Tag Archives: Elijah Shaw

Elijah Shaw, ICON & ESI (redux)

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Recently wrapped teaching at Executive Security International (ESI). The inside joke was the lack of sleep I was going off of after having had to fly there immediately following the MTV VMA’s and an (unscheduled) client charity event.

One of the things I tried to impress upon the students is that in segments of the industry, your schedule is no longer your own, it’s your clients schedule, and often you have to adapt accordingly.

Grammy Stage Crasher, Nuisance or Security Threat?

 

So remember the guy that tried to Kiss Will Smith in the mouth last summer?

Same guy who crashed the stage during Adele’s acceptance speech Sunday.  (He also snuck into the Grammy’s and got a 2nd row camera seat before making his way on stage besides JLo and Pitbull).  CLICK HERE TO VIEW.

Adele

How did I know this before the news even broke to the national media? Because I kept a file on the guy that I reviewed before heading to the Ukraine with a client last year.

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Ask yourself, what if the guy tried to plant a kiss on one of the entertainers that were on the stage?  Would anyone (outside of the artist) have been able to prevent that?  This is why I believe the job is so much more than just standing around waiting for something to happen and then reacting.

This particular incident is an excellent example of why the protective agent’s role has to include Protective Intelligence and is still very necessary even with the presence of  event security.   The mantra of Celebrity Protection and Executive Protection is to “Protect the Client from Harm”, that means protecting their physical well being AND their image.

For additional analysis you can contact me HERE.

Celebrity Private Plane Crashes

Jenni Rivera, the U.S.-born Mexican-American singer and her entourage were killed in a plane crash. A U.S. aviation investigation board confirmed that Ms. Rivera died in a Learjet 25 crash, which disintegrated on impact Sunday in rugged territory in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico.

Additionally, there have been several high-profile crashes involving Learjets, passenger aircraft popular with corporate executives, entertainers and government officials.

A Learjet carrying pro-golfer Payne Stewart and five others crashed in northeastern South Dakota in 1999. Investigators said the plane lost cabin pressure and all on board died after losing consciousness for lack of oxygen. The aircraft flew for several hours on autopilot before running out of fuel and crashing in a corn field.

Former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker was severely injured in a 2008 Learjet crash in South Carolina that killed four people.

Additional details HERE.

While in the past several years, private aircraft use is certainly down in the world of Celebrities and High Net Worth Individuals, it still is the preferred method of choice.  As with every other method of travel in which an outside service provider must be brought in,  screening, consideration and due diligence must be made, and that means knowing the right questions to ask or having the right people on your team to ask them.

 

 

ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Dates


Celebrity & VIP Protection Course :  (5 Days) August 1 – 5, 2012 

A five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection including the fundamentals of Close Protection.  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 class covers not only tactics but marketing & career search.

 

“Although the program is called Celebrity Protection the content and instruction covers all aspects of the protection industry. Elijah and his team of instructors meet one of the most important criteria of the business – instructors who do or have done what they are teaching, and can teach.”  Tony Scotti, President Tony Scotti Driving 

 

 

Advanced Executive Protection Course:  (10 Days) August 6- 15, 2012  

This intensive 10-day class is an excellent tool for Operators sharpening their skills with a focus on conducting close protection assignments with a potential high threat level. Work with experienced professionals who are not teaching “theory” put practical applications developed from many years of doing the job.  Taught by Instructors  in private security working globally in a number of high-risk environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Southeast Asia, South and Central America.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the above Close Protection related courses from Icon Services Corporation, including our special financing options, click HERE.  

We stand behind the quality of our teaching methods and can also put you in contact with previous Alumni to talk about their past experiences.  

Group & back-to-back course discounts apply.

 

The Choice: Celebrity vs. Executive Protection

Everyone’s seen The Matrix right?  Morpheus is standing in front of you, extends his hand and gives you a choice: Blue or Red.  The Blue Pill leads to a stable career in Corporate Executive Protection— more often than not, standard hours, reasonable expectations and a healthy benefits package.   Alternatively, the Red pill takes you down the rabbit hole to the wild and unpredictable world of Celebrity Security.  Long hours, temperamental clients, and a job description that includes pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.  For those of us who have entered this industry with the strong desire to apply our skills to protecting others in the most professional manner possible, it’s almost a no brainer, correct?

I mean, give me the corporate stuff, right?  Send me on my way and let me cash my paycheck at the end of the week.  Seriously, who in their right mind would want to deal with actors and their egos, or even worse, musicians with their quirks, or even worse than worse RAPPERS and their entourages, particularly if the revenue generated is the same???

