Archive for the ‘Bodyguard’ Category


The ICON Training Academy is proud to announce our first training course of 2013.  Experience contemporary training delivered by instructors that don’t teach “theory” but are actively involved in the art of Executive Protection, working the craft day in and day out around the world.

Course Dates:  

January 16-20, 2013 (5 Day Celebrity & VIP Protection)

January 21-30, 2013 (10 Day Advanced Executive Protection)

Take your training to the next level.

Until next time,

Stay Safe…



Read Full Post »

I just had the honor of finishing up 15 days of instruction with both the ICON Celebrity and VIP Protection Course and the Advanced Executive Protection course. It was 15 days of long hours and hard work.  I could ONLY imagine what the students felt like!  Here are some pictures of what went down!

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

Read Full Post »

This is day two of the ICON Celebrity and VIP Protection Course in full effect.  Lots of studying and I know for a fact we are cramming their brains FULL of information… Hopefully they don’t crap it all out!


Until next time,

Stay Safe…

Read Full Post »

Here comes the countdown to the next ICON Celebrity and VIP Protection Course.  A fast paced, in depth training course that will challenge everyone from the beginner to the expert!  Take a look at what Elijah and the crew are doing over at ICON…

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

Read Full Post »


I recently posted this, but it’s one of those things that needs to get out there over and over again.  The winds of change are blowing and for the good…


Code of Professionalism for Defensive Shooting Instructors 
Seven Tenets to Teach by! 
by Rob Pincus 

The number of people buying defensive firearms and the number of them seeking out training and Concealed Carry Permits are continuing to rise. Concurrently, the private sector training industry has never been busier and is also growing quickly. More and more ranges are hosting courses and allowing their members to practice progressively. New Instructors are joining our ranks every day. These are all GREAT Things. As I speak with my peers in the industry about the Ôgood timesÕ, though, one thing that is often lamented is the lack of ÒstandardsÓ among instructors. Thankfully, most of the focus is not on actual technique or doctrinal standards, but on standards of professionalism, safety and business practices. One of the great things about the state of affairs as it exists is the great variety in doctrines, methods and techniques that can be learned from the many professionals actively teaching defensive shooting.  This variety and the differences in what is being taught leads to the examination and critical thinking that is necessary for evolution and improvement. Sometimes, however, those differences go beyond the hard skills and bleed into areas that can cause a lot of heartburn. Areas like safety. Areas like the justification for why certain techniques are taught. Areas that often fall under the umbrella of Professionalism.


If you ask a room full of people what ÒprofessionalismÓ means, youÕll get a lot of different answersÉ trust me, IÕve done it several times! Words that are often heard include: Integrity, Knowledge, Expert, Dedication, Honor, Ethics & Standards. Recurring themes include: Attitudes, The Òway one conducts oneselfÓ and Respect for and from Peers & Students.


Over the past several months, IÕve engaged many training industry professionals in a dialogue to move towards a clearer understanding, both for us and our students, of exactly what a Professional Defensive Shooting Instructor is or how they conduct themselves. These conversations have taken place on the phone, via email, on a few ranges, in a at least a few bars, at a meeting held at SHOT Show and, most recently, during a presentation I gave on ÒInstructor Development & ProfessionalismÓ at The Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Memphis, TN. There were 40-50 people at the presentation and almost all of them were instructors. Some of their names you would recognize and I consider mentors and trailblazers, others have not had their 100thstudent yet and I might not even recognize if I see them next week. During that presentation, we engaged in a bit of a discussion about the concept of ÒprofessionalismÓ and I proposed seven tenets that are the result of the last several months of interaction. By no means are these tenets my own creation, hatched in a dark study and delivered down from a pedestal. I am certainly  They have grown from three bullet points that started in an email thread between myself, Grant Cunningham and Omari Broussard, two very different firearms instructors who are equally excellent and passionately interested in progress and professional development. Those bullet points were re-written, shared, discussed, changed, added to, taken away from and reviewed by too many other contributors to list here. The list includes names like Robbie Barkman, John Farnam and Marty Hayes, guys who have been involved in the industry since its earliest days and guys like Chris Collins, who have only recently become recognized names amongst the firearms community.  All of those contributors and contributions evolved the idea of a Professional Defensive Shooting InstructorÕs Code into the list of tenets that I presented last week and that I will include in this article.


