H2H (Hand-to-Hand Combat) in Executive Protection

Earlier last week I was having a very constructive conversation on a post shared by someone in regards to H2H being taught in Close Protection courses, unfortunately the post was either deleted or I was blocked, either or, I thought I would pick the conversation back up again.

These skills are important, really important, however before considering teaching these skills in a close protection course, it would be more beneficial to teach the participant far more “practical” skills which are used on a daily basis and are factually the makeup of an Executive Protection operative and ensuring they fulfill far more important prerequisites, which are required in the industry, such as;

  • IQ Test, operatives must have a certain amount of intelligence when working in the industry, common sense is the key to operating efficiently and professionally, and as they say ''it's not that common''.

  • Mental Speed Test, is the candidate a quick thinker? is the candidate able to process information quickly and make a smart decision independently? this is a must have skill for any operative.

  • Lectures from practitioners who have worked extensively in the industry at a high level, to inform the candidate of what actually and factually takes place on a day-to-day basis, and not what you see in the movies or read in books, in turn weeding out half the prospective candidates prior to commencing a course.

  • Training and coaching on sleep deprivation and working under immense pressure in often complex and challenging environments for a prolonged duration of time and relied upon to make important decisions and take appropriate actions quickly.

  • Soft skill competencies, does the candidate have people skills, social skills, communication skills, character and personality traits, worldly knowledge, social intelligence and emotional intelligence? All key skills required in the industry.

  • Ensuring the candidate has strong MS Office skills and IT knowledge, like it or not, administration is a fundamental skill required in the industry.

  • Fitness, the protector must be fit, not only mentally but physically. Like it or not, many companies, employers and private households these days also make candidate selections based on physical appearance, if you are unable to tie your own shoelaces, it's unlikely you'll get the job.

These are just a few key skill sets required to perform at a professional and efficient level in the industry.

In 18 years of experience, working in several countries for several high profile individuals, I have only ever needed to put my hands on a persons once to eliminate a threat to a principal, that’s not to say physical attacks will not occur, people are intent on harming others especially this day in age, however this is why it’s vitally important to understand how to conduct risk assessments and mitigate risk to a potential principal, advanced security planning is vital.

It’s important to mention that a huge difference lies between a one week classroom course on restraints and years of experience of H2H and martial arts training, it is vitally important that the protector can look after themselves, after all, how does one expect to protect another ones life if they cannot protect their own? this being said, it cannot be taught in a classroom on a one month course.

Physical intervention is the last resort, always. If you find yourself using it, questions need to be asked, did you complete the necessary risk assessments and advances prior to bringing your principal into the environment, or maybe you we’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Governing bodies are highly unlikely to adopt these sorts of training requirements mentioned above into courses, because the more licenses issued, the more money they make.

Thankfully companies and employers are now focusing on where the candidate was trained, focusing on the quality of instructors and course content which was delivered, that being said, with use of common sense, would you prefer to partake in a course delivered by former UK-SF or a course delivered by someone who has only ever worked at the local pub?

Candidates often choose a cheaper course option because some may not have the monetary funds available, and may be beneficial at the time, however it’s important to remember it’s an investment in ones future, so it’s important to understand that a small investment may return tenfold if the candidate is a successful operator in the industry.

To conclude, it’s necessary to understand the difference between being a street brawler, with the knowledge of how to fight on the street, the knowledge you were taught in a one week restraint course in a classroom, and years of experience in a martial art or H2H training in the military.

After extensive experience of brawling on the streets, and still to this day keeping my martial art skills in check on a daily basis, the added confidence that I can look after myself and another is of utmost importance and I have no doubt, put me ahead of several other candidates in roles in the past, however, it’s not what matters most in the Executive Protection industry, it’s some of the traits listed above.

Please feel free to message me.