The International Bodyguard Association was founded in Paris in December 1957 by Major Lucien Victor Ott, a much decorated French Para-commando veteran. Lucien Ott was born and brought up within the French Foreign Legion in Algeria. His grandfather killed in WW1 in the Dardanelles campaign served in the elite Chasseurs d'Afrique. Lucien's father Victor served in the Spahi before joining the French Foreign Legion. Victor Ott became a senior NCO in the 1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment, wounded in the Riff wars he was invalided out on pension.
Lucien joined the newly formed French Para-commandos serving in the 2nd Demi-Brigade SAS in Indochina, then with the 8 BCCP under Col Bigeard. He volunteered to parachute into Dien Bien Phu where he was wounded and captured by the Viet Minh. He escaped and joined the GCMA a military intelligence operation organising Montagnard resistance groups. After the war he transferred to the Deuxieme Bureau (Military Intelligence). In Marseillaise his friend Jim Alcheik (of the French Secret Service) introduced him to Karate and Aiki Ju Jutsu training of the Yoseikan school under Tetsuki Murikami.
Also in 1956 he was tasked with reviewing operational protective methods for French military VIPs. His review found that the methods used internationally in bodyguarding were ineffective and outmoded. From this was born the Lucien Ott protection method he called 'Defense & Security' He coined the phrase "protection rapprochée" which the UK's Royal Military Police mistranslated as Close Protection.
Lucien Ott founded the International Bodyguard Association as a think-tank for bodyguards and as their Association. Lucien was working against terrorism in Algeria when he was selected by M. Tinet to form a personal bodyguard for President de Gaulle at the height of the OAS crisis. Under the authority of General de Monssabert a group of ex-special forces veterans were formed as "Les Gorilles". When Pompidou succeeded De Gaulle as President 'Les Gorilles' were given the option of being absorbed by the Gendarmerie or leaving. Constant absence from his family while on duty led to a divorce and seperation from his two children Veronique and Didier.
Lucien moved to Munich where he tried his hand as a 'Cascador' or stunt man and he established a Cascador school. Soon, Lucien returned to bodyguarding celebrities from the world of the cinema. He was in demand from both Military and Law Enforcement as a bodyguard instructor. In the mid-1970s he moved to Bruxelles and established his IBA Acadmey 'Defence & Security' in Rue de l'Etoile in Uccle. In December 1989, Lucien was diagnosed with terminal cancer and admitted to the Erasmus Institute in Anderlecht where he died in February 1990. At Lucien Ott's wish, he was succeeded after his death in 1990 by his deputy who is the current Director General tasked with ensuring that the IBA fulfills it's mission in training bodyguards in modern effective techniques.
James Shortt, the current D.G., was a student and protégé of Lucien Ott and led IBA training teams to the Baltic Republics, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakstan.Training Teams were dispatched by the current Director General to train UN Forces at Tuzla in Bosnia and elements of the Security Forces of the European Union (EEC).
He became the first outsider to train KGB (Crimea 1991) and started training for bodyguards (Government and Corporate) in Poland (1988), Estonia (1989), Latvia and Lithuania (1990). He pioneered the IBA method in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. To date he has trained bodyguards on 5 continents including 36 countries.
James Shortt is the hereditary Colonel commandant of one of the oldest existing bodyguard formation in the world - The Royal Galloglas Guard. Galloglas originated in Western Scotland and its isles from the warlike offspring of mixed Celtic and Viking marriages. Following their success against the Anglo-Normans under Sir William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce, they were established in Ireland at the turn of the 14th Century.