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Joburg’s ‘ninja school’ is producing security professionals and building leaders



In the heart of Johannesburg, the cold air does little to dampen the spirit of the young people gathered at the historic Anglo American building at 45 Main Street. These individuals from various regions, including Soweto, Vaal, Alex, Klipfontein, and even Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, are part of an innovative initiative: the Security Mastery Academy (SMA).

Security Mastery Academy: An Innovative Approach

The SMA, housed in the Anglo American building donated to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute (MII), is a unique training ground for aspiring security professionals. The academy was conceptualized by Dr. Taddy Blecher, CEO of MII, and Jason Mordecai, a seasoned security expert. Their vision was to move beyond traditional short-term security courses and instead offer a comprehensive three-year program designed to produce highly skilled and well-rounded security professionals.

Training for Excellence

The intensive training at SMA is both physically and mentally demanding. The students, donning bright yellow-and-orange reflector vests, engage in rigorous physical activities, including push-ups and dance workouts to the beats of Amapiano. This is just the beginning of a curriculum that also emphasizes self-mastery through a wholefood plant-based diet, yoga, transcendental meditation, physical and drill training, jiu jitsu, and more.

A Holistic Educational Approach

Dr. Blecher explains that the SMA is not a typical security training course. It is designed to be transformative, preparing students to become future leaders in South Africa’s security sector. The program is divided into three years: the first year focuses on security officer training, the second on supervisor training, and the third on commander-level training with various specializations.

Mordecai elaborates on the academy’s dual focus on professional and personal development. The aim is to empower students to contribute to a safer and stronger Johannesburg, with many of the graduates already securing employment in the security industry.


Real-World Experience and Employment

Students at SMA integrate their academic learning with practical security shifts on Johannesburg’s streets, gaining real-world experience and actively contributing to the city’s safety. The partnership with Community Active Protection (CAP) plays a crucial role, as CAP supports the infrastructure for the course and commits to employing the graduates.

Empowering Future Leaders

The academy also fosters leadership and critical thinking through its holistic approach. For instance, Emihle Zembe from Lady Frere aims to use her training to address violence in her community by establishing a security company. Sidney Rasebotsa from Klipfontein notes the significant personal growth he has experienced within just three weeks at the academy.

Modernizing the Security Sector

The SMA recognizes that modern security needs go beyond traditional roles. Graduates are trained in advanced skills such as drone operation, cybersecurity, and crowd control, preparing them for specialized roles within the industry. This comprehensive training ensures they are equipped to handle diverse security challenges.

A Community-Driven Initiative

The academy’s impact extends beyond individual students. With an emphasis on community engagement, the graduates are expected to serve as goodwill ambassadors, helping to revitalize and secure Johannesburg’s inner city. The partnership with Jozi My Jozi further underscores this community-centric approach, aiming to enhance urban rehabilitation efforts.


The Security Mastery Academy stands as a beacon of hope and innovation in Johannesburg. By combining rigorous professional training with holistic personal development, the SMA is not only shaping the future of security in South Africa but also contributing to the broader goal of community upliftment and urban renewal. With such dedicated efforts, the streets of Johannesburg are set to become safer and more welcoming for all.

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