Tag Archives: vip bodyguards

Training Day Countdown

Tomorrow begins the next ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course and we’re all very proud to say we once   again have a sold out class.   Looking forward to the dynamic mix of seasoned professionals polishing their skills and newcomers just getting started in the industry.

Also very excited to have Dave Marris on board as a Guest Instructor this course.   In the close protection arena his background is one who’s “been there, done that”,  so we’re especially glad to have an active Operator take the time to help out.

Pretty certain the only sleep I get for the next 5 days will occur around the same time the paperboy is making deliveries, and end before he’s done.

Anatomy of an Engagment

Here are some of the photos during the recent ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Training Course.  In this actual Force on Force exercise, attendees escort their VIP from a building to a nearby vehicle, however armed assailants conduct an ambush.  The students are evaluated on their reactions and decisions made.  The level of realism is intensified by the use of Airsoft weapons that deliver a realistic  (and at times painful) simulation of taking fire and having to return fire against a live person. (click on the photo to enlarge)

Force on Force 1

Fig 1.  After identifying an imminent threat, the front security escort moves forward and prepares to engage.

Force on Force 2

Fig 2.  the primary bodyguard, assisted by the 2nd security escort covers and evacuates the VIP to the nearby vehicle –finding it disabled.

Force on Force 3

Fig 3.  The primary bodyguard elects to move the VIP to the far side of the vehicle, using it for cover.  At this point, the 2nd security escort has drawn his firearm and engaged the attackers from the rear of the vehicle.

The next course is September 8-12, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  To learn about additional Close Protection training from ICON Services Corporation, click HERE.

See Related:  Executive Protection Training Video

Executive Protection Training Video

A very small sampling of the drills that go into honing skills in the Executive & VIP Protection Industry.  These are the building blocks that create the total package that clients, Detail Leaders and decision makers are looking for.

The guys that attended the recent training course were from all backgrounds and walks of life, but I think what was so impressive is that regardless of their pedigree’sthey put their egos on the shelf (well mostly) and engaged in the physical and mental exertions that form muscle memory.  Continue on that path and at when the moment of truth comes, your actions (or reactions) are on autopilot.

For more information on ICON Executive Protection Training, click HERE.

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

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

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

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.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s Bodyguard in Court

The ex-Detroit Police officer who is suing the city of Detroit in whistleblower case was back in court today. Tony Davis, who was also a member of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s executive protection unit continued his trial today in a Wayne County courtroom.

Davis is accusing the former mayor of wrongfully firing him after he spoke out about an alleged “Manoogian Mansion” party were murdered exotic dancer Tamara Greene allegedly danced for Kilpatrick and was allegedly assaulted by the former mayor’s wife.  For the full story, click HERE.

Referral Season

Like most corporations, ICON goes after new business in a variety of ways, however during our 12 years of existence, our biggest impact has always come from word of mouth.  A dedicated program that compensates for referrals is our way of saying thank you for continuing to mention our product & services.  Simply put, send a lead that turns into solid business and we will issue a predetermined commission on the referral. 

 And while everyone might not have the inside scoop on the next American Idol, keep in mind that a variety of people and businesses use our agencies services for:

 Sounds like a win all the way across the board!

 For more information on the referral program, click HERE.