There are many places in the world where successful women want bodyguards.
Often, they want their bodyguards to be women, too.
Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant, a school near Beijing, is convinced the market for female bodyguards is growing.
"In China, the market for male bodyguards is growing steadily," manager Chen Yongqing says. "However, a social and market preference for female bodyguards has increased since last year. Many female entrepreneurs, celebrities, and pop stars, as well as their family members, children and parents, all need female bodyguards for protection. So we are particularly focusing on training female bodyguards starting this year."
At the school, candidates acquire the skills they need to guard a rich employer.
They learn to punch and kick. To block a knife attack. To disarm a gunman. And – especially -- to drive fast.
"To protect an important person, special driving skills are indispensable," Yongqing says. "Driving takes up to 40 percent of the time during our missions, because the person we protect is always linked to the car when they are not working or resting. That's why we conduct special driving skills training."
It takes mental toughness to be a bodyguard. The school works on that, too.
An instructor puts down glass bottles before a row of women. One by one, he smashes a bottle over each woman's forehead.
Sun Yiyao, 22 years old, barely flinches. She's ready to break sexual stereotypes.
"In China, women are seen as a vulnerable group, and society always looks down on them," Sun says. "However, almost everyone looks at a female bodyguard in a different way. As a woman, I'm very proud to be able to protect a man or even a group of people."
Before she and her fellow students can become professional bodyguards, they must still pass an eight-month course of stamina training, martial arts, reconnaissance skills, and business etiquette.
But it could be worth it.
Graduates from this school can look forward to a well-paid career with a minimum salary of $800 a month.
So long as female bodyguards are in short supply, that will remain more than what most male bodyguards earn.
Based on a Reuters report