Do you have a bodyguard? Here’s how you can look after yourself

If you study a bodyguard at work you will notice how they only look at the person they are protecting just long  enough to see what they are doing.


The road sign, designed by Jacob Sempler and Emil Tiisman, in Stockholm.

For most of us we just act as if we had a personal protector and wander along looking at our phone or at something else that is interesting. On the train almost everyone is on their phone.

How do body guards actually protect someone?

They do a risk assessment

We will do a detailed post on how and why risk assessments have evolved but for now a simple definition. It is a term used more often in business where problems are identified and solutions worked out that will benefit the business. It is this aspect that we determine how you and your family identify what dangers you may encounter and how to deal with them.

What risks are there?

These days we have instant access to media stories that are horrible ranging from a person eaten by a shark or a child falling out of a window, or millions of people fleeing from a war zone but as there are so many our mind cannot cope and we minimise the relevance to us. A Child goes missing and is later found to have been captured by a paedophile. We will also be dealing later with how to identify so many risks.

How to protect yourself and those with you whilst walking anywhere.

It is easier than you think. Pay attention! Don't worry about what risks you might find just be alert. You and your friends or your family can share the task of watching.


Our Brain is a small biological mass of soft wrinkly soft matter that is so important that it is located inside a thick bony protection we call our skull and much more protection. To make sure it isn’t damaged, when we bump our head, it is wrapped in three layers of tissue and floats in a special shock-proof fluid.

It started its work six weeks after its mother became pregnant and hasn’t stopped since then. It is more powerful than any computer ever built and obtains most of its information without very much help from us. In fact we have no idea of what really goes on.  For more details on this please read our 10 part guide starting with


So how does his instinct thing work?

Every time something happens anywhere and your senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, or just moving about your brain takes a note and sorts it out just in case something happens and you might need help. Let’s say you see something on TV, it’s about someone who was raped, or there is a car accident. You don’t pay much attention as it happens to other people all the time. Our brain however considers it a risk and puts it in a special place. Where? Actually scientist are learning so much but it really isn’t important to us. All we need to know is that our brain has about 100 billion nerve cells and about 1000 billion other cells and they are all connected together and to everything in our body. It has remembered every single thing and sorted it out even though our conscious part can’t remember. (We talk about this more in other parts)

Can we trust our instinct?

Actually we do this all of the time.”

Humans are quiet clever at instinctively responding to danger. For example you are walking and you start to cross a road; suddenly you hear a car horn sound - and you freeze instinctively. your feet stop making that step onto the road and your head moves in the direction of the sound. You don't say to yourself anything, you do not think I better stop, you don't decide to turn your head - you just do it automatically. Your conscious mind has been taken over by our brain. We seem to know when something doesn't seem to be right.

We  can see danger but we usually have to be looking. A person may be well dressed coming towards you but their body language and face doesn't seem to be normal. Your instinct has put you into a high alert. This is what body guards do.  They see a person reach into their clothing but the persons eyes are looking towards the protected person. A combination of instinct and training sees one bodyguard step in between this possible risk and protects the client with his body, whilst another reaches for his gun . Risk identified, action commenced. In this case the person takes out a pocket camera. The risk is nil and everyone moves on and continue risk assessing.

Next time you are out why don't you practice surveillance techniques? See what you can find that doesn't seem to be right. Look at people very briefly (don't stare at them)  and see if you can tell what they do for a living. You can even get your children to play a game look around and report anything see that is unusual and you might be surprised at how clever they are. Some children have books that ask them to "Find Wally". Ask them to see if there is anyone on the train that looks dangerous, or sad, or if they are sick, but make sure they only tell you later when they get off the train

When you are walking around or travelling on a train pretend you are a bodyguard and watch people and try and assess risk to you and or other passengers. you will be surprised how often you decide to more to another place.

One clue is to look at people's footwear and compare them to their clothing. Examine their face Another is to notice their hands; are they showing signs of work such as dirty nails or cuts. Then link these little observations together.  What's wrong with what you see or hear. After a while you will enhance your surveillance techniques so quickly that you do not stay in that area. You become aware, very quickly, of so many different potential risks a fully trained surveillance bodyguard. You will even notice other people doing what we just told you. They come in , look around sit down, look around again, then open their smart phone. At each station or stop they look up, check status and then back to the phone.

You may never be at risk but in this modern world there are people that are dangerous and it is important to always pay attention.