But maybe that’s not the case.   Maybe there are some that find the world of protecting entertainers stimulating in a way that they just would not get in the more subdued assignments that would accompany working day in and out with the Chief Executive Officer of a corporation.   I’m not talking about the “knuckle draggers” or the “buddy-guards” either, I’m thinking of men and women who have the look, training and demeanor to slide right into a “Blue Pill” position and succeed.  They make a conscious choice to work Celebrity Protection and are happy with it.

I’m sometimes referred to as a bit of an anomaly in the fact that I actively pursue and enjoy working with both client types.   I’m able to make the transition between the personalities and protocols, and enjoy the change of pace and variety.  A short time ago I was laughing with my staff that at the beginning of the week I was working with the senior executives of one of the United States largest corporations and by the weekend I was fending off overenthusiastic fans that tried to stop my entertainment client in the middle of a busy street for an autograph.

So having established that there are some Operators who do both, I also find it interesting that in the industry as a whole there is usually an invisible line drawn in the sand and depending on which side of the fence you are on, rarely do the two cross.  A big part of that is perception.  I hope the efforts by others and myself who are involved not only with working with celebrities, but also getting information out about the successes associated with this niche market have helped with that.   The media gives us a steady diet of horror stories; Celebrity X’s bodyguard punches out a Paparazzi.  Entertainer Y’s security has decided to write a “tell all” book, so of course that paints a picture that all clients in this area are extremely difficult or that any agent working with them is little more than an untrained, ex-football player.

Over the years, I have spoken  at major industry conferences (The Protective Security Conference the International Executive Protection Conference, & EPIC) on topics related to Celebrity & VIP Protection, and after each presentation I was greeted by trained individuals who wanted to do more in that segment of the market.   They simply hadn’t thought past the horror stories and stereotypes, and realized that there were great opportunities for Operators with the right skills to make their mark.

Make no mistake about it, I also had a fair share of Protectors who patted me on the back and said, “great lecture, but better you than me.  I just don’t have the tolerance level”.  I understand that completely, and I think that’s much better than the person who says the can live in both worlds but strikes out horribly when given the chance.  I just think the industry is big enough to encompass all facets including Celebrity Protection, Executive Protection, Dignitary & Religious Figures and so on.  Thinking about it, I suppose if Neo had of taken the Blue Pill in the movie he would have had a lot less headaches, but it also would have been quite a bit shorter.

You can read more of my personal views on the Executive Protection Industry in every issue of The Circuit Magazine where I write a regular column entitled, Keeping Your Edge.   Find it HERE.

 

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Top 10 Bodyguard Related Movies

Presenting my very biased list for Top 10 Bodyguard Movies of all time. This is an unscientific study with the only criteria being that they have an element of Executive Protection included (and of course that they get a lot of play in my DVD).

1. Star Wars

 You have to look at #1 on my list with 2 things in mind.  1. Obi-Wan was Luke’s bodyguard!)  And 2. I’m a huge Star Wars fan so anytime I can relate that to Executive Protection i’m going to slide it in!

2.. Man on Fire

The gold standard as far as i’m concerned.

3. Custodio (The Minder)

Foreign film but i’m so glad I tracked it down after I got the recommendation.

4. The Bodyguard 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pbUVhW_rY&feature=related.

Yeah it’s Cliché, but it’s a good movie

5. Way of the Gun

People either love or hate this one, but it’s one of my personal favs.  The elevator scene won me over (but why did they think leaving her alone was a good idea???)

6. Shogun Assassin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McCrQGGyy4g

Classic.

7. Guarding Tess

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdk6lhSRRRQ

I had stayed away from this movie for years as I thought it was going to be a comedy that just poked fun at the profession without knowing anything about it.  However I saw it for the first time just a short while ago and I loved it. It actually gave a good snapshot of the frustration and give and take that goes into working long term with a client.  (with a humors slant of course)

8. Heat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdJAfv9hzk4&feature=related

Not even sure if there are any BG’s in it, but it still makes list.  The Bank Robbery scene. ’nuff said.

9. Ronin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ZJj_DScJc

Too many scenes to mention but the coffee cup ambush and the introduction (not to mention the REAL car chase sequences) get this one regular rotation in my DVD.

10. In the Line of Fire

Clint and John both in their prime.

Honorable Mention:

The Unit

While it won’t make the official list as it’s television, the good episodes reached a high standard and had some pretty dynamic storytelling.

 

So that’s my list.  Agree? Disagree?  Which ones did I miss?

