• A martial-arts studio trains female bodyguards in Changchun.

A martial-arts studio trains female bodyguards in Changchun. (Photo : Getty Images)

Business is not so good for Chen Yongqing, owner of Genghis Bodyguard School. He is losing clients because many government officials refuse to take bodyguards.

However, some of China's elite still need bodyguards and Chen said that his school offers the best training.

"A lot of people come here scared of blood and pain," Chen, 33, tells Time. "But bodyguards must be ready for that every day."

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He added, "Before, people just thought bodyguards were thugs or gangsters. But we wanted to show that it can be a legitimate profession."

Bodyguards that are hired from his company are paid $3,000 a month which is more than the average wage in China.

The training is wide ranged and includes courses on defense and surveillance. The students also get to learn how to dress for formal events and how to serve tea.

"Clients are declining partly due to the anti-corruption drive and partly due to the economy, as people aren't earning as much money," he said.

President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is driving many rich people to downscale and are forcing them to let go of their current bodyguards or not get one at all.

Chen also believed that the economy is not as good and even the rich are cutting costs.

As the government will slowly trim down the army, many soldiers are expected to be laid off. Like Chen, many would want to pursue a life as a bodyguard, but will not be able to because of lack of opportunity.

"When I went back home, I could only find menial work. After going to this school maybe I will start my own business in my hometown," he said.

Du Xinghai signed up at the school after serving eight years in the military.