Security classes tap mystique of VIP bodyguards

Updated: 2011-08-31 07:58

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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BEIJING - This summer Yang Xu, an arts major from Zhejiang province, was able to fulfill his dream and become a bodyguard after he completed his 28-day training with Tianjiao Special Consultancy Company."I always wanted to try this work and the training made my dream come true," he said.

"When I was a child, I watched many films and thought bodyguards must be cool and mysterious."

Prior to the training he thought bodyguards only needed a good constitution, but during the classes he found the professionals need psychological and social skills.

"It was not as easy as I expected. It requires both physical and mental abilities," he said.

Tianjiao Special Consultancy Company, which has the only international security academy in China, started to provide private security classes in March this year. So far more than 70 students have graduated from the academy.

"I receive nearly 50 calls and answer more than 200 e-mail inquiries every day," said a staff member, surnamed Cheng, who is responsible for the training. She said China has a lack of professional security consultants who can provide security services for VIPs.

"During the training, students spent at least 16 hours a day studying wrestling, driving, investigating and criminal psychology," she said.

"After graduation, the students can choose jobs independently. If they sign a contract with us and become long-term bodyguards, they will get 20,000 yuan ($3,134) a month."

Most of those attending the academy are retired soldiers and young men who are interested in kungfu and investigating, although some parents also bring their children to learn self-protection, she said.

"It's a new field and seems to have a bright market, which is better than competing in the legal world," said Yang Fan, 23, a law major graduate in Beijing, who decided to switch profession and become a bodyguard.

Wang Dawei, a professor at the Chinese People's Public Security University, said there is a big demand for VIP bodyguards in China.

However, Wang Hongjun, another professor in the university, offered a few words of caution.

"International security classes may not be suitable for China," he said. "Bodyguards will face many legal restraints."