We were surprised by Radio Wave in Prague


In March at one of our lockpicking training, which was also open to the public (after pre-registration and application), we were surprised by Miss Eva Svobodová, reporter for Radio Wave.The report is in the audio interview only in Czech, so it is unnecessary to give a link, but you can read the text from the report below.And you’ll learn not only what lockpicking is or how a lock works. Less than a dozen future lockpicker or curious people visited us from this public training, all of them men.We divided into two groups, complete beginners and advanced lockpickers.We explained to beginners the basic principles of lockpicking, what are the tools and the differences between them.The advanced lockpicking fans immediately started to open padlocks or cylinders that we have at our disposal as an organization for the entire period of our activity.

Reportage by Miss Eva Svobodová (Radio Wave)

Have you ever wanted the ability to open a keyless lock? There are people who try to do this in their free time. They are called Lockpickers and they associate in the Association of Czech Lockpickers, which recently organized a meeting for the public in Prague’s Hostivar. I went to see what attracted people in a mysterious contest, during which you had to open a lock without a key in the shortest possible time, and whether there was anything else to open the locks.

The Pohoda Salon in Hostivař hosts massages and yoga exercises during the week. But now it is temporarily turning into a small workshop