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The industry dictates when the BPI training flag goes up

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Atlanta 2016

For the record, The BPI Group has never been and will never be an EP training academy.  We are a FULL-TIME fully functional operational executive protection company that services its clients EVERYDAY.  It was the condition of the industry and how the standards had degraded that caused me to have serious conversations with those I trust who have training companies to make a difference but they opted not to get dirty by co-mingling with the individual specialists of the industry.  I believe in the premise that everyone is either, “Part of the solution or part of the problem” when it comes to making a change to anything.

That said, I decided that I needed to widen my scope in the industry…..not to become a full-time training school but to raise the standard in the industry one person at a time.  Before you ask, there will be no training calendar nor will I have any dates for you if you decide to contact me.  The industry dictates when the BPI Training Flag goes up.  I watch, I listen and then I launch.  Specifically I watch what is being posted on social media and by whom.  I listen to what they are professing and see if the untrained are falling for the BS and then I launch.

About a month or so ago, Steven Turner posted a video to his followers regarding his training and mentioned my name and Avery Mitchell’s name in the video and the remote possibility of getting the two [2] of us in the same room before the “LIVE” ATAB/CEPS course starts.  I saw the video and immediately called Avery and within 2 minutes we decided to do it.  The dates were set October 8th – 14th in Atlanta, Georgia.  The class room was filled with fourteen [14] students who had varying levels of training experience.  Many of you may be surpised to know that more than two [2] of the students had previously attended EP schools that have been viewed historically as the go-to schools.

Rather than me telling you how the course went, when I had the exit interviews with each student I offered each of them the opportunity to have their personal reviews posted on the blog.  Their reviews were optional and had to be submitted on a Word document at a five hundred word minimum.  I will release the reviews in two [2] blogs

 

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Jenny Charlson’s review of the BPI School

10/17/2016

 

I have been in the Executive Protection Industry for 6 years, and attended 3 training programs prior to attending the BPI School last week.  I have learned a lot from the training programs I attended in the past, and I am so grateful for the knowledge that I gained.  Last week, however facilitated a change in my career unlike any training program I have attended.  Eric Konohia and Avery Mitchell put together a program that both builds a solid foundation for those first getting into the industry, and sheds a new light on the way things are supposed to be done, for those of us who have been around for a while.

I have known Eric and Avery for several years, and have had intermittent interactions with both of them, however, I have never had the opportunity to work with them, nor have I had the opportunity to learn what makes them the TRUE leaders in this industry.  Last week, that was changed.  At the beginning of the class, Eric started with the fundamentals of Executive Protection.  His dynamic way of breaking down the roles that each specialist will play in a detail, and then having us execute those roles during the motorcade training shed a whole new light on the way things are supposed to be done.  He told us that his goal was to raise the standards of the industry, and let me say, the 14 individuals that went through his training program will go out and do just that.  He told us that we would become EP Snobs by the end of the week, and while I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that, I listened to him, watched him, and learned from him throughout the week.  After the last day, it happened.  I understood why the industry has been subpar in recent years, and I knew what I had to do to elevate the standards he was now setting.

We were fortunate enough to get a full afternoon of Avery Mitchell telling it like it is in the niche of executive protection known as Celebrity Protection.  He went into detail about the nuances that one should expect to encounter while on a celebrity detail, and made no bones about what he expected from each of us when we got his call.  I think that I can speak for the whole class when I say that we are up for the challenge!

Eric kept saying throughout the class that he wanted to see how we thought, that just because we did something differently from the way he would have done it, we weren’t necessarily wrong, but we had to break down our reasoning for responding to a certain situation the way we did.  We were constantly funneled into failure, not to embarrass us, but to teach us.  People learn by doing, and everything we did was so practical, and still so simple, that by the end of the class, we ALL knew how to fall into every position on an executive protection detail.  This course has changed the way I look at Executive Protection, and has solidified my skills and my confidence.  Eric and Avery started off this week as my biggest skeptics (as they had never seen me work), and by the end of the week, I felt like they were my biggest fans.  I was able to (almost) flawlessly execute the skills that they had bestowed upon me, and more importantly, I was able to secure confidence in my decision making on a detail. I have gained more out of the BPI course that I could have ever dreamed of.  Eric told me that I shattered the glass ceiling in our industry, and for people to “move out of my way and learn something!” This meant more to me than any industry compliment I had ever received.  It’s kind of like Bill Gates going up to a computer programmer and saying, “I love your work, I love the way you think, I want you to work with me in the future!”  I am still on cloud 9!

I want to thank Eric and Avery for everything they have done for me (whether they realize it or not), they have changed my world.  They have given me confidence, and skills that I need to protect those who need my protection.  Now, let the EP Snobbery commence!

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14642333_10155086532456754_5603825306468228911_nJoseph Hibner EPS

Executive Protection Specialist

I make no claims to be a subject matter authority on Executive Protection. I do however, and have always held myself to an almost extreme level of professionalism. I hold all I make contact with in this industry to the same standard. I have attended classes in Executive Protection. I’ve read many books, articles, blogs and commentaries on Executive Protection, as well as have been privileged to being one of the few to possess a pilot online correspondence course by a highly respected industry authority before he succumbed to health related issues. In this era of information, it’s not hard to find what you’re looking for in this world. It isn’t being an industry authority that qualifies me to speak, it is being an adept of the Executive Protection profession that I chose to pursue. Those who know me or worked alongside me know when it’s go time I’m switched on not only until the client/principle is safe but until I’m home and feel safe.

 

Now enough with the roosting, let me get right to the point. The BPI Executive Protection Specialist course taught by the industry Juggernaut Eric Konohia is the most real world relevant, real world concentrated, real world current, thus real world applicable Executive Protection course and method of instruction that I have come across, bar none. NOT another repackaged presentation of the same. This will upset a few I’m sure. Good. So next time the opportunity presents itself I advise you to attend the course and measure it yourself. The question you have to ask is, is this instructor or are these instructors currently working in the industry? Where? If it’s known, who have they worked for? Would you trade places with them right now? Was this course content developed 10, 15 or 20 years ago? I walked away with tools to not only immediately apply to my future work, but tools to get to where I want to be, from professionals who ARE where I want to be. Tried and true. The BPI Executive Protection Specialist course will immediately impact the value I offer current and future clients. Questions were answered. Pin point focus and guidance given by those who are shaping the industry, raising and setting the standard of what an Executive Protection Specialist in TODAYS world is. In this world anything is debatable. Feel free. I just won’t be there to debate with you. I’ll be too busy delivering an improved and proper protection package. The BPI way. The method to the madness became apparent with each passing day of the course, up until the final phase. Then like a still lake it all became clear. Eric Konohia’s name rings bells internationally, throughout the corporate industry, as the gold standard, for a reason. Passion. There are tough guys everywhere. That is NOT the measure of a world class Executive Protection industry service provider. Honestly speaking I’m still going over my class notes and will be for some time.

Lastly. The mortar that locked this course in was the Executive Protection for Celebrities module taught by Avery Mitchell. Avery is nothing short of a dynamo. He’s been there, done and currently doing it all. If you don’t know Avery then you don’t know. But I guarantee you decision makers know who he is. Again in true, real world fashion, Avery Mitchell gave wholesome and proper instruction. Shredding the misconceptions and illusions fed by those making industry claims and lowering the standards and expectations of the adept, the professional and the client. There’s a difference between niches and nuances. I know now. Bravo gentlemen. I am truly Grateful.

It took only the first day of class to realize that, with the measure of information these industry powerhouses were delivering that they weren’t there for the class fees. They were there due to a passion to raise the standards of the Executive Protection and Executive Protection for Celebrities industry, to where it needs to be. Gauged by professionals who have their fingers on the pulse of the ever changing climate of not just the Executive Protection industry but threats we and our principles face in today’s dynamically evolving world.  Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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14724649_10155086532516754_3141561726272461819_nAlex Garcia

AGEP Investigations & Protection LLC

 

I came to the BPI 7 day Executive Protection Course initially expecting to network with others in my field and take another executive protection course to stay current in my training. I knew I was going to be in good hands with current Executive Protection industry leaders Eric Konohia and Avery Micthell. I had no clue just how much I would learn and this wasn’t another executive protection course. From the first day of training I quickly saw the passion, knowledge and real world applications of TRUE Executive Protection. Eric Konohia and Avery Mitchell explained everything Executive Protection is and isn’t. Many think they are providing Executive Protection and are just providing a body that is not Executive Protection. I have been in the field of Executive Protection for over 3 years now and worked many different details ranging from celebrities to high net-worth individuals was extremely impressed with the detail that was taught in regards to protection detail formations to motorcade and advances. Avery Mitchell was eye opening and on point with the niche of providing Executive Protection for celebrities. The class was well put together to build a base and grow into being a Executive Protection Specialist that knows all the positions in a protection detail and can perform them all efficiently. My classmates and I grew from making errors and hesitating to being extremely confident and able to make quick decisions. The attacks on principal were practical and showed real world situations. My questions were answered honesty regarding business side of the Executive Protection industry.

My only critique is due to the amount of information being given the slides, diagrams and commands would be great to have to in PDF for review at home.

I appreciate the guidance you have offered in telling me what certifications and training I should seek next. I am so impressed and feel this training is so needed, relevant and current to Executive Protection that I want my staff to receive this training. In short I highly recommend this course to anyone who is serious about a career in Executive Protection, has the opportunity and is selected to attend. I look forward to attending any course offered by Avery Mitchell or Eric Konohia in the future.

