Fact vs fiction


Websites, books and articles used in this module. 

Rupert Matthews, Alexander the great at the battle of Thermopylae

Knights Templars doctrines

IBA homepage

ESI homepage

Henrik Bramsborg

Henrik Bramsborg (DK) is a professional bodyguard operating out of Northern Europe. Henrik Bramsborg works as a security professional and is also an author of several books. 

Nikolai Ehlers

Nikolai Ehlers (BE) is a security professional with a background in the UN Close Protection Unit. Today Nikolai Ehlers works with private sector security and executive security.

The idea that a Bodyguard is a 7 foot giant with dim wits and a bad temper is still a common misconception among laypeople. Movies like "The Bodyguard", "in the line of fire" and to some extent "man on fire" hasn't helped remedy this. But, I am not going to join the "slander-train" with these movies, as part of the presentation in these, actually has some truth in it.

Obviously most of the action parts are bullocks and the premise of any action/suspense movie, is to be exciting and entertaining. Bodyguard work is neither most of the time. But, the jealous/job-threatened people around your client, the BS you get for being pertinent and the boredom of champagne parties are quite accurate presentations.

I'll try to explain further, what the difference is, between the real world and some of the weird ideas, ordinary people out of the security industry, has about the trade.

A. Bodyguards are big muscular type of people:
FACT: 90 % of all bodyguards are normal sized people, but will have to be strong/stay fit. Many have some sort of military, police or self defence background

B. Bodyguards always carry weapons:
FACT: If you work in certain countries, you can obtain a weapons permit and carry a weapon. But in many countries, this is not allowed and bodyguards will be restricted to using their hands or whatever they can find (legally) to protect themselves.

C. Bodyguards live an exciting life:
FACT: Depending on your definition of an exciting life, this is not so. Most of the work in this trade is textbook/backbone work, quite mundane and not exciting at all. That is, if you are not working in a "hotspot" like Mexico, Iraq or similar.

D. Bodyguards make a huge amount of money:
FACT: less than 10 percent of all bodyguards can actually support themselves on bodyguard work alone. They have to take other security jobs in between contracts, as only the best and the best connected can make a living of bodyguarding right away. 

E. Bodyguards live a life on first class, and their client pay the bill:
FACT: YES, that's true for the 200 bodyguards in the world employed by a superstar or a conglomerate boss somewhere. But for the 20 000 other bodyguards, this is not the case. When/if they get employment, it usually is following someone to court, to an event, to a meeting somewhere with some shady people or simply sitting somewhere in a car overlooking a building. The food is scarce (if any), time prohibits luxury and the boss is cranky because of stress.

There are as many meanings about bodyguarding as there are people and I can't cover everything here, so feel free to investigate further or drop me a specific question on

The United States Secret Service protecting president Obama. Private sector bodyguarding is very different than protecting government officials and heads of state.  

Kevin Costner plays Frank Farmer a former Secret Service agent that protects superstar Rachel (Whitney Houston R.I.P) in the movie Bodyguard (1992). This movie gave many people many misconceptions about the bodyguard trade. 

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