Can you foresee and prevent threats?

As security professionals we all know that the number one responsibility in providing security details is the ability to prevent a threat before it endangers you and your client. No matter how adept you are in close combat skills or the use of firearms when that horrific Moment of Commitment comes (the aggressor pulls a weapon and begins shooting), your skills are not enough, this has been proven to be the fact in studies and in practice. How a gunshot or a physical combat will end depends on different factors such as the environment, the number of enemies, the number of rounds each party has, what kind of, if any support you have and most importantly your psychological response during an attack. Believe it or not we have seen security professionals ‘’freeze’’ during a gun battle. Were they trained in firearms? Yes!  Were they trained in close combat? Yes!  So, what went wrong? The most important question is, can we risk engaging ourselves in a situation that will most likely end violently for us and our clients? How many ‘’clients’’ or security operatives have come through a gun battle completely safe after having engaged in one? I am still searching to find that one case……

It is safer to prevent a threat instead of reacting to it! The best security details are not those based in force or use of firearms, but those based on foreseeing the upcoming threat and preventing it. We should also not forget that in some countries our colleagues are not permitted to carry or use firearms, so they must use their brains and intel.

Can we get training to foresee and prevent a threat? Yes we can!

I had the opportunity to attend one of ESI’s classes (28-DAY Corporate Security & Threat Management Program) this weekend and meet Mr. John D. Byrnes. Mr. Byrnes is the founder of the Center for Aggression Management. The Center provides training and systems for use in avoiding and preventing violence in areas such as the workplace, campuses  or in the school environment to provide more effective, lower impact methods for confronting aggressors and de-escalating aggression.

Most importantly this training can be taught to a wide area of professionals and organizations. I would personally and highly recommend this training to EVERYONE who would like to feel safe regardless his or her professional background.

No matter what our profession, age, sex, culture or country we live in, we all have to deal at some point in our lives with aggressive individuals, either as criminals, colleagues or family members. As a woman I can see multiple uses of Mr. Byrnes’ Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS).

As a security professional I can assure you that this training will change the way you have been looking at things and suspects. At some point we all have been trained in how to identify suspects and how to deal with them. Most schools still teach profiling, mostly when it comes to terrorists and suicide bombers.

Personally I was never  be a believer in using profiling. Why? Simply because there has not been an accurate “terrorist profile!” All profile assessments that have studied terrorists have been done  after they were captured. In psychology it is well known that you cannot obtain real research facts from a subject who (study object-terrorist) is not a willing participant ….

What about those situations when you are dealing with the occasional threat of aggression? Imagine being with your client in a pub where people get intoxicated and become aggressive, or at a football stadium? Being able to understand and ‘’read’’ aggression escalation is essential  to maintain a safe environment for your client, you and others who could otherwise be injured.  Identifying emerging aggression, engaging and preventing a possible attack offers a much better solution than pulling your firearm and pointing it at prospective aggressor.

Remember, we are security professionals, we are not Law Enforcement or Federal Agents, depending upon our country of operations, our duties and actions can be so limited by the law and have no more authority than any other professional such as bus driver.

In cases that you cannot restrain, handcuff or point a firearm against an aggressive suspect you must have other tools to defend yourself and your client. Critical Aggression Prevention System will not only teach you how to identify and respond in those situations, but will also teach you how to identify aggressive levels in yourself and how to control them. We are humans too and when an aggressor, whose adrenaline is already surging, it is a natural response for our adrenaline to rise as it prepares us for attack!  We can get aggressive as well when we are offended, threaten or our interests are limited. So by learning how to control our aggression brings us to a much higher professional level. The one who control his or her temper and calmness is the professional one. The one that can maintain their calm will make better decisions, and when it comes to our professional area, the one who will make the safest decisions.

Soon we will be hosting an interview with Mr. Byrnes, until then you can find out more about his work and the Center for Aggression Management  .

***To find out more about the  CORPORATE SECURITY and THREAT MANAGEMENT Program and next training dates contact Executive Security International at 800-874-0888***

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

Director of Placement

& Services at Executive Security International

7 Basic Principles for a Female Bodyguard

The 7 Basic Principles for a Female Bodyguard

We all in security industry know that no one of us can offer 100% security to a client. For Athena Academy members it is necessary to follow and practise some simple basic principles in order to be able to reduce a potential attempt to a minimum percentage. Being well trained, prepared and aware make a female bodyguard able to carry out her duty.