 

 

ICON CEO Elijah Shaw Talks Executives & International Travel Security

 

The Star Tribune Business Section ask ICON Services Corporation CEO, Elijah Shaw about his views on Executive Protection and International Security.

Q What risks do corporate executives and the rich face?

A Domestically, they face the same challenges everyone faces but they are in a higher-income bracket and have the resources to help mitigate those risks. Just going to Times Square in New York City to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop includes the potential of terrorism or even a stick-up robbery. We offer suggestions on how to mitigate that risk. Whether it’s a high net-worth individual or a corporate executive, they are a commodity that needs to be protected. We try to illustrate the potential risks.

Q What about their families?

A In this information age and with the rise of social media, your movements can be tracked. Executives are told not to have a Facebook page but that seldom gets passed along to the family. So you have your 16-year-old daughter telling her friends on Facebook that the family is poolside in Cabo and on its way to Disney World and that information is out there. We have to think like bad guys. The motive could be kidnapping. You don’t want to smother a client with too much information. But you want to illustrate what can happen.

Find the full article in the Business Section of the Star Tribune by clicking HERE.

 

2012 ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Dates

 

Celebrity & VIP Protection Course :  (5 Days) January 11-15, 2012  **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

A five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection including the fundamentals of Close Protection.  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 class covers not only tactics but marketing & career search.

Advanced Executive Protection Course:  (10 Days) January 16-25, 2012 **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

This intensive 10-day class is an excellent tool for Operators sharpening their skills with a focus on conducting close protection assignments with a potential high threat level. Work with experienced professionals who are not teaching “theory” put practical applications developed from many years of doing the job.  Taught by Instructors  in private security working globally in a number of high-risk environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Southeast Asia, South and Central America.


If you are interested in learning more about any of the above Close Protection related courses from Icon Services Corporation, including our special financing options, click HERE.  

We stand behind the quality of our teaching methods and can also put you in contact with previous Alumni to talk about their past experiences.  Group & back-to-back course discounts apply.

 


What’s So Different About The ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course?

 

In short, everything and nothing.  Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti recently said to me upon reviewing first hand the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course , “Why don’t you just call it the “Executive Protection Course”, as all of the fundamentals are here”.  Mr. Scotti, had  a great point, and my response was that I wanted to make sure those that attended knew that in addition to those fundamentals they were also getting something at the class that had a clear distinction from what they could find anywhere else.   –An emphasis on working with Celebrities and the challenges and rewards that come with that segment of the marketplace from people that still do the work on a daily basis.  As we like to describe it; additional tools for the toolbox.

Along those lines, when we made the decision to introduce an Advanced 10 day course, I wanted to again have a distinction in the market.  This time it came in the form of not just teaching how to do everything the “right way” but also how to act (and react) when things go wrong.  the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course puts an emphasis on operating in a hostile environment with a client and covers a multitude of disciplines including Risk Assessments, Threat Planning, Surveillance Detection, Counteraction Drills and medical life saving techniques, with several curve balls thrown in.   Having recently wrapped a course to positive reviews, I think we are again practicing our philosophy of giving great value and respect to the time and resources expended by the attending student.  Now looking forward to Tony stopping by the next one and letting me know what he thinks.

 

Learn more about ICON’s Advance Executive Protection Course by clicking HERE.

ICON Bodyguard Course Recap

 

ICON is proud to announce the successful completion of our October 5-day ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course!  Thank you to the 17 students that attended, making the commitment of both time and resources to achieve their individual goals of succeeding in the Executive Protection Industry.  

Like past courses, we packed the schedule with as much information, tactics, scenarios and drills as we are able to in an effort to maximize the students limited time spent with us.  In addition,this session, we were happy to have two “thought leaders” in the industry as guest instructors, namely Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James of Panther Protection Services.  Both Tony and Mark brought decades of hands-on experience from their perspective fields and everyone, from the instructors on down, were very happy to have them at the Academy.  As one previous Alumni put it, having the opportunity to hear Mr. Scotti speak on the role Armored Cars play in VIP Protection, or “6”discuss the anatomy of the shooting of Former President Reagan from both the attacker and the protectors viewpoint, was worth the price of attendance alone.

 

Next course, January 11-15, 2012.  

To sign up for future classes, which now feature scholarship and special finance options, click HERE.

 

“I recognized the enormous benefits in training internationally with like minded professionals in our field.  Having instructors and presenters that actively work within the industry and who are willing to share their wealth of practical information, transposed to world class training that was both interesting & informative, with a focus on the real aspects of the work.  I will not hesitate to recommend the course to my friends and colleagues in the industry.”  ~ Chris Feretopoulos from Melbourne, Australia on why he choose to attend the course.