Branko Malešič, self-defence instructor and member of the training team of Specialists in safety and security


You are a security manager with many years of experience in security business. You have graduated  from the  Vocational College , programme Security engineering at  the School Centre Kranj, what, in your view, has changed in this area since 1987, when you started your career, compared to today?

My path on the area of security services started on 2 October 1987 in the socially- owned work organization Varnost, unit Kranj (Security Kranj), where, until the infamous collapse of the by then already privatized Security Kranj, Plc, with 300 employees, in the middle of the year 2006, I worked at various work positions, from a security guard to the procurator.

Changes in the area of private security, as in the whole of society, were hasty. From a uniform social enterprise operating on the whole territory of Slovenia, first emerged independent companies, and then completely new privately-owned companies were created. In 1994, we received the first law regulating private security and the Chamber of Private Security of the Republic of Slovenia, where I, while holding two consecutive mandates of 4 years in its Security Staff Testing Commission, personally got to know a considerable part of the security personnel in Slovenia.

The scope of security services began to expand from exclusively physical securing of companies and supervisory services in the early ’90s with the transport of cash from shops to the SDK vault (ex-National Bookkeeping Service), with installing alarm devices, setting up the first VSCs and intervention groups with two security guards each, by securing events, concerts and individuals. The 2003 Private Safety Act introduced security forms and licenses as still known these days.

The complexity of security services is increasing from year to year, and the circumstances in which they are carried out are deteriorating. This requires continuous training of security personnel, what is actually stipulated in the law in force since 2011 as the compulsory professional training and upgrading of security personnel.

Nowadays, a security guard is definitely the one who, in case of a violation of the order or public order in a secured area, takes the first action. The perpetrators, especially those under the influence of unauthorized stimulants, what is no exception in public events, especially in catering premises, are unpredictable, disobedient and dangerous. Due to this, any security guard requires a quality and continuous self-defence training and an impeccable knowledge of the measures and duties as stipulated in the Private Security Act. This is necessary for all more demanding tasks, such as the securing of events in catering premises, or of public events, personal protection or intervention services.

Photo: personal archive / Healing wounds with treatment wraps in the Dead Sea.

You have been carrying out security tasks that required a higher level of readiness for emergencies, how did you get ready for them?

From securing the premises to the personal protection of Garry Kasparov and Luciano Pavarotti, up to the 10-year security services for the Cankarjev dom ( National Cultural and Congress Centre), of all its events, and the cooperation with their highly capable team, until the planning and implementation of the private security at the Congress Square in Ljubljana during the visit of the US President William Jefferson Clinton. Domestic and foreign security experts with whom I came in contact at the Chamber of Private Security and at my work, unselfishly shared their knowledge. At that time, the Director of Security Kranj wrote a master’s thesis “Quality in Private Security Services”, which we operatives conscientiously implemented in practice. It was very good, probably the best ten-year school.
In 1996, after the shooting incident at the OMV petrol station in Zaloška Street in Ljubljana, we began to protect the Dakota DC3 entertainment centre in the BTC shopping complex and later on several other nightclubs. All explicitly in accordance with the regulations on private security, using the minimum necessary force, armed and equipped with radio communications.

You were also trained in Israel several times, where you gained some useful skills for your work, how would you describe this training?

In the early ’90s, hungry of the knowledge and novelties in the field of private security we attended several professional fairs abroad. After that, we worked intensively for ten years and then I was, at my own request, sent to the International Security Academy in Israel to be trained for a personal security officer ( a VIP Operative). The two-week activity lasted 13 hours per day – a practice of fighting without weapons, training of fighting with weapons, theory and practical exercises of protecting a person. Before going to bed, we also served the penalties that we had incurred during the day, usually carrying a fellow-trainee on our shoulders or on stretchers, lasting exhaustingly long time. This was followed by a long-lasting exercise of protecting and transporting an individual from Tel Aviv to the Red Sea followed by constant tests, 72 sleepless hours. Extremely strict discipline, highly competent security experts, streams of sweat, constant psychical pressure, various exercises for raising determination, fearlessness and ability to operate under pressure, shooting with various types of weapons, searching of improvised explosive devices, operating in an unknown environment – in short, everything that a security guard can be faced with in a hostile environment. It was unforgettable and very useful for my further professional development.

Photo: personal archive / Healing wounds with treatment wraps in the Dead Sea.

In your opinion, how should professionals that are daily faced with dangerous situations, for example, with interventions and similar situations (police officers, security guards, city rangers, etc.) be trained?

Performing high-level security services or ensuring order and peace in insecure or hostile circumstances requires internal strength, mental and physical ability, willingness, and will to deal with and overcome various difficult and stressful situations. This, in my opinion and experience, can be achieved only through continuous professional training and compulsory psychophysical training, with the emphasis on a professional use of physical force and self-defence capabilities.

For more than 30 years you have been exercising martial arts, and you are also a coach and master of the karate 5th day. You are also a self-defence instructor in the Safety and Security Specialists Program, designed to those who need knowledge for high operational performance in hazardous situations. In your opinion, what skills are crucial for the high operational performance of occupations in the area of safety and security?

Since the beginning in 1986 I have been a member of the Karate Club Kranj. I’m a pupil of Igor Prasnikar, and I was also taught by Yakinobu Shimabukuro, Takemi Takayasu, Terry Daly, Tsutomo Nakahodo, Ken Nakamatsu, Nabuhiro Higa, Kiyohide Shinjo, Masakazu Kinjo, the late Shigeru Takamiyagi, James Thompson, the late Jack Summers, Peggy Hess, Hirokuni Yamashiro and others.
I picked up something from each, built it into my own way of life, and in all these years I have realized that it’s not important to win, but not to lose yourself. So far, with almost everyday exercising, I have managed to be successful in this.

Persons who perform highly demanding work in the field of safety and security should have the following characteristics: reliability and loyalty, motivation, dedication and determination, curiosity, ability to operate under pressure, emotional stability, physical readiness, self-defence knowledge, aggression, courage, decent and representative appearance, high level of communication capability, high level of communication skills, high level of professional security knowledge and general knowledgeability.
The key to a highly qualified specialist is an ongoing training of self-defence, shooting, of survival in nature and continuous professional training.

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