1) Avoid  Routine

Routine can be deadly as a bullet. Many studies in attempt cases has proof that even the best team of bodyguards has fail when some of team members has been vulnerable to routine. Someone who is following the same programme every day can be easily predictable from his enemies. We can mention Ronald Reagan assassination attempt on March 30, 1981 while he was leaving hotel entrance, as one of the most well known cases that failed cause the routine. (

Someone who is planning to attempt your principle will study your team. He will note and study your daily programme. The routes you are following. Your reactions, even your escort techniques in order to find your weak points that will give him the opportunity to act against you.

So, what a female bodyguard can do in order to avoid routine? You can use different routes, entrances, exits when you are in escort with your principle. Surprise your enemy by exit from another entrance or using different routes. Change your techniques you are following when you control his car, office, home, even people time to time. Also when you are following different techniques not only is difficult for someone to study you but also you give him to understand that he is messing with a professional and he will have to think it twice.

2) Use Common Sense.

You don’t have to be experts in physic science or having a BSc degree in order to be succeeded as a bodyguard. What you always will need is to use a common sense when dealing with situations.

3) Always Be On Alert

A principal’s safety is dependent upon his bodyguard’s professionalism. So although he is the target, you as his security team are the first who will be monitoring and the one that will accept any attack. By being always in alert and havening in your mind that, you will be able to paying more attention in faces, facts and places. Do not ever allow to your self to believe that your job is safe. You have to take the necessary measures to protect your self firstly and by extension your principle. You are there cause there is a risk factor. If you have to be in front of a bullet that means you have failed in your job, you haven’t predicted the incoming threat and avoid it.

4) Stay On Track

You have done through your trainings and the necessary education of being a bodyguard. So, you are able to adopt you own way and technique of how you will work. Follow an orderly on how you work but also allow in some cases and situations new ideas and techniques. Remember we want to avoid falling in routines trap.

5)Be Suspicious

As a security team member you should have higher level of suspiciousness toward people. When you are in crowd everyone can be a potential threat. In order your enemy to come closer to you and your principle he can adopt every ID that you can imagine. He can be a photographer, visitor, fan, waitress, etj. What you need to do is to pay attention and see if someone is behaving accordingly his ID. If something doesn’t look normal to you take a moment to investigate the person. Is better to spend more time and effort and be sure that to have a risk behind your back. Always trust you senses. We all know how women trust their 6th sense. As female bodyguard use that sense of you. If you don’t like something search it better.

We can mention here a very famous case in which the disaster was avoided because of the excellent job of the ElAl security officer at Heathrow airport on April 17, 1986. He was on duty and has to check Anne Marie Murphy, a 32 year old Irish woman who was six months pregnant and she was carrying without her knowledge explosives under a double panel in her suitcase.

If we think about it, how many would suspect a 32 year old pregnant woman? The ElAl security officer did it, while he was interviewing her he found something suspicious, and his suspiciousness save the life of 395 passengers and crew.

6) Take Necessary Initiatives

Sometime you will have to take over initiatives during your services that are outside of your duty in order to prevent any threats. Don’t be afraid to do it, just have in mind to act with responsibility, professionalism and respect toward your colleagues and people.

7) Maintain Good Communication

Remember as a female bodyguard you are not responsible only for your principal and your team safety but also responsible for your acts that may damage his image. Is very important to keep a respectful level of communication with people you are dealing with such as paparazzi, media, fans and supporters.

Who can forget cases like Nicole Kidman’s bodyguard beating a paparazzi almost near to death (, or when Barbra Streisand had to intervene and stop the fight between her bodyguard and a paparazzi in the streets of Paris ( Although your primary is your principle’s safety that doesn’t mean that you can break the laws and use violence toward others in order to make your job easier to you.

And of course we can’t forget the importance of a good communication between you and your colleagues. You are in the same team offering services for one common achieve, your principal’s safety.

Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS

Founder, ATHENA Academy

Are You a Female Bodyguard?

Security concerns are growing the world over.  With more people than ever concerned for their safety and that of their families, more opportunities about for those that serve and protect.

As we grow to be the worlds largest place for the promotion of female bodyguards, Female BODYGUARD Information promotes and advocates highly trained women to fill the needs of the protective services industry.  As the official blog for ATHENA Academy a international female security training group; and the official blog for ATHENA Worldwide, whose mission is to be the worlds authoritiy on the hiring and  placement of female bodyguards, this blog aims to provide you with historical information, current events, training notes and more.

