk enough sales for the manufacturer to request additional targets in the future.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Click here to learn more about the ICON VIP Protection Target Line.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clR9Ueoc10k]

ICON instructors field testing the targets (Where Mike Biggs has the eerie opportunity to actually shoot himself.)

Industry Spotlight: Protection Agent Mark “Six” James

Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business holds a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry.  Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers & the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride.   No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes, sometimes fun.

Agent Name: Mark “Six” James

Company Name: Panther Protection Services

Website: www.pantherprotectionservices.com

Home city: Atlanta

What made you decide you wanted to get into the Protection industry?

As a former corporate executive I use to fly around the world and when I travelled abroad, I had people assigned to protect me.  I got to see what good protection and bad protection looked like.  Most of it was just plain bad or a good operator assigned to the wrong detail.  I actually got started in the protection business teaching legislators, judicial members and business executives how to shoot for personal protection.  Many of the legislators during campaign season would ask me to travel with them as my firearms skills made them feel safe when they were out on the campaign trail.

I learned early in my professional career that most long-term careers are built on personal strengths used by people who enjoy what they do.  I have always enjoyed firearms, martial arts and helping people.  So Executive Protection seemed like a good fit.  When I was in corporate America, I always enjoyed building high performing teams, and owning a protection agency gave me the ability to do the things I enjoyed while still continuing to help others.

What are some of the differences between working as an Operator and a trainer?  Do you prefer one over the other?

That is a hard one to answer.  As a trainer you have greater impact as a whole as you help others continue to build their skills, and serve others.  As a trainer you are a force multiplier.  When I am working as an Operator, I can only help one client at a time. As a trainer your skills scale. However there is nothing more personally rewarding than when a client tells you, that you make them and their family feel safe when you are around.  No matter how much I train, I will always continue to work directly with clients, as it helps me keep my training contemporary by staying in the profession as opposed to being around the profession.  Both are hard work and whether they are a firearms student or Executive Protection client, they are both clients and you work to serve them, and if you don’t do a good job, you don’t have repeat customers.

Can you share a bit of one of your best experiences in the industry so far?

The first day, I started working with a client who was a professional athlete I was interviewing him and going over our safety briefing in his hotel room. Before we got ready to go to our big event, I gave him a distress word, a distress sign, and showed him if things go bad and we were involved in a deadly force situation, how myself or a member of my team would move him out of the harm’s way.  He said, no one had ever done a safety briefing with him in the past or had every talked about distress words or signs.  Before we got ready to go down stairs, I took off my coat and got miked up.  He said “I didn’t even know you had a gun on.”  I told him that is why they call it “concealed carry”.  He laughed and said, “I got the damn secret service working for me!”  We have worked together for three years now and counting.

To someone coming up after you in the industry, what advice would you give?

Remember we are in the service business, it is not about you, it is about your client.  The moment you forget it, your client will remind you.  Take time out to invest in building you.  Stay hungry, keep training and work on building all of your skills, (advanced work, tactical medicine, firearms, martial arts, study up on the laws in the states you work in, evasive driving etc.).  Remember Executive Protection is a profession, not a hobby; you should be doing something in your profession every day.  Professional athletes train 5 – 6 times per week, Doctors practice medicine every day, attorney’s either research the law or litigate every day, take that same commitment to your development.  Build your skills and the money will come.

Personal Protection Specialist Mark “Six” James can be reached at (404) 349-9117 or Email:  mark.james@pantherprotectionservices.com

Range Time aka A Bodyguard’s Holiday

Got a chance to carve out some time at the outdoor range working with my senior firearms instructors Mike Briggs & Justin Johnson.    The rain held out, not that it mattered, we would have all still been out there doing the same thing ~ES

For more information about the ICON Advanced Pistol Course, click HERE.

Is There Still a Shortage of Female Bodyguards?

A few years ago my good friend Harlan Austin from Bodyguard Careers wrote an interesting and thought-provoking article on the need for more female bodyguards and how they can find a place for themselves in a competitive market.  Fast forward to 2010 and the questions still needs to be asked, “Is there still a shortage of women in the industry?”  Taking a look around I’d say yes, but things are changing and the need is still there.  Women are also increasing their exposure which means that clients are starting to request them.  More and more women are finding work in the field, and that’s a trend that as an employer and trainer I’d like to see continue to increase.

The future looks bright.

Mr. Austin’s original article on the shortage of female bodyguards:

“More and more, female BODYGUARDS are being sought after by women celebrities. Because executive protection has been a male-dominated field, there is a lack of female talent from which women celebrities have to choose. Harlan Austin, President of BodyguardCareers.com attributes this shortage to the ongoing perception that “size matters.”The simple fact is that a successful bodyguard should never have to use violence or draw a weapon. The belief in “brawn over brains” is a misconception. With that in mind, there’s no reason to doubt a woman can successfully manage the job.There is also a “boys club” attitude towards the field of Executive Protection, simply because the pools from which an bodyguard is selected has traditionally been from a male-dominated workforce; law enforcement, military personnel, martial arts and the like. Because women have now been more integrated into these traditionally male careers, they too, are candidates worthy of consideration for careers in executive protection. ”

For the entire article click HERE.