Want to play 007? Well you’re in luck. This fantastic Spy Academy course teaches you how.
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Right, so do I get a licence to kill?
No you don’t. But what you do get is a fun-packed day where you get an insight into the things that real spies come across in their everyday spying life and to try your hand at them. It’s real spy stuff, but with a light-hearted twist and the emphasis both on learning new skills and on having a good time.
Tuition is given by real ex-police and Special Forces operatives – so you can be sure they’ve been there, done it and got the T shirt. And the skills you’ll learn and get to try out first hand include:
- Weapons training, including a telescopic sniper rifle and other guns.
- Drawing a pistol, using a laser gun and throwing axes (a big favourite, that one)
- Unarmed combat/self-defence
- There’s a team battle too, to put into practice what you’ve learnt
- And last but not least, training in gadgets and spy-equipment, hidden cameras and the like.
It’s a busy day (lasts about three hours) and there’s a lot to learn, but we don’t know anybody who’s bought this fine experience and hasn’t enjoyed it and found it the most amazing fun.
Where is it and who can take part?
The Academy is at Milton Keynes, so easily accessible for most of England, and well worth a trip if you live further afield.
You’ve got to be over 16 to take part in the adult experience, and under 80 (so that’s my granddad out of it which is a pity as he really liked the look of this experience!) and you have to be reasonably fit as there’s a fair bit of physical activity involved. There’s a medical certificate for you to sign when you get there to say you’re in good health. If you’re buying for a child, they also run experiences especially for kids between 10 and 16, which are a bit less violent!
It’s very much a friendly and a social event too, and you might like to consider taking along a bunch of mates so you can enjoy it together – especially when you get the half-price deals which to our mind make it ridiculously cheap. If you’ve seen any James Bond films, you’ll know that there are as many female spies as men, and that applies just as much to this spy experience, with women being welcome and many attending to learn the secrets.
More details about what happens on the day
Since your instructors are seasoned professionals and are all either ex-police or ex-special forces people, it’s a given that they know what they’re talking about and how things work in practice rather than just in theory. They’re all very approachable and willing to help too, so you can be confident of getting all the help you need to bring your spy skills up to scratch. The combination of weapons skills, physical attack and defence skills, and spy gadgets also means that whatever your own inclinations and special interests, there’s something there for you.
You’ll find the physical fighting skills section really fascinating (unless you’re already a black belt in some martial art or other) and you’ll get lots of tips and secret techniques about how to handle yourself physically when in a tight spot. It’s as much self-defence as steaming in to the attack, but then it’s all about ending up on the winning side and the practicalities of spy technique rather than flashy stuff that looks good but might not work in reality.
I’m not sure that real spies do too much axe-throwing, unless it’s in a spy movie, but to my mind the justification of including this art in the day’s training is that it’s just a brilliant thing to do. It’s a real skill, throwing the axes accurately and so that they’ll stick in the target, and one that you’ll feel a great sense of achievement from mastering. And the spy-gadgets part of the course is a real eye-opener, where you get introduced to real spy-cameras and bugging devices, learn how to use them and their possibilities and limitations. Your competitiveness is put to the test at the end of the session with quick-draw competitions and a laser-gun battle, so you can find out how you’d fare up against other secret service operatives.
It’s up to you whether you go on your own – most people do – or take a friend or two along to experience it with you. Either way, you’ll learn a lot, be quite amazed at some of the things you pick up, and especially have a day that you’ll enjoy immensely and remember for a long time to come.
A great gift experience
And finally, don’t forget that this experience day would make a fantastic original gift idea for that birthday, Christmas or special occasion, for anybody who’s reasonably fit and likes having a good time (men or women alike). Imagine the look on their face when they open your present expecting socks or scented soap as usual and find that they’ve got one of these bad boys to look forward to. It’s not expensive, but it really does make a wonderful gift idea.
Of course it won’t turn you into a real spy with deadly skills and the ability to go and sell your spy skills to the highest bidder – but then as you’d expect, real spy training takes many years, not just a day! But it will certainly give you the inside track on what really goes on in this secret world. So off you go, buy your experience and come back and tell us all about it by posting your review on here. I’d love to hear from you.