Kent Moyer, who got his start working security for the Playboy Mansion, founded the World Protection Group 12 years ago as a bodyguard training program to produce professional alternatives to the hired thug.
"If you look at some of the Hollywood people and what we call the so-called 'bodyguard-type,' big people, no training, maybe bouncer from clubs, maybe friends that they picked that are really tall, big, those people get dead real quick because they don't have formal training," he said. "It's about using your brain. It's not about using physical."
Moyer now has 200 employees busy guarding all types of people, from former prime ministers of foreign countries and dignitaries out of Washington, D.C., to business executives, billionaires and "quite a few celebrities" from all over the world. And demand is growing, he said.
"I think we are in a dangerous time," Moyer said. "People are a little bit more concerned about their security."
Before getting an assignment, Moyer's "agents," as he calls them, go to bodyguard boot camp where they learn how to deal with stalkers, manage crowd control and how to help their clients make a quick escape.
Like many in Moyer's program, agent Darrel Clark has a police and military background. He said the danger in protection work is real.
"It doesn't matter if you are an A- or B- or C-lister," he said. "There is always someone when you are in the spotlight who wants to cause you harm, you never know."
Personal protection is a huge business. Moyer said clients will pay between $250,000 and $1.5 million per year for security, and there are some who hire protection just to create a little buzz.
"There's a certain percentage of celebrity-type people that want to have that bodyguard for the purposes of saying, 'I got a bodyguard,' when there is really not much threat," Moyer said. "It's more a show piece."
In Hollywood, with flashing cameras, paparazzi and fans, bodyguards for the rich and famous are ever-present, hovering just out of camera range.
Most celebrities won't talk about their security details, but even young up-and-comers are shelling out money for bodyguards.
Jimmy Bennett is 17 years old but he is already a veteran actor with a ton of movie and TV credits, playing a hell-raising future Starfleet captain by the name of James Tiberius Kirk in the "Star Trek" movie. Most recently, he starred on ABC's TV series, "No Ordinary Family."
Bennett is not yet an A-lister, but bodyguards are part of his entourage the moment he steps off a private plane or walks up to an event.
"It's weird," he admitted, but said the hired protection is necessary because he said he has received threats on social media.
" I have just had too many incidents and too many things that I have just, you know, I liked having these guys around," Bennett said. "I like feeling protected and I like feeling safe."
Moyer said when Bennett is on his way to an event, such as a Hollywood party, his agents scan social media and crowds looking for "indicators."