Most people, if you asked them to describe a modern bodyguard will conjure up two of the archetypal stereotypes. The first of these might be some large gorilla/gangster-like character, with fat fingers festooned with heavy gold rings. An intimidating figure that speaks in words of one syllable, clearing people out of the path of his client with a grunt and an elbow rather than an “excuse me” and looking like he could not run twenty yards without stopping to catch breath. The second stereotype will probably be the American Secret Service type, large pair of sunglasses, a curly wire leading to an earpiece, and a hand inside a jacket ready to withdraw a machine pistol whilst talking into his sleeve.
Others have no idea what a modern bodyguard is or does. They assume that the security staff they see at music or boxing events are bodyguards. These people are not bodyguards; they may well be trained in crowd management functions and may work part-time as bouncers in bars and clubs, but they are not bodyguards. The reasons for people having these popular misconceptions are not hard to find. The heavies employed in advertising, exhibitions and soap style television are purposely easy to spot. Their already high profile is often over emphasised.
The man in the street sees real bodyguards working every day, if not in the flesh then on the television news. Seeing them is one thing but realising that they are security professionals is another. They are seen but not noticed because they strive to maintain a low profile. Not only do they look normal, their suit fits and their knuckles don’t drag along the ground! The reasons that these professionals can go unnoticed are that they devote a lot of their time into maintaining a low profile. Because they do not look like the public’s idea of a bodyguard this actually helps them as they go about their days work.
So, who are these modern bodyguards that we generally do not notice, and what makes them so special? The twenty-first century bodyguard is often found in a smart but neutrally toned business suit, presenting a discreet and subdued image to the outside world. He is a highly skilled and motivated individual, constantly assessing potential risks and weighing these against his skills and the measures he must take to minimise them. He is fit, not overweight, and an expert in first aid, fire fighting, defensive driving, weapon systems, unarmed combat and communication skills. He will be well trained in all of the skills and drills that he uses daily providing peace of mind and a safe environment for his principal.