Lockpicking - White Belt

May 4, 2021 | post, lockpicking

In the subreddit r/lockpicking, users are ranked based on their lockpicking achievements in a "belt" system. Similar to martial arts, members progress from white to black belt in order to show their knowledge and expertise.

On May 4th, 2021, I unlocked my white belt by picking a Master Lock no. 5 padlock.

Here are a few things I've learned about lockpicking in my time trying to achieve the white belt.

1. No tool is necessarily right for the job.

When it comes to lockpicking, the variety of picks only exist to make your picking process easier and in the method you want. Some people choose to use a raking method, bumping all pins simultaneously in order to try and pick the lock quicker. Some people prefer single-pin picking, where you use a more hook shaped pick to try and individually set each pin. But no one method is inherently correct, and you should try each method and each tool and find out your style.

Over time, I'd like to bring these lessons into life and my field of work. In this case, I think the lesson here is extremely applicable to programming. very often, people try and find the "best" programming language to create their project in. But when it comes to programming, there is never really one best language to cover a specific type of project. Some languages are definitely focused on certain applications, such as R's focus on data analysis - but typically you should end up working in a language you enjoy writing and are knowledgeable in. Every language can apply to any project, you just need to be creative.

2. Lockpicking is all sensory.

This may come across as an obvious insight, since every activity we do as humans is sensory! But in this case, I specifically mean that you need to focus more on the senses to get a better understanding of how to tackle the problem. Once you break through that first acrylic padlock, designed to teach you how the lock functions on the inside, you need to begin taking more of a deeper focus into how everything feels as you move the tool inside the core. How does the binding change as you tension more or less? Where do you feel the pins inside the core? What order is everything binding in?

Typically, we each have our own ways of learning. Some people are visual learners, auditory learner, etc. But it can be easy to stay inside that idea and stay comfortable with one type of learning. By learning to utilize all the various ways of learning and all of the various sensory ways of taking in information, you can learn more and continue to improve even more each day. Next time you take up a project, pick a sense or a way of taking in information and try it. Are you a visual learner? Try listening to an audiobook. Auditory? Try reading a book or an article, or even jotting down detailed notes.

3. If you have an interest in something, try it!

Just like how I got into amateur radio, I had seen videos of people picking locks over the years and never tried it until I finally decided to buy a kit of tools. If you have an interest in something, whether you've seen it in a YouTube video, read about it in a book, or something else but you just keep putting off trying it - give it a shot! Worse case, you end up disliking it and go on to the next interest. Best case scenario, it is a great hobby that you can continue to enjoy!

That's all I have on my lessons for lockpicking: white belt. I hope to come back with more lessons upon picking a Yellow Belt lock and progressing through the ranks.


Colin KO4JZT