I now have the knowledge and confidence that my Miami, Florida based company AGEP Investigations & Protection and I, along with Eric Konohia, BPI, Avery Mitchell and my classmates will be a leader and  raise the standards in providing a Executive level of Protection to high net worth individuals, dignitaries, celebrities and corporations. My training will not end here and with the knowledge I now have I feel I will separate myself further from others in the Executive Protection industry. My next step is ATAB  certifications.

Thank you for selecting and training me to provide Protection at a Executive level. Everything I was taught will be implemented immediately in my current protection detail.

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14708263_10155086532356754_8434439285619009672_nJabir Hazziez, Jr  CCPA, CCTS, CHS-III

President/CEO
Principle Intelligence, LLC

 

I have been working in the Executive Protection industry as Official Protection since 2009.  It was then that I took my first three week course provided by the Department of Defense (DoD).  Since then I have taken two 7 day courses from a private service provider.

In 2012 I began following Eric Konohia, CEO of Bulldawg Protection and Investigation (BPI) via the internet while I was on a military deployment.  At the time I was looking into private bodyguard work when I came across his video blogs about professionalizing the industry.  It was there that I learned the phrase executive protection.  A couple of years later I face to face with Avery Mitchell after initial social media contact.

Both Eric, who works corporate, and Avery, who works the entertainment industry, are considered the best in their niche of Protective Services.  Recently a company I do business with in Atlanta, GA, Strategic Executive Services, LLC hosted an Executive Protection training featuring these two living legends in the business as the instructors.  It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Needless to say I attended what was coined “BPI Group 7 – day Executive Protection Course – Atlanta 2016”  It was an awesome experience to first of all meet Eric face to face, and also meet with people striving to professionalized in the field.  Some of whom I have had the pleasure of connecting with via social media over the years.

I am a huge fan of doing things the right way the first time – Be Sharp, Look Sharp, Act Sharp is very important in this profession.  That was evidently clear in this 7 day course.  The instructors combined years of study, application, and real-world experience into a comprehensive seminar that wowed the attendees.  Absorption will be going on for some time for most.  And I relished in it.

In my case the training was a much needed refresher, having been trained by those who protect the Secretary of Defense and assist the United States Secret Service with the protection of foreign dignitaries.  Despite my previous experience and training, I learned so much from the duo.

Professionalism in this course was evident early on as I was sent a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) prior to my arrival in Atlanta.  It had to be presented prior to the session beginning on day 1.  Over the course of the seminar we ran multiple drills, and were bombarded with substance that culminated into two operative capstones.

If you ever have a chance to get training in the private sector from Eric Konohia and Avery Mitchell either together, or separate, my advice, seize it.  It is well worth it.  Increase your networth.

I am very happy to be in that number of people who are taking the Executive Protection industry seriously and are properly trained.  Now it is up to me to Act Sharp.

 

 

 

3 comments

  1. Shawn Cooper

    A great blog to read and a concise report of findings through the students eyes.

    Glad that everyone had their conceived beliefs of the industry shattered, which allowed for the acceptance of the new information.

    Best of luck to all the had this experience.

  2. Jimmy Maheux

    Good morning Eric.
    I missed the opportunity to be in you class with Steven last Summer / Spring.

    I best friend Alex Garcia did attend and I had told Steven yes but had an EP gig On Friday til Saturday morning so unfortunately I had to tell Steven that I could not. From the report of my friend, it was super great and an opportunity that he cherish to this day. Now I know you do not have calendar or any dates but FYI me and my wife along with Alex women are attending your next training that you will have.

    So please could you keep me in the loop either be email, messenger or even Indian smoke , lol in the event that you would have one of these amazing training class that most EP don’t have the opportunity to attend and simply get info and training by the massive wanna be on facebook.

    If you and Steven were to have this again as usual it would be pack within minutes.

    So , I thank you in advance and hope that you will see that there is a need for your knowledge and I am one who does both want it and need it. It doesn’t matter how great a person is or think they are, keep training and learning is the only wayou to make it in our industry.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Jimmy Maheux Owner C.S.I.S

    1. Eric Konohia

      Mr. Maheux,
      Thank you for your comment and your interest in attending one of my courses. As you know, BPI’s primary mission is Operational Executive Protection and consulting its Client base. It is my honest opinion that my attitude and focus on what and how EP should be taught, what the core principles are and how they are formulated and put together in the week’s class is unmatched. Each core subject is shaped so that the next one fits perfectly next to it. By the end of the week you have a solid foundation that is perfectly set in place to build upon as you continue move on in your career.

      You are also correct that we do NOT have a training calendar and that is also by design. I am a staunch proponent of “Selection” and “Need”. That is, the BPI Training flag goes up when I see that the industry is starving [Need] for new well-trained Ambassadors. When that happens we vet those that request to attend. There were applicants for course that you are referring to that were denied. That is probably the first difference between my approach and other training schools. It is NOT about the money for me and I will turn an applicant down if they do NOT fit.

      Now, to answer your question, I will say this: In a very short time you will see another opportunity avail itself. Stay ready because I only allow for a limited number of seats.

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