As these conversations have been going on, it became apparent early on that the first thing that might need to be established for some people is that there is such a thing as a ÒDefensive Shooting InstructorÓ in the first placeÉ as opposed to just a generic Òshooting instructorÓ.  I think it is imperative, as we move forward, to distinguish the group of people, the area of study and the gear appropriate for Defensive Shooting. Just as you wouldnÕt show up to a skeet shooting event with a .308 rifle and expect to talk with others about mil-dots versus duplex reticles, we should be able to differentiate between the person who teaches hunter safety, target shooting or competition techniques from those who teach life & death skills meant for a very specific context of use. Similarly, there are differences between much of the gear and the techniques that make the most sense if you are trying to win competitions and the things that make the most sense to a Defensive Shooting Instructor. Once that is established, we can move on to trying to figure out exactly what that person does and how they do it.

Of course, what we actually doÉ the doctrine, the techniques, the skills themselvesÉ will never be standardized. I believe it would be a foolÕs quest to try to establish standards for what is taught under the banner of Defensive Shooting. In fact, I even disagree with those who have proposed that we should have universal standards for safety related issues such as student-to-instructor ratios and whether or not it is okay let students shoot & move on an imperfect range surface. I also disagree with those who would say that things like using foul language or dressing in any particular way immediately mark you as ÒunprofessionalÓ. I do, however, believe that there are some much less objective things that we should be able to agree on. I believe that there are some fundamental things that anyone engaging in this trade should be able to support. Those things are represented in the tenets below. Those things are subjectiveÉ they are conceptual. To echo the words that I have often heard people use to describe and define ÒProfessionalismÓ, they indicate that a person has Integrity, Knowledge, Ethics, Dedication and Standards. They indicate that a person is interested in the ideas of Attitude, Respect and Evolution. They indicate that a person is very aware of how they conduct themselves and their courses. These, to me, are all hallmarks of Professionalism.


Over the past several weeks, these tenets have been presented to many instructors. Overwhelmingly, they have responded with ÒWhere do I Sign?ÓÉ and in fact, at both SHOT Show and the Rangemaster Conference many instructors actually did sign a copy of the tenets that was being passed around. Their names are listed below, along with a handful of professionals who have indicated their support but were not present at those times.


So, whether you are an instructor or a studentÉ or just an interested observer connected to the firearms industryÉ take a look at these tenets. Please share them in their entirety wherever you see fit, electronically or otherwise, attribute them to theAssociation of Defensive Shooting Instructors. And, if you are interested in being on the list of those who support this code, send me an email.


-Rob Pincus


The Professional Code of Defensive Shooting Instructors


 1. I am committed to the safety of my students, and hold that the expected benefit of any training activity must significantly outweigh any known or perceived risk of that activity.


2. I believe that it is my responsibility to understand not just what I’m teaching, but WHY I’m teaching any technique or concept, or offering specific advice.


3. I recognize that defensive shooting skills, along with the drills and gear used, are inherently specialized and usually distinct from those of target shooting, competition and hunting endeavors.


4. I will encourage my students to ask questions about course material, and I will answer them with thorough and objective explanations.


5. I understand that Integrity and Professionalism are subjective traits and I strive to maintain high levels of both. I am capable of, and willing to, articulate the reasons for the way I conduct my courses and how I interact with students & peers.


6. I believe that it is valuable to engage my peers in constructive conversation about differences in technique and concept, with the goal of mutual education and evolution.


7. I believe that the best instructor is an avid student, and I will strive to continually upgrade my own skills and knowledge. As part of this belief, I understand that my own teachings need to be subject to critique and open to evolution.


Charter Supporters:

Rob Pincus, Grant Cunningham, Omari Broussard, Robbie Barkman, Tom Givens, John Farnam, Tom Givens, Mike Janich, Claude Werner, Mike Seeklander, Billy Heib, James Yeager, Chris Collins, Mike Hughes, Alessandro Padovani, Paul Gomez, Jeffrey Bloovman, Larry Yatch, Curtis Dodson, Matt Devito, Justin Johnson, Eli Brown, Brent Wheat, Mark Craighead, Jim Perrone, Bryan Collins, Stephen Pineau, John Jouvelis, Chris Juelich, George Semchak, Jr., Ian Strimbeck, Jeremy Harrison, Dr. Robert Smith, Don Edwards, George Williams, Paul Carlson, Travis White, Jeff Dyke, Ralph Greer, Paul Mehn, Tobin Maginnis, Steven Grundy, Jim Clark, Jack Feldman, Zeph Thull, Tyler Capozzi, Ron Sparrow, Randall Holmes, Marc Seltzer.


