Despite their muscular physiques, idol bodyguards don’t just protect celebrities with their bare hands. There’s one particularly important item every star guard needs to keep with them when working, and it might surprise you. Two K-Pop bodyguards spilled all in a new YouTube video with AYO.

Strong Friends security agency (known as Ganghan Chingudeul in Korean) has been protecting celebrities for over 20 years. Deputy director Lee Ho Min and manager Kim Da Ye are two of the company’s most experienced operatives, giving them have a unique insight into the world of idol bodyguards. One thing they know better than most is which items guards must have while they’re on duty—and one of them is particularly unexpected.

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| AYO 에이요/YouTube

Most of the essential equipment bodyguards use is well-known to the public. For example, most guards wear protective clothing, carry communications devices, and keep first-aid supplies nearby. But, according to Lee Ho Min and Kim Da Ye, idol bodyguards use another must-have item that most people don’t know about: the umbrella.

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| AYO 에이요/YouTube

When it comes to guarding, umbrellas are the most important item.

— Lee Ho Min

Believe it or not, a simple umbrella has multiple uses for idol bodyguards because they don’t just protect idols from physical harm and violent threats. For example, one of the biggest risks female idols face is wardrobe malfunctions. Girl group stars often have to wear very short skirts and dresses, and these outfits can hike up when they step out of their cars.

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After School’s Kaeun

To prevent idols’ underwear from showing, their bodyguards often use umbrellas to cover them up while they arrive at events. Sometimes, they also use blankets.

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Red Velvet’s Irene covering her members. | Elyza Marie/YouTube

On top of that, idol bodyguards are often entrusted to protect stars from the elements. Rain can quickly ruin hair, makeup, and clothing before an event, so guards hold umbrellas over idols to keep them from getting wet. This leaves the idols’ hands free to greet fans and press.

MAMAMOO’s Hwasa with her bodyguard. 

The same goes for sun; while harsh summers won’t ruin outfits, they can damage idols’ skin. Plus, hot weather can be particularly uncomfortable when you’re wearing heavy makeup or working outside for long hours. That’s while you’ll often notice bodyguards with their umbrellas up during the hot months.

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Suzy with a Parisian bodyguard | @jaylim1/Instagram