We highly reccommend that you join for FREE our newsletter by visiting  As a member of our free growing membership you will have the ability to send us your CV and allow us to help you find work.  Additionally, if you need training or would like to refresh your past education, then ATHENA Academy is for you.

Also, ATHENA Academy is now offering qualified women an opportunity to operate their own ATHENA Academy in their area.  To find out more you may send us a message at

Would Rosie The Riveter Make a Good Bodyguard?

So, here is a question.  Would Rosie The Riveter have make a good icon for female bodyguards?  Don’t know who Rosie was?

Rosie The Riveter
Rosie The Riveter


During World War II in the United States, women were needed to help with the war efforts.  They were employed in munitions and materials factories and worked long hard hours to ensure that they were there to support the needs of the country.

Rosie was an icon and for the first time working women dominated public image.  Increasing to 20 million in 1944 women represented over a 50% increase in women in the work force in just four years.

So, not only did Rosie represent women in the work force but showed that women could do many of the same jobs as men.    There is more to this story and you can read on here:                                                          

– Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS

Female Bodyguards for the Pope?

Well, it seems that women are now being considered for the Swiss Guard at the Vatican.  The Swiss Guard are the Pontiffs personal security force.  Female Bodyguards for the Pope would be an interesting leap for the Vatican.

They wear  the same silly little uniforms for the last 500 years, and keep the pope safe.  In fact there have been times where they have been ambushed and lost most of the whole team but were able to keep their principal from harm.

Here is what I was able to loosley translate from the news:

“After 500 years of exclusion, the Vatican is considering whether to again allow the entry of women in the Swiss Guard, the personal guard of Pontifika, composed exclusively of Swiss Catholics  between the ages of 19 and 30 years. 
The garrison, now ceremonial in nature, «born» on 22 January 1506, when 150 mercenaries arrived in Rome to serve the Pope in July II. 

The problem likely to face policy makers is to find accommodation after already experiencing space problems”.      

– Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS                                                          

Mexican Female Bodyguards


They are tough protectors in a country facing tough times and runaway crimes.

The country’s first national squad of female bodyguards say they’re are ready to face kidnappers, drug dealers and other tough guys.

Known as ”Las Ateneas,” these Mexican nikitas have a clientele that include businesswomen, bankers, politicians and their families and local telenovela actresses.

Named after the Greek Goddess of War, Las Ateneas are a group of 20 Mexican police women, all mothers, between ages 20 and 40, highly trained in self defense and disarming techniques.

The idea is to ”capitalize in the female squad’s ability to blend in,” said Ana Isabel Lopez Castro, marketing manager at Cusaem, the Auxiliary Security Forces from the state of Mexico, where the squad trains.

”Female and male bodyguards have the same skills, but male bodyguards will always stand out [in a crowd],” she said.

Cusaem is a branch of Mexico’s Federal State Security Agency. Founded 60 years ago, it provided bodyguards and surveillance to companies such as HSBC, Banamex, Unilever, Harley-Davidson, Liverpool and Alpura, among others.

They’re experts in camouflage. They can look like a nanny, a mother or a girlfriend, while escorting their clients.

In reality, they are armed police officers with two to five years of training. They are under the direct command of Cusaem police chief, Claudia Isela Macias, a veteran who makes sure all female officers follow the force’s rigorous training, which includes defensive driving, first aid courses, evaluation of high risk situations, and accident prevention.

Their clients are very diverse, Macias said, and some of them who used to hire only male bodyguards are requesting the female guards.

”Everyone is on high alert and being preventive,” she said.

Las Ateneas’ debut in the market means business to Ciro Mendoza, head of Cusaem.

He reports that their annual demand to provide personal protection for women increased by 12 percent in 2008 alone. He expects 2009 to follow the same trend.

Female bodyguards are paid an about $138 weekly. The estimated daily rate of $65 dollars comes with a weapon, bulletproof vest, medical service, and — when needed — access to backup from Mexico’s Federal State Security Agency.

Being an Atenea is hard work, said Alma Alicia Rivera Sancho, 36, a mother of four. Her family complains about the danger, but to her, the key is mastering the art of discretion, and treating her job just like any other.

”We are protecting someone at all times,” she said. “We listen, we see, and we say nothing.”