A bodyguard is a trained professional who typically ensures the personal security of individuals. Most bodyguards work for famous celebrities, important political figures, business executives, or other people who are potentially in danger of personal attacks. They accompany clients to public events, identify possible dangers, perform security checks, and plan escape routes. In the event of harassment or attacks, bodyguards jump to action to defend their clients.
Despite the common image of a bodyguard being a huge, bulky, silent figure, in reality most bodyguards are average-looking people. A bodyguard must still be physically fit, however, and able to defend himself and his client during a crisis. In addition, bodyguards need to have strong communication, planning, and problem-solving skills. They must be able to effectively give directions to event security guards and go over procedures with their clients. Bodyguards need to react quickly and efficiently in emergency situations, and be able to make on-the-spot decisions about changes in plans.
A bodyguard may work alone or as part of a security team. He stays close to his client at all times, observing bystanders and keeping people away at a safe distance. Before a client enters a facility or public meeting place, the bodyguard carefully surveys the situation and determines the best ways to exit should problems arise. Additionally, bodyguards are often responsible for driving their clients to and from events. They must plan routes carefully to ensure that their clients arrive and depart from their destinations safely.
In most settings, a high school diploma is sufficient to become a bodyguard. Professionals are usually required to pass training courses offered by specialized bodyguard schools in self defense, first aid, weapons disarming, and defensive driving. Training programs typically consist of classroom and online studies, and can take one month to one year to complete. A large number of bodyguards are former members of the military or a police force, since experts in such fields have already received much of the training and experience necessary to successfully perform the job.
Many bodyguards carry weapons such as firearms and tasers. In most countries, they must receive specialized training and certification in order to carry concealed weapons. Training courses at shooting ranges prepare individuals to safely operate firearms and hone their defense skills. In the rare instance that a shot must be fired, the bodyguard needs to be fully prepared to handle the situation quickly and protect innocent bystanders.