You are a female and you want to become a bodyguard? If she could do it, you can too…

Over the years I have engaged in casual conversation with women who all end up asking “so what do you do?” Their surprise at my answer is usually followed up with “wow, I wish I could do that”.

Still, I am contacted by others who are interested in my profession but believe they don’t have the ability to pursue it due to a lack of experience or the finances needed to acquire the training. My response is usually that you can achieve anything if first, you get your rear end off of the couch.

I would like to share a story as an example of being able to achieve your dreams without overwhelming physical strength, money or luck.

There was a little girl who at the age of 8 witnessed firsthand her country’s civil war. Her country was transitioning from a dictatorship to a democracy. She and her family survived while dodging the crossfires. She replaced her childish hide and seek games with hiding for her very life…

A few months later her family escaped the violence and immigrated to another country. She and her parents and an 18-month-old little brother and all the family’s possessions with one suitcase between them made it to freedom.

The little girl had to learn everything all over again. A new country, a new language, new friends, new traditions and new life, and all within a culture that reminded her and even insisted that she wasn’t equal to them.

She managed to make new friends and learned how to adapt and be a part of another world. One evening, at the age of 16 she was a victim of an assault that left her badly beaten, robbed and almost bleeding to death in an alley. It took four years of therapy to learn to live with her frustration, nightmares, anger, and pain. The physical pain was a matter of weeks but the emotional pain took years to manage. She blamed herself as many do after an attack. Why didn’t she pay attention, see the signs, and know how to defend herself or just be able to run. And the worst part of it was that she couldn’t report it as her family at that time was illegal in the country.

After high school, she decided to become a bodyguard. She still can’t answer the exact reason as to why. She found it a fascinating profession, maybe she wanted to protect others, and herself. Still, today if you ask her what made her decide on this profession, she will say ‘’I don’t know’’….it just felt natural’’

She received her first training in close protection at the age of 19. She had no money for training so she borrowed it. She worked as a waitress to pay back the loan.

She had no military or law enforcement experience, but she knew she could offset those requirements by taking more and more courses and working her way up from the very bottom as a security guard. She offered to intern for security companies in order to gain experience.

She barely made any money. She went without and sacrificed everything in order to pay for further training and education in the security industry.

She fought sexual harassment, verbal insults, gender discrimination, exclusion, and pure alienation. She forged ahead without the support or respect of her peers which left her vulnerable to making extremely bad choices in some business relationships that cost her money, time and peace of mind.

She continued to concentrate on her training and maintained her work ethics. Eventually she was noticed. She had finally earned the respect of a few people who would refer to her as a   colleague. People saw something good in her and trusted her. They offered her jobs or accepted her as a team member and guided her. She learned from them and achieved respect.

She was not lucky. Luck never followed her. Failed business relationships, broken trusts, financial failures and plain business misfortune. She suffered breakdowns, loneliness, exhaustion, physical and muscular fatigue, injuries, blood and scars, heating pads and ice baths and yes, admittedly, tears. But she always kept moving, even when she had to crawl she was crawling closer to her goal.

This girl was me…

I was born in a communist country, immigrated to Greece and created a company dedicated to the training of female bodyguards and female security professionals. That company is Athena Worldwide and Athena Academy, and it and its affiliates operate in the USA, Europe and in other countries. I am financially secure, help to support my family and continue to train every day and improve myself.

What I learned is:

-Find what you love to do and what you want to be, then make a plan to achieve it.

-If you don’t have the financial ability, sacrifice.

-Take the job that will pay off your debt. You can get the job you really want later.

-Any job you take can enhance your training and add to your experience. Find the opportunities they offer.

You don’t need a military or law enforcement background. There are opportunities within the security industry that don’t require them and in fact in some cases, being either of the former could disqualify you. Clients and companies used to hire people with military or LE experience because they wanted professionals who had specific mental and physical abilities and were able to work under challenging conditions and follow specific directions. While military and police personnel are trained in specific skills, they often lack the “social polish” and sense of ”blending in”, needed for close interaction with a client. Keeping in mind that soldiers and policemen are manufactured by their governments and trained to be dependent on them, it stands to reason that it is easier to take a socially polished professional and teach them the necessary protective skills than it is to retrain a soldier or a policeman how to smile, dress, blend in and dine at a 26 piece place setting.

If you can prepare yourself mentally and physically to allow an employer to trust your skills,   you will be amazed to find out how easy it is to get a foot in the door of this industry.

If you don’t have any experience at all and know that 99% of job openings require prior experience, don’t be disappointed, I will admit that it is frustrating for employers too. So there are steps you can take that can add to your experience:

  • Seek out and join professional trade organizations. Socialize with their members.
  • Volunteer to assist with political candidates that cannot afford a security team
  • Intern with a legitimate group or team and be prepared to start at the bottom

At the end of the day, we must realize that we are not living in a perfect world. No one has to offer us anything. As in any other industry, you have to fight to survive and fight just as hard to get ahead. Game rules won’t be fair and you will be pushed from one corner to another. Be prepared to be lied to and miss-led. Understand that you will be judged and passed over for work because you are too tall or too short, too heavy or thin, too pale or the wrong race or gender, or even because of your religion or hair color, eye color or because of tattoos or visible birthmarks or because of an accent or the wrong sounding voice, or because of your last name or the car you drive or ………………

But remember, no matter how many so-called colleagues mentally attack you or employers pass you over for work, as long as you keep focused on your goal and do well, there will be someone watching and you will be noticed. One day your hard work will pay off.

It doesn’t matter how strong you are or how much money you have. What matters is how badly you want what you want and how much dedicated you are.

……..Now tell me again, what is stopping you?

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Founder & CEO

Athena Worldwide 

Athena Academy 

Nannyguards

http://www.athenaacademy.com

http://www.nannyguards.com

NRA Women Presented by Smith & Wesson New Energy Sponsored by Remington: Tatiana Whitlock

Firearms started out as a hobby for Tatiana Whitlock, but this NRA Woman has taken it to the next level by getting involved in tactical training courses. Armed with her newfound skills and background in Krav Maga, Tatiana is fully equipped to defend herself and her family. She challenges other women to do the same.

For More Visit NRA WOMEN and see the Full Episode

Gun Ownership Or Firearm Adoption

By John R. Lehman

For every one opinion offered, there are a hundred that will disagree with it, so before we begin, let’s understand that this opinion is offered from a bit of a different approach for the purpose of presenting a method for determining whether or not to own a firearm. While I am not ashamed of my own personal opinion on the issue of firearm ownership, (that it is every citizen’s duty to possess the means to defend themselves against crime, lawlessness and tyrannous government, and including against all enemies both foreign and domestic), I will try to stick to the methodology of arriving at a decision to possess firearms.

First, let’s consider that almost any object can kill someone while in the hands of a person with the physical ability to use it. A pencil, or pen used as a dagger, an umbrella or cane as a club, a cellphone or roll of quarters as an aid to punching, automobiles, drugs…. So why the fear of firearms? In a very real sense, the people calling for the control or extinction of firearms are the very people that demand that someone else protect them from crime or foreign invasion. It all comes down to fear and entitlement. The people that fear firearms believe that they are entitled to Police protection.

Second, consider that federal and state laws, local ordinances and individual property rights all come in to effect when possessing a firearm, which is to say that if all the laws and rules and ordinances in the land allow you to possess a firearm, an individual property owner can still restrict you from possessing that firearm on property they control. This includes football stadiums and airplanes, hospitals and schools and even Home Owners Association, (HOA) properties.

Third, consider that Police Officers and other Law Enforcement Officers are public servants with their first obligation to the public safety. They do not owe any obligation to the private citizen and in fact prioritize their responses to serve the public interest first and individual last.

So now ask yourself: why a firearm?
Do you need one or want one?
If your life depended on it, could you shoot a person who was trying to kill you?
Would owning a firearm make you feel safer? Why?
Do you know the difference between single action and double action? Or a revolver and semi-auto?
Are you afraid of handling firearms?
Do you have experience shooting?
Do you have minors or mentally challenged persons in the home?
Are you legal to own a firearm, i.e. age, criminal record, mental health?
Do you have a place to practice the skill required to operate the firearm?
Do you live or work or commute where firearm possession would be restricted?
Do you know your local laws and those affecting firearm possession?

If you can’t answer all of these questions, find the answers before purchasing a firearm.

ADOPTION

Now, here is my approach to owning firearms:
If you look at the acquisition, registration, training, care and security of a firearm the way you would the adoption of a small child, you might surprise yourself with your decision.

Are you physically, mentally and physiologically able to load, discharge, reload, unload, disassemble, clean, reassemble and store the firearm? Are you able to care for it?

Can you afford to purchase it, register it, buy the ammunition, buy a safe or locking case, pay for eye and hearing protection and pay for range fees, or memberships and cleaning supplies? Can you afford lessons for using it or the state fees for carrying it concealed?

Are you committed to guarding it, spending time getting to know it and learning to use it?

Will you take it out and exercise it, feed it only the best non-corrosive ammunition and afterwards, clean it and keep it clean?

Can you identify when it is not working well and what might be wrong with it and if it needs a gunsmith? Would you get it fixed or put it up for adoption because it wasn’t perfect?

Once you determine your ability to possess the firearm, you need to determine your use for it.

What is the purpose of the firearm? Is it for hobby, competition, work or protection? While you can find one that can do all, you should consider that certain firearms are manufactured specifically for a single task. You wouldn’t want to use a two-shot derringer in a police shootout any more than using a screwdriver as a hammer or vise-versa.

Is the family included in the decision to have a firearm in the house?
Are you considering having one firearm that everyone can use? Remember that not all sizes of hands can properly grip, and operate the firearm.

Who in the home will have access to the firearm? (All who do will need training).

Where will you store or keep the firearm? Can you get to it at 3 A.M. when you wake to the sound of breaking glass? And do you know enough about yourself to know that you will even wake up, Be able to identify an intruder as someone other than your mother in-law, and aim and pull the trigger……..all before they reach you?

So if you are ready to adopt, go see a firearms dealer, and ……stay tuned. And if you’re still not sure…….stay tuned.

 

About the Author

Mr. Lehman is the Vice President of Athena Academy. He is the founder and CEO of White Star Consulting, LLC based in Dallas, Texas. He is a certified TCOL (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement) classroom and Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, Federal Protective Service authorized Instructor, Texas Concealed Handgun Instructor, ASP Baton/Handcuff Instructor and unarmed defensive tactics Instructor using the Russian Systema discipline. He is a Texas Licensed Instructor for unarmed and armed Security and teaches the Texas Personal Protection Officer (PPO) course. Mr. Lehman joined Athena Academy Instructor’s team on January 2013, with over 27 years of corporate and private security experience.  

 

NANNYGUARDS (SM) the world’s first category creating hybrid nanny/manny with security training offered only by Athena Academy

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NANNYGUARDS ”Next Generation Nannies”

NANNYGUARDS(SM) and MANNYGUARDS(SM) is the world’s first category creating hybrid nanny/manny with security training offered only by Athena Academy. We provide nannies and mannies with an unparalleled level of situational awareness through our intense training held at our training centers. 

Nannies and Mannies learn skills that take their level of expertise to a new level. Not only does a nanny or manny go through an extensive background investigation by our contracted private investigation firm, but they go through a basic four day course that teaches them skills to provide above average ability to protect the children in their charge. NANNYGUARDS and MANNYGUARDS work for celebrities, sports stars, CEO’s, traveling families and every day average families who understand the need for a NANNYGUARD goes beyond celebrity status.

NANNYGUARDS are trained in several disciplines including abduction mitigation, travel security, media and paparazzi relations, evacuation with children, security driving with children and many other security related drills and topics directly related to the protection of children in their charge. 

The NANNYGUARD/MANNYGUARD training course is not standard close protection/executive protection training. The NANNYGUARD course is specific to the nuances of caring for a child’s emotional, physical, social, creative and intellectual development while caring for their safety and security.

NANNYGUARDS and MANNYGUARDS bring a level of conscious proactive and situational aware mindset to any family. We believe that no family regardless of wealth should be without a nanny or manny that has anything less than our training. Instead of NANNYGUARDS operating with blinders on, MANNYGUARDS and NANNYGUARDS operate with greater understanding of risk and are keenly aware of how to adopt risk management in families to bring greater peace of mind all while caring for the appropriate developmental needs of children.

-Why Hire a Nannyguard
NANNYGUARDS is a premiere category creating company that not only aids families with nanny placement, through our network of Nannyguards authorized placement agencies, but also provides the worlds first and only nanny safety and security training programs.