Until next time,

Stay Safe…



Read Full Post »

Elijah Shaw is a friend and mentor of mine in this industry.  He actually assigned me my first Executive Protection detail way back in the day.  I still turn to him for advice and continuing training.  He is the tip of the spear in the bodyguard game!  And those of us that know him; we know he is a HUGE movie fan… So I couldn’t help but borrow this from him:  (click the link to his blog)



Top 10 Bodyguard Movies


Until next time,

Stay Safe…


Read Full Post »

I was afforded the opportunity to run a GREAT pair of boots into the ground over the last few weeks.  Very solid and well made boot, but I will let you read my “official” review…

Under Armor Valsetz Tactical Hiking Boot (Black) Review:

Time of Test:

13 days (Feb. 24th to Mar 07th)



Events Conducted:

Standing (Long Duration)

40 Work Week Test

1-Mile Run

Water Proof Testing/ Cold Test

Ice and Snow Test

Ratings (1 to 10):

Fit:                                7

Comfort:                        9

Style:                            7

Breathability:                 8

Durability:                     10

Water Resistance:          1

Overall:                       7


The ratings and tests conducted are by no mean scientific!  I am just one guy who took a product and beat it up for 2 weeks.  Ran it through my everyday life and was asked to give a little feedback on what I think.  These are MY opinions on the UA Valsetz Tactical Hiking Boot (Black).

Fit for the most part is good.  I like the support that I get in the ankle and the heel cup.  The reason Fit got a 7 was I am not a fan of the lacing system on these boots.  I had to unlace the top eyelet so that I could actually tie them.  And attempting to draw the laces tight forced me to tighten each individual section and I couldn’t get them to STAY tight.  But once tied they stayed tied without double knots which is always a bonus.

I know they are still being broken in, but I took them to the torture chamber right out of the chute.  I worked an expo where I was on my feet a total of 15 hours.  It really felt like I was wearing a pair of tennis shoes (hence the Comfort rating of 9).  At the end of the expo my back was killing me, and usually it’s my feet that kill. (I have extremely flat feet and I suffer from Planter Fasciitis).  My feet felt amazing; boots are VERY light and VERY comfortable.

The look of the boot is cool, very tactical.  I like that!  The boots go very well with the everyday work that I do.  From the training classroom to the uneven environment of the outdoor range but I couldn’t pull off throwing on a pair of jeans and going out after! (Without some funny looks)  Also the polishing surface leaves a bit to be desired.  I know a lot of departments that have requirements on the publishable surface of their boots. And these particular boots fall short in that respect.

The lightweight mesh boot allows them to breathe quite well!  I did however get a case of the stink foot due to sweating feet (which isn’t the norm for me personally).  Still they aren’t as bad as some other boots I have had in the past and VERY manageable with the type of sock I wear so with that said I’m on board with that!  And the mess aids in the lightweight piece, which is worth its weight in gold.

I have only had them a week but I am BEATING these things up.  I ran in them for a mile at a moderate pace, taught an outdoor firearms class in the dead of winter, walk countless miles at work in a week, and kick things and drag my feet over everything I can get my feet on, constantly.  And to this point they have taken everything I can toss at them.  HUGE fan!

Waterproofness is an issue.  I went to do a dunk test (with my foot in the boot) and I didn’t even get the bucket filled and I ended the test.  I sprayed some water on the toe of the boot and my foot was instantly soaked.  NOT good.  It was fine for outdoors in the snow moving around but had I stepped in a puddle over the top of the sole it would have been frozen foot for me.  I expected a little more water resistance in the end.

All in all these are great boots.  They are comfortable and lightweight with the durability needed in a pair of boots that are going to be beat up on a daily basis.  If you are in a cold environment with the possibility of getting wet feet these may not be the right footwear for the job.  I would strongly suggest a pair to those in our business.  Great boot for the price point too!

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »