Tag Archives: vip protection

Presidential Vehicle Security

The day before the Presidential Inauguration I had the opportunity to sit inside “The Beast” Impressive to say the least.   I remember thinking that like most things in this world, it’s not what you see on the outside that matters, but what’s hidden under the hood.

For more of the history of the vehicle protecting the sitting US President 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

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.

Bodyguard Training Course (July 7-11)

Icon Services Corporation is proud to again present our 5 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 Executive Protection 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

For more information on attending the course click HERE.

VIP Protection Training Targets

ICON VIP Protection Target
ICON VIP Protection Target

Icon Services Corporation is proud to announce our new line of full-color Custom Paper Targets.  Produced in an exclusive agreement with America’s largest manufacturer of paper targets for shooters; the ICON VIP Protection Target Line is the first of it’s kind to present a challenging shooting target created by professionals in the Executive Protection Industry.

The targets themselves will provide Executive Protection Agents, Law Enforcement, Military Personnel and avid marksmen around the world, high quality targets designed to hone the shooters skills in a simulation of true-to-life events.  The initial series of 6 places the shooter in a variety of scenarios such as confronting a hostage taker on a private aircraft or protecting your client from a gun-wielding stalker as she exits the vehicle.

For more information or to order targets click HERE

Bodyguard Training


Day 1 complete.

So far the class is an interesting mix of individuals already in the industry and newcomers, current law enforcement and ex-military.   Should be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out.

For more information on the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course, click HERE

Corporate Takeover Magazine Interviews ICON CEO, Elijah Shaw


It’s always kind of cool when your a fan of someone’s work and realize you are on their radar as well.  That was the case of  me and The Corporate Takeover, which describes itself as a “business magazine and lifestyle dossier for the modern gentleman”.   I’d say I’m pretty modern so I could see the fit, but I was surprised when I found out the managing editors were already familiar with my some of my work.  Several weeks later, a interview was set up which covered a wide range of topics from politics, to economics to  staying sane in the pressure filled world of the Executive Protection Industry.

Corporate Takeover:  How do you prepare for high risk assignments that take you to countries where there’s an increased threat of violence? And at one point would you have to say to a client, ‘Ok, this is too dangerous’ and advise against visiting a certain location?

Elijah Shaw:  The high risk assignments are where you really need to be focused. 90% of the job is in the planning, so you take care to minimize your clients exposure to harm. Depending on the type of client, resources might go from unlimited to a shoe string budget, so you just have to make due with the hand you are dealt. There are times, for example, when an entertainer has to make a public appearance, even when faced with a higher threat level, and the recommendations I make leads me to butt heads with other decision makers. Sometimes you can’t get away from that, but that is ultimately why a service like mine is used.

For the full interview, click HERE.

Private Security Increases in Iraq, Afghanistan

Defense Department officials now say that more than 18,000 armed security contractors are working in Iraq or Afghanistan under Pentagon auspices, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service that was obtained by NPR. They have also started hiring security for an event that the contractors will be at. The bulk of the gun-toting contractors — some 13,232 as of June 30 — are in Iraq, where they guard U.S. bases, defend convoys and serve as personal bodyguards for high-level officials. The remaining 5,165 armed civilians perform similar functions in Afghanistan.

Click HERE

Related:  My interview with Portfolio Magazine on the World of Private Security


Stalker & Paparazzi Detection Course

Counter-Surveillance Training

Ok, so I’ve had to keep this under wraps for awhile, but I finally get to let the cat out of the bag:

December 2 -7, 2009 sees the introduction of a new training course focusing on none other than Stalker & Paparazzi Detection.  In the same way that the underlying principals of Executive Protection form the framework of the Celebrity Protection Course, the Stalker & Paparazzi Detection Course is at its essence, Counter Surveillance Training.  In light of that I brought in an expert in the field, Ivor Terret the CEO of Israeli-based Multi Tier Solutions, and an international authority on counter surveillance, surveillance detection and covert executive protection.   

 Together, we will present a unique 5-day course focusing on profiling and identifying stalkers, potential kidnappers and paparazzi in the business, celebrity and high profile VIP industry sectors. The course will offer real world examples and scenarios that will present students with the tools they need to more effectively protect their clients in the real world. 


  • Operating covertly in the world of Executive and VIP protection
  • Case Studies
  • Stalker Pattern Recognition
  • Covert Methods to confirm or deny stalker surveillance
  • Covert Methods to confirm or deny Paparazzi surveillance
  • Counter Surveillance
  • Covert Protection Methodologies
  • Protection Intelligence
  • Covert and Low Profile Risk Mitigation

For more information click HERE.