Bodyguard Training


‘The best bodyguard is the one nobody notices’

With the rise of teen stars, the intense media focus on celebrity families and a new wave of millionaires and billionaires, adults are no longer the only target for hostage-taking, blackmail and assassination – kids are too.

That’s why they need specialized protection . . .



BUDDYGUARD is a secret close-protection organization that differs from all other security outfits by training and supplying only young bodyguards.

Known as ‘buddyguards’, these highly skilled teenagers are more effective than the typical adult bodyguard, who can easily draw unwanted attention. Operating invisibly as a child’s constant companion, a buddyguard provides the greatest possible protection for any high-profile or vulnerable young person.

In a life-threatening situation, a buddyguard is the final ring of defence . . .


Defence Guides

  1. Cooper’s Colour Code
  2. Rings of Defence
  3. Anti-surveillance


1. Cooper’s Colour Code

As Connor learns in HOSTAGE, the key to effective security as a bodyguard is “Constant Situational Awareness”.

If you’re aware of your surroundings, you’re less likely to be taken by surprise. And in a real threat situation, your awareness level could mean the difference between life and death for both you and your Principal.

According to Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper, the most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation isn’t a weapon or martial arts skills but the correct combat mindset. He identified four levels of awareness – White, Yellow, Orange and Red.


Code White means being totally switched off, tuned out to what is going on around you. This is where 95% of people spend 95% of their time – living in their own bubble, such as when you’re on a mobile phone and you cross the road without looking.

Code White is no place for a bodyguard to be. If you’re suddenly attacked, you’ll get a massive surge of adrenalin your body won’t be able to cope with. It’ll trigger a state of “fight, flight or freeze”. This is comatose level [black] – where you go into shock, your brain ceases to process information and you simply cannot react to the reality of the situation.

Code Yellow – relaxed awareness at all times.

You are alert; not paranoid. There’s no specific threat, but you’re conscious that the world’s a dangerous place. In this state it is difficult for someone to surprise you. The trouble with this state is that you can easily drift back into Code White without even realizing it. So you have to stay switched on.

Code Orange is a focussed level of awareness due to a specific alert.

Having noticed or sensed a potential threat (a knife, an argument, a speeding car), you evaluate your choices and formulate a plan. Run, fight, or wait and see, depending on how the situation develops.

Code Red is the trigger – the high alert.

The threat has escalated into a hazardous situation. You are now taking decisive and immediate action. Having made your decisions in Code Orange, you’re now acting on them. You haven’t jumped from Code White to Code Red in a single leap, resulting in potential “brain-fade”. Since your mindset is already in a heightened state of awareness, your body can handle the rush of adrenalin.

This means you can run faster, hit harder, think quicker and jump higher than you could seconds before.

In short, the Colour Code helps a bodyguard to stay in control and think clearly in a life-threatening situation.

2. Rings of Defence

In the majority of assignments, you’ll work as part of a larger adult close-protection team who form a series of concentric defensive rings around the Principal (the person you are protecting):



The outermost circle is The Residential Security Team – they manage the physical security of anywhere your Principal’s family might stay – for example, a house, a hotel or a yacht. They’ll perform searches, monitor CCTV and check every visitor in and out. In theory, this should be the safest place for you and your Principal. On the other hand, being a fixed and known location, a residence is the most obvious target for an attack.

The Security Advance Party provides the next layer of protection. They travel ahead of the family, checking that routes and venues are safe. This may happen months in advance, say for a holiday – or minutes, in the case of an impromptu visit to a restaurant. Many potential attacks have been foiled by an observant SAP team. So good communication with them is essential – you don’t want any surprises when you’re out and about.


The Personal Escort Section provides a crucial layer of defence when the family is on the move. Depending upon the situation, their function may be to provide additional protection or to eliminate a threat and give you time to escape with your Principal.’

Each of these groups forms a cordon of defence round the Principal and their family.


As the bodyguard, you are the final ring of defence. It’s your ultimate responsibility to shield your Principal from danger. Whatever that may be!

3. Anti-surveillance: How to tell if you’re being followed…

As a bodyguard, you have to be on constant alert to people following you and your principal. The problem is spotting them in the first place.

Criminals, terrorists and kidnappers look the same as everyone else. They’ll be the ‘grey’ person, the one who blends into a crowd. Men, women, young and old, could be monitoring you and your Principal. Even children are used as information gatherers!

So how can you detect someone following you?

Anti-Surveillance Skills

These are the actions a bodyguard takes to expose an enemy who may be following them.

Just looking behind you does not identify surveillance – it identifies those who are behind you. The key is to force multiple sightings and unnatural behaviour.

In BODYGUARD: HOSTAGE, Connor learns all about anti-surveillance skills. Here are some of the techniques he uses in the series.

Anti-surveillance techniques

    • Frequently look behind you – this can be overt or covert depending upon whether you want the enemy to know you suspect something.
    • Enter a shop, large store or mall. Hold the door open for those behind you, giving a chance to look back.
    • Use the reflection in a shop window.
    • Drop a piece of paper and see whether it is picked up and examined.
    • Frequently change direction. However this quite overt, so have a reason for doing so.
    • Walk into areas where there is little pedestrian activity such as a park, quiet housing estate or multi storey car park. But be careful not to become too vulnerable.
    • Use large department stores with many exits and levels and suddenly stop at the information board. Look out for unnatural behaviour as someone follows you in.
    • Walk through narrow walkways. If the enemy is not familiar with the area they’ll most likely follow you down there.
    • Scan the area for Bluetooth devices with your mobile phone. See if the same device appears in a different location when you scan again.

Unnatural Behaviour

In addition to forcing multiple sightings, you must also combine it with spotting unnatural behaviour, such as:

    • Peeping around corners, over stands and through doors or windows
    • Mirroring – you cross the road, they cross the road
    • Fixated on the target, staring at you and not noticing what is going on around them
    • Being isolated and standing out without any cover
    • Talking to themselves on the radio
    • Having a vacant expression whilst they try to hear radio transmissions or continually touch their earpiece
    • Fidgeting or acting in a shifty manner
    • Deliberately avoiding eye contact or reacting when face to face

Anti-surveillance is sometimes the only way to meet a threat and deter – or even survive – an attack. So stay in Code Yellow and keep your eyes peeled for repeated sightings.

And remember the surveillance motto: Once is happenstance. Twice is circumstance. Three times means enemy action.


Chris Bradford is a true believer in ‘practising what you preach’. For his award-winning Young Samurai series, he trained in samurai swordmanship, karate, ninjutsu and earned his black belt in Zen Kyu Shin Taijutsu.

Find out more here.

NEW IDEA ALERT! Excited to hand my finished proposal to my agent for a brand new book series. It’s still TOP SECRET and promises a thrilling hybrid novel (story and graphic novel) with a great twist in the tale! Watch this space for further updates👁…

About a year ago from Chris Bradford's Twitter via Twitter Web App