It is an article that I wrote for a defensive tactics association and was printed in their e-zine and in a forum in Australia.. It was written in 2007 when I first came back to work in the law enforcement field after a 2 yr sabbatical working stateside..
. Hope to hear constructive and maybe a few destructive comments as a follow up article is planned..
Personal Protection specialist or Buddy Guard
What does your training classify you to be?
In the six years since the attack on the Twin towers on 11 September 2001, there has been a surge of individuals who have studied various forms of martial arts and attended seminars where so called “Reality Based Combatives” have been taught by individuals who have raided their local military supply store and bought the latest style of camouflage pants and combat boots to impress their girlfriends and have become their neighborhood version of Rambo while offering their “ special training” to students who were taken into their schools with the current trend of “Special Training and Combatives” that advertise that there is no need to “Fear any Man.
These individuals have saturated the market with DVDs and have written articles where they were featured in different martial arts magazines and news papers stating that their training was the next best thing to guarantee your survival on the street. This advertising of this so called special combatives or reality based training has been focused to get you to buy their program and get certified by sending in a registration fee along with an annual organizational fee to remain in their “circle of elite instructors” This type of marketing has lead to a number of people claiming to be qualified as personal protection specialist of otherwise known as body guards.
In the days prior to 9/11, the executive protection field was filled with martial artists with numerous years of training and often came from a military back ground, individuals who have worked for various government agencies such as state department, Secret Service, Diplomatic Security Services and so on. This field also consisted of personnel in the field of local or state law enforcement agencies where these details were part of their daily routine of their job assignment. While this pool of experienced personnel is not seen to be drying up any time soon, there is another field of individuals who are trying to capitalize on this future shortage of experienced personnel in this field...
These are the “Buddy Guards”. The buddy guard comes from the use of friends or acquaintances that are used as a sign of strength or a way to provide security to an individual who needs “ protection” for a period of time or a situation where a threat is perceived. A “Buddy Guard” will usually be some one who has little or no experience doing personal security, but because he is a jock or a muscle bound friend, the individual who perceives a threat will take this individual along as an image of self security.
The image of buddy guard is slowly starting to fade away due to the introduction of personal protection specialists’ schools that are being offered by personnel who have retired from the different law enforcement agencies or from years of experience in this field. These individuals offer training programs that run from two weeks to 800 hours not including correspondence courses required for completition.
But the completition of these courses still doesn’t mean that you are ready or qualified to take the job where you are primarily responsible for the safety of a principle or his family.
The British government along with other agencies that are actively involved with the personal/executive protection and security field have been standardizing their requirements that ensure all personnel that are seeking or are currently employed in the field of security be qualified by meeting these standards.. It doesn’t matter if you have been in this field for decades; these requirements are to be met prior to being recertified in the security field.
These requirements eliminate the potentional use of “buddy guards” from being hired by companies and/or individual employers with out the proper certifications as required by the law.
In the case of “Buddy Guards” in the states, it is not regulated by standard guidelines as requirements vary from state to state. In most cases, the “buddy guard” will not have any type of training, yet will be used on the outer ring of protection and used as a body to plug a hole in manning. This lack of proper training can be detrimental to the principle and buddy guard himself as well as to the protection team.
Most operators in this field have experience gained by being either in the military, working for the state department or other federal/local agencies. Most will have extensive martial arts training as well as being qualified on various firearms as part of their daily operation in this field... This training is beneficial to ensure capability in their operating requirements in this field and job.
Yet, there are individuals who are putting programs together and are offering them on the internet through their personal organizations and stating that their programs offer certification in the personal protection/executive protection field through their organization while their primary officials have no real world experience in doing the job and because they wanted to cash in on this need, they put their programs together and offer them to the general public.
One stateside organization that offered certification in this field was selling a program which consisted of 4 DVDs on executive protection through their website and organization. This organization stated upon completition of this program, you would be certified as a personal protection specialist in their organization... When additional information was requested as to what the certifications consisted of and what field experience did the originators of this program have in the executive protection field.
The answer that was returned was that this program was developed to fill a gap that was perceived by this organization and the organization had one individual who had thirty years of experience in a small town in the south...
This organization was also a group of martial arts instructors who had offered personal defense programs that were mediocre at best... Individual presentation of said programs were poorly demonstrated and not well planned or executed by experienced individuals.
This article is just an overview of what I have seen in the past thirty five plus years of military life and working in the security (private/public) field in the United States and abroad. . I have been involved with the personal protection and security field since the 1970’s when I was living in Taiwan where I studied the Chinese art of Kuntao and in the Philippines where I had the privilege of studying the arts of Combat Judo Karate and Kuntaw as taught by veterans of the second world war in both areas mentioned above.. During the time after, I have pursued other martial combatives for knowledge and have been a defensive tactics instructor for individuals in the US Military stationed overseas and stateside and am currently employed by the Department of Defense in Law enforcement overseas...
Defensive Tactics Systems Guam
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, beer in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming