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Art of Lock Picking - Learn The Craft of Lock Picking!

The Art Of Single Pin Picking

Tactical Course

CHAPTERS AND LESSONS 

Chapter 1 – Introduction To The Course
Lesson 0: Course Delivery Schedule
Studies have shown that there is over a 300% increase in learning and a 150% increase in course completion rates when the information is broken up into bite-sized pieces rather than getting it all at once! It also eliminates the temptation to skip parts of the course that may include important concepts or knowledge needed for later lessons.

This section will cover the way in which this course is split up.
Lesson 1: Expectations & Evolution Of This Course
Everything in this world is always changing. Everything is evolving at some rate or another. So what good would an online course be if it wasn’t constantly evolving as well?

It’s my mission to make this course is a living and breathing being. A creature of rapid evolution. Something that is always changing and growing into the best version of itself.

This section will cover what you can expect from the future of this course as well as updates of what I am currently working on adding!
Lesson 2: What Is Lock Picking?
Lock picking has a very subtle nature about it. Not only is it a very soft and silent technique, but it also leaves behind little to no trace of ever being performed. Utilizing minimal equipment — typically two small pieces of metal — lock picking can often be performed anywhere without drawing attention.

But even with this subtle nature, lock picking’s elegance is granted primarily through its artfulness.

This section defines what lock pick is and dives into what makes it such a beautiful and artful craft!
Lesson 3: Is Lock Picking Hard? Both Sides Of The Coin
Locks are very simple and stupid creatures based on ancient technology so old, we haven’t an inkling of whom first invented them and when. That being said, is learning the skill of bypassing these simple critters an easy task? Or is the road to mastery one of pain, tears, and naughty words? Will you lose your entire life savings to the curse jar?

This section will try to give you realistic expectations of how hard it truly is to learn lock picking.
Lesson 4: Why Is Single Pin Picking The Focus?
he goal of this course is to teach you how to read and play to the variables when picking locks and to develop a deep knowledge and pure skill, not just technique.

For the purpose of focusing on what the lock is telling us and developing our senses, this course will exclusively hone in on the skill of single pin picking!

This section is will discuss why single pin picking is the core topic of this course.
Lesson 5: Flow State (Coming Soon)
We all had those moments when we are in the zone. Maybe we where reading a book, playing a video game or having a conversation with a friend, when we become so absorbed in what we where doing.

How can we replicate and utilize this focus to help us learn lock picking at a seemly superhuman pace?

This section is coming soon and will discuss how to continue challenging yourself while keeping the craft fun and exciting!
Chapter 2 – Ethics And Legality
Lesson 1: A Nasty Reputation
A heart to heart about the societal outlook of lock picking, why it is there, and what we as lock pickers can do to erase the bias.

This section is will discuss the negative bias towards lock picking and why it’s important.
Lesson 2: The Legality Of Lock Picking
So is lock picking illegal? Do we as hobby lock pickers need to hide our lock picks deep within our dresser behind that weird grouping of socks we never wear?

Let’s take a look into why and how they are considered legal in some places and not in others.

This section is will discuss the legality of lock picking and common legal terminology.
Lesson 3: Ethics – The Golden Rules
Your good friend Betsy calls you up one day in a complete state of panic. She has just locked herself out of her apartment and is in desperate need of your lock picking skills.

The question is…

Can you ethically help her — or just as importantly, could you possibly face legal issues if you did?

The answer?

This section is will discuss the Golden Rules of Lock Picking to help keep you safe from the law!
Chapter 3 – Lock Theory: How It All Works
Lesson 1: The Simple Lock Breakdown
In this lesson we are going to completely dismantle the pin tumbler lock into it’s simplest form and introduce a true understanding of how each component works, why it’s there, and how it all works together.

This section is will discuss the most important concept you as a lock picker will ever understand.
Lesson 2: The Lock – Parts & Pieces
In order to master the art of lock picking we need to fully understand the vocabulary and components of the common lock. With this knowledge, we will able to truly understand how a lock works and how it can be manipulated with out picks!

This section is will discuss each piece of the lock and its purpose.
Lesson 3: Putting It All Together
Okay so now that we have a solid grasp of all the core components that make up the basic pin tumbler lock, let’s take a moment and look at how everything functions together!
Lesson 4: Binding Defect – The Story Of Flaws
There is not a single thing in this world that is perfect. Nothing can be produced without flaws or some variation from its ideal design. There can never be that perfectly round circle or flawlessly squared square with absolutely perfect 90 degree angles.

Everything in this world is designed with some tolerances in mind and when it comes to any mechanical thing, the standard of accepted tolerances while manufacturing will highly determine the quality of the product — the lock is no exception.
Lesson 5: Binding Order & Setting Pins
So how is it that we keep the pins at the shear line? What kind of crazy voodoo magic must we summon to make them stay in the middle of their pin chambers under the pressure of the spring? 

Everything thus far has led us to this binding defect and binding pin, but what’s the freaking significance of these two things and how can it perform this miracle?
Lesson 6: Other Factors That Affect Binding Order (Coming Soon)
A deep dive into the many factors that can affect a locks binding order. 

This lesson is under development and will be added to the course soon!
Chapter 4 – Lock Picking Tools
Lesson 1: Lock Picks – Happy Hooks
So what tools do you actually need to begin with and, furthermore, what do you need to progress? Do you need that set of 148 picks and 52 tensioning gizmos, or can you accomplish just as much with a couple tools?

So let’s take a look at some of the better and most common picks starting with hooks!
Lesson 2: Lock Picks – Squiggly Rakes
While the focus of this course is explicitly on single pin picking and developing your skills with the hook, I do believe that a basic knowledge of rakes is crucial for those looking to snag their first set of lock picks. So let’s touch on rakes a bit!
Lesson 3: Other Considerations When Choosing Picks
When selecting your picks you should also consider quality and thickness characteristics. These can affect the lifespan of your picks, the feedback they provide you, and the overall effectiveness they have in the lock.

Let’s touch on these characteristics such as thickness, materials, manufacture profiles, euro vs. standard, and much more.
Lesson 4: ABCs Of Tension Wrenches
When it comes down to choosing your turning tools, the most important thing to remember is that the majority of the feedback you receive from the lock comes from tensioning.

Because of this it is absolutely crucial that you select a turning tool that will provide you with the most feedback possible. So let’s cover the differences between each type of turning tool and which ones will provide you with the most feedback!
Lesson 5: The Prybar
When it comes down to choosing your turning tools, the most important thing to remember is that the majority of the feedback you receive from the lock comes from tensioning.

Because of this it is absolutely crucial that you select a turning tool that will provide you with the most feedback possible. So let’s take a moment and cover the most common top of the keyway turning tool — the prybar!
Lesson 6: Vises
Vises are amazing tools for holding locks while you pick them and will eventually become essential in progressing your lock picking skills. 

Let’s look at few advantages of using a vise, then we’ll cover when it’s appropriate to start using one and my recommendation for a good cheap vise.
Chapter 5 – Lock Selection
Lesson 1: Variety is the Key
Discuss one of the fatal mistakes many newer lock pickers make that can truly hinder your ability to get better.
Lesson 2: Clear & Acrylic Locks
The truth about clear and acrylic locks. Do they help or should you stay clear?
Lesson 3: Lock Characteristics Part 1
A deep dive into many of the important lock characteristics that can determine how difficult a lock may be to pick.

This lesson will give you the knowledge required to confidently choose locks that are within your picking ability and ensure lock picking stays fun and doesn’t turn into frustration.
Lesson 4: Lock Characteristics Part 2
A deep dive into many of the important lock characteristics that can determine how difficult a lock may be to pick.

This lesson will give you the knowledge required to confidently choose locks that are within your picking ability and ensure lock picking stays fun and doesn’t turn into frustration.
Lesson 5: Lock Characteristics Part 3
A deep dive into many of the important lock characteristics that can determine how difficult a lock may be to pick.

This lesson will give you the knowledge required to confidently choose locks that are within your picking ability and ensure lock picking stays fun and doesn’t turn into frustration.
Lesson 6: Starter Locks
While challenging yourself is crucial to getting better, picking locks that you don’t yet have the developed senses and skill to pick is only going to frustrate and perhaps even deter you from continuing to pick locks at all.

Having a little structure in what kinds of locks you should be picking and at what stage can make all the difference in the world.
Chapter 6 – Introduction To Single Pin Picking
Lesson 1: An Introduction To Tension
For us lock pickers, feedback — vibrations, clicks, friction — is our 6th sense. It is our mind’s eye painting a picture of what is occurring as we poke and prod within a lock.

Feedback is everything.

It is what speaks to us pickers. The lock wants to be picked and it is telling us how to do it — we only have to learn to listen.
Lesson 2: Pick Control & Finger Fu
Before we cram our picks into the keyway let’s cover the best methods to hold and use our lock picks. There really is no right or wrong way, but there are some several factors to take into consideration that may make things considerably easier and sway how you go about holding your tools.

In addition, there are several gold standard grips that many pickers find themselves using that provide some interesting benefits.
Lesson 3: Training #1 – Orientating Ourselves
Most pickers learn to orientate themselves while they learn to pick, however by developing this mini-skill prior to picking, you will find yourself able to focus more on what you are feeling than trying to figure out where you are in the lock!
Lesson 4: Training #2 – Springy Pins
To understand what it is that we are looking for, it is important to understand what we are not looking for. It is easiest to understand something that is hot when one also understands what is cold.

Before we start hunting pins, we need to develop a baseline feeling for what we are not looking for!
Lesson 5: Training #3 – Violent Sensations
Alright, this is the last training exercise before we learn how to use our picks to hunt down those pesky binding pins! This exercise is going to be very short and may even seem trivial, but I promise that it is an important little component of lock picking that if you spend a little time with — even just a couple minutes — will have a very positive effect on your first attempts at picking!
Lesson 6: The Hunt Begins - Jab, Stab, Poke, and Prod
We at this point understand the importance of tension, how to apply it to the plug to create a binding pin, how to hold and use our picks, have orientated ourselves within the lock, and understand the tender feeling of a non-binding pin.

In this lesson we are going to learn how to locate our first binding pin and deal with the ugly struggles that may present themselves.
Lesson 7: The Three Indicators Of A Set
At this point we have learned everything we need to know about locating our binding pin, now it’s time to get rid of it by pushing it to the shear line.

But how do we as pickers know how far to push it and how do we know for certain if it is set? Remember, every question you ever have about picking, the lock will always have the answer!
Lesson 8: Setting Our First Pin
At this point we have learned everything we need to know about locating our binding pin, now it’s time to get rid of it by pushing it to the shear line.

But how do we as pickers know how far to push it and how do we know for certain if it is set? Remember, every question you ever have about picking, the lock will always have the answer!
Lesson 9: Picking Our First Lock - The Entire Process Revealed
So here we are, the final lap. It’s time to take everything that we have learned, smash it all together, and pick our first lock!

This lesson is going to be broken up into two sections. The first section is going to be a simple walk through of the entire process of picking a lock from tensioning it to…well.. an open lock. Then we’re going to run through a virtual emulation using our handy dandy animated lock to hit everything home.

Let’s not waste anymore time and slay our first lock!
Bonus Lesson: The Left Handed Curse (Coming Soon)
There are those that are cursed with the disease of left handedness. If you are among these poor souls, you are unfortunately going to have to swap a few things up. 

Good news is I have an alternative method of picking for you that will be published to this course very soon!
Chapter 7 – Mastering Tension: The Heart Of Lock Picking
Lesson 1: The Two Types of Tension
I’m going to tell you a little secret about tension that very few pickers ever come to realize. This secret will forever change the way that you look at and approach tensioning locks.
Lesson 2: What is Light Tension?
Let’s weed out all confusion regarding light tension and set things straight, let’s place a true and concrete definition on the term light tension that can be applied equally to all locks.
Lesson 3: Benefits & Best Uses of LIght Tension
Alright so we have properly defined light tension in a way that can be applied to any lock, but why do we even want to use light tension? What are it’s benefits and in what circumstances are these benefits… well, beneficial?
Lesson 4: The Staircase to Mastery
Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily! ~ James J. Corbett

We are taking the stairs to mastery, one step at a time.
Lesson 5: Training #1 - Establishing a Baseline
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our first training dedicated to refining a particular part of tensioning.
Lesson 6: Training #2 - Running the Range
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our second training dedicated to refining a particular part of tensioning.
Lesson 7: Training #3 - A Nasty Habit
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our third training dedicated to refining a particular part of tensioning.
Lesson 8: Heavy Tension – A Beginner’s Best Friend
What are the benefits of heavy tension and why can it truly be a beginner’s best friend?
Lesson 9: The Redline
Before we can begin to have some fun and play around with heavy tension — and believe me, heavy tension is a lot of fun as things happen more quickly — we need to first establish a concrete idea of how far we actually want to push our tension.

Now the reality about heavy tension is that you can push it pretty freaking far before the pins bind up too much for our picks to move. But the truth is, there really is no point to pushing it that far in the first place. There comes a point of diminishing returns where we really aren’t gaining any benefits from adding more tension, even though we could.
Lesson 10: Training #4 - Pushing the Limits
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our fourth training dedicated to refining a particular part of tensioning.
Lesson 11: Which Direction To Tension?
Picking a lock and finding that you tensioned it the wrong direction can cause more heartache than a thousand breakups.

Here are some general rules of thumb regarding pin tumblers.
Lesson 12: Size Matters – Avoiding Binds
A deep dive into how to select the correct bottom of the keyway tension wrench for different sized keyways.
Lesson 13: Turning From The Top - TOK
An introduction to tensioning locks from the top of the keyway and its awesome benefits!
Lesson 14: Butterfly Tension (Coming Soon)
This new lesson is in its final stage of editing and will be release to the course soon!
Chapter 8 – False Sets: The Lock’s Secret Voodoo Magic
Lesson 1: What Is A False Set?
Let’s switch gears and cover a major sticking point that plagues many beginner pickers – the false set.

The false set alone has sent tens of thousands of unaware lock pickers spiraling into the depths of frustration, despair, and naughty words – some to lose their entire life savings to the swear jar.

But good news! With a little knowledge in identifying, fixing, and even preventing these little predicaments, your sanity will be safe.
Lesson 2: The Underset
The underset can trick a picker into believing a pin is set because, like a true set, the key pin will no longer be under the pressure of the spring and will free fall back into the plug.
Lesson 3: The Overset
The overset is a slightly different monster.

It occurs when the picker raises the pin stack too far to where the key pin crosses the shearline. As a result, the key pin becomes the binding pin rather than the driver pin.
Lesson 4: The Evil Little Short Pin
Now that we understand these two types of false sets, let’s look at a very common situation that can truly cause you to pull every hair out of your body — yes your full body.

Chapter 9 – Mastering Single Pin Picking
Lesson 1: Confirmation is Key
Now there is a super-secret technique that pilots learn on day one that forces them to slow down and focus on the task at hand so that nothing gets overlooked — like lowering a landing gear –, as well as having the benefit of reinforcing what they are doing to help them learn and develop faster.

Now the beautiful thing is, this quick and dirty technique can be applied to ANYTHING, even something as simple as lock picking.
Lesson 2: Training #1 - Hit and Run
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our first training dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 3: Training #2 - Taking it Slow
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our second training dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 4: Training #3 - The Bouncy Method
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our third training dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 5: Challenge #1 - Ready Aim Fire
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our first challenge dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 6: Challenge #2 - The Guessing Game
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our second challenge dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 7: Challenge #3 - Only One Touch
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our third challenge dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Lesson 8: Training #4 - Speed Picking
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our fourth training dedicated to refining a particular part of single pin picking!
Chapter 10 – Picking Tricky Features
Lesson 1: Tiny Keyways
Knowledge and techniques to deal with picking locks with small keyways without the need for extreme tools!
Lesson 2: Warded & Paracentric Keyways
Knowledge and techniques to deal with picking locks with heavy warding or paracentric keyways without the need for extreme tools!
Lesson 3: Dealing with Deadcores
Knowledge and techniques to deal with locks that have a springless deadcore.
Lesson 4: Fighting Springs
Knowledge and techniques to deal with picking locks with heavy or very springy cores.
Lesson 5: Radical Bittings
Knowledge and techniques to deal with picking locks with radical bittings or short tucked away behind longer cut pins, without the need for extreme tools!
Lesson 6: Training #1 - Bit the Bitting
Like any other skill, lock picking is simply the sum of smaller actions and skills, all of which can be singled out and refined on their own.

This is our first training dedicated to dealing with radical pin bitting.
Chapter 11 – Introduction to Security Pins (Under Development)
This Chapter Is Under Development And Will Be Released Soon!

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