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Meet the Women Who Guard China’s Millionaires

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China's new rich apparently prefer female bodyguards, because they are easier to pass off as secretaries or dates!

Plus the female bodyguards seem badass.

On the day that I visited Yunhai, trainees were being taught how to subdue and immobilize attackers armed with everything from prop daggers to AK-47 assault rifles. An instructor, Lu Qingxin, demonstrated the necessary technique to take control of a cleaver-wielding aggressor and force him to slit his own throat.

Later, the sparring area partially cleared of mats, I watched two of the school's female trainees teeter in three-inch heels as Ding Jia, an etiquette teacher, instructed them in how to maintain a poised, upright posture. "Learning to walk like this is a necessary part of the job," reasoned Ma Zeng, a 20-year-old, rail-thin, rosy-cheeked trainee who used to work in a textile factory. "It's about showing basic respect to the client."

Violent crime is comparatively rare in China, in part because access to guns is so difficult. "In Chinese law, no person is allowed to carry weapons, especially not bodyguards," Xin told me. "Without weapons, you need to have good kung fu, observational skills, defense techniques, and fast reaction times in the face of danger."

But some Yunhai bodyguards do carry one weapon, a "self-defense pen" designed by Xin himself. Made out of black aluminum with a sculpted point at one end, the tool is a glorified shank and looks like it could easily puncture vital organs. "It's also a massager!" Xin enthused, prodding the end of the pen into a stress-release pressure point on my hand to demonstrate.

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