Started by a group of security consultants, nannies, bodyguards and private investigators, NANNYGUARDS is an answer for those that would like more peace of mind when hiring a nanny/manny.
Our collective experience in protecting people, working in federal law enforcement, investigating identies and habits of individuals, traveling in foreign countries, training bodyguards and working with children uniquely qualifies us to help shape the next generation of nannies.

Not only are we keen professionals in background investigating all potential Nannyguards, but we also are experienced in teaching, training and providing protective services for individuals and families. Nannyguards is not a security service provider. but a security training group that provide nannies with the ability to look at their child care position from a different point of view.

Nannyguards is borne from the changes ocurring in our world today. With strange, unusual, violent and unforeseen circumstances ocurring on a daily basis, Nannyguards is the answer to ensuring quality childcare. Not only do we surpass every nanny agency in “screening” (we investigate) we also bring the future of childcare through the introduction of increased situational awareness.

Nannyguards offer a distinct service over traditionally trained nannies. With training in ways to protect your family from stalkers, paparazzi, kidnap attempts and more. Not only do Nannyguards have the necessary training to mitigate exposure to negative events, but in the rare event they are faced with decisions on how to ensure the safety of the children they look after Nannyguards are prepared to do what it takes to ensure childrens safety. With training that is far superior in the management of intentional or unintentional acts of harm, Nannyguards are fulfilling their role as overall caregiver.

Nannyguards are provided to families of all types, including: celebrity, executive, reality TV, and dignitary families. Additionally, our services are even used for those families that maybe traveling often times in hostile parts of the world. 
All nannies have a responsibility to carefully look after the direct and indirect actions of the children they are responsible for. This includes supporting the physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual development of the children of the family.

-What Do I Get In a Nannyguard
NANNYGUARDS are extremely versatile and provide you with the greatest level of versatility among traditionaly trained nannies. Despite the seriousness of our name, Nannyguards are nannies and have all the skills, posture and attitude of any caregiver that looks after children. They are not stoic knuckle dragging gorillas. The fact that they go through our process tells you that these are high caliber individuals. The training they receive means that they can meet unexpected needs you may not know you have. Even if you are not the latest to break out with a reality television series you’re no different then every parent who wants to see that when their children are not with them, that they have every aspect cared for including their safety and security.

When a Nannnyguard is placed with you they firstly evaluate the job of nanny. Secondly, Nannyguards will ask questions and observe other aspects you did not consider, especially those revolving around safety concerns and security exposures. Your Nannyguard will do things such as establishing emergency protocol, disaster preparedness and ensure fire supression materials are nearby. In other words they are prepared for potential eventuality and look after such things as smoke detectors, ensuring chemicals are out of reach from young ones and ensuring that plans are put in place for any known direct threats to the children in their charge. They will also evaluate any vehicle they are provided with and ensure it is in good mechanical care and that it has necessary items for road worthiness. If its not up to par, they will advise you and it becomes your perogative to decide whether you will take the Nannyguards advice. In some cases, depending upon the particulars of your family needs, Nannyguards will evaluate routes to and from schools, research any known sex offenders in your community and work with any other estate security or security details working with other family members.

-Bodyguards OR Nannies?
NANNYGUARDS are experienced nannies with specific training in the protection of children from intentional and unintentional acts of harm. They may work for a family as an employee or as the childrens bodyguard. However, an employer-employee relationship is required if the NANNYGUARD does not have a license to operate as a security contractor in most states of the USA.

Generally speaking, nannies are responsible for the general welfare of children and this includes their security and safety. Our program teaches nannies how to protect children as a bodyguard would, in conjunction with their responsibilities as a nanny. Nannyguards are free to choose whether to market their skills to security companies with proper licensing or market themselves to nanny agencies or directly to families in the capacity of a Child Protection Operative (CPO) or a nanny.

-For Parents
NANNYGUARDS are classicaly trained and experienced nannies with the added training and ability to protect your children from intentional and unintentional acts of harm. Every nanny knows they have the responsibility of caring for the children entrusted to them and this includes the safety of the children in their care. However, Nannygurads take the extra steps to ensure the safety and security of your children by taking proactive measures and countermeasures to ensure they exceed other nannies in safety and security. We take a Nanny to the next level through the introduction of safety and security measures to the nanny industry. Nannyguards are next generation nannies!

Although some of our clients may be celebrities, VIP’s and CEO’s this does not mean that families with less notoriety will receive any less from Nannyguards. The skills and abilities of registered Nannyguards are a benefit to all families with children.
What Makes a Nannyguard Unique
Simply put the training a NANNYGUARDS student receives is quite different from anything in the industry. Nannies are trained to look at their charge differently. In the 21st century our political, economical and social landscape is changing at an alarming rate. You can hardly turn on the television without seeing another tragic event revolving around terrorisim, abduction or abuse taking place. Since Nannyguards is an international company we look at what affects people in geographical areas and cater the Nannyguard Certified Child Protection Specialist (CCPS) training to those needs. This is because issues that once only pertained to countries with long histories of civil unrest and terrorism are happening similiarly everywhere including the USA.

Nannies that attend our training and become Nannyguards and carry our full Nannyguards credential have validated nanny experience. But once these same nannies attend one of our training programs they are more accutely aware to conditions that revolve around safety and security. Nannies become more aware of their surroundings, ruses used to detach children from caregivers, appropriate driving and surveillance detection, and how to deal with situations should they go ary.

 

To learn more about our Nannyguards services or training program visit http://www.nannyguards.com 

 

10 Common Mistakes In CQB by AJ ARANGO

An excellent article posted on American Warfighter website 

 

10 Common Mistakes In CQB

Avoid These Mistakes and Survive Your Next Mission

by AJ ARANGO

I recently got back from a training iteration for work and I noticed that a lot of us kept making the same simple mistakes so I decided to make a list of ten of them so we can avoid them and strengthen the force. I decided to leave out the obvious stuff like “fatal funnels” and not digging corners but instead included some of the big stuff that doesn’t get as much attention.

disclaimer: I have no egoic investment in being the greatest CQB warrior on the planet. I know there are hundreds of guys out there who have forgotten more about CQB than I will ever know, but that being said, I think I am a pretty good teacher and I feel I have enough training, instruction experience, and combat experience to talk intelligently on the subject. Also I have taken great pains to exclude any classified information or non-open source intel so as to not give away any TTPs that you can not find on ‘Youtube’ or the like. Please take this as a guide and not doctrine and if you think something I put out violates common sense or is just plain wrong feel free to throw it out cause heaven knows I have no problem blowing off bad tactics myself. Also I am not talking about other people exclusively, I have made most if not all of these mistakes myself not only in training but, also in combat.

 

Close Quarters Combat

What is CQB?

CQB for those who aren’t familiar with the term stands for Close-Quarters-Battle or Close-Quarters-Combat and in the grand scheme of things I think it falls somewhere between combat from street corner to street corner, to hand-to-hand fighting. I would say if you think you can engage accurately in combat using your pistol with a high degree of precision then you are in CQB range.

The following is a short (not exhaustive) list of mistakes I regularly see guys make in CQB with hopefully a few gems to improve combat skills and tactics.

10. Hesitation

The confused look you see in the eyes of your buddies when he decides whether to go or stay is an indicator that he has reached his mental or physical capacity to solve the CQB problem. At its root CQB is about angles, opportunity and percentages. Not every tactic works in every situation and often times you can do the exact right thing and take a round to the trauma plate anyway. The CQB skills are based on the most likely course of action you need to take to have the highest chance of survivability and it is not a 100% solution because nothing is. So the question becomes, can you mentally negotiate the problem at a speed that provides the highest success rate. Often times for guys who are new to the tactics the answer is, “no” and when this happens there is an introduction of hesitation that gives the opposition force advantage.

I feel the solution is multifaceted, but starts with repetition of SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) and making sure everyone is dancing to the same sheet of music. Having a well established and planned SOP before you get out to the training site is imperative, making sure everyone understands those SOP’s  intellectually will save hours in the glass house or shoot house. Secondly I think some mental rehearsal just prior to execution of an IMT (Individual Movement Technique) can greatly speed the learning process. If you are beyond the training environment you may simply have to move the offending team member to a location in the stack to where he is no longer in a position to slow the flow. This removal should be done in a non judgemental way and used as a training tool and not a means of ridicule or you will create an environment where failure is so feared that no one will have the courage to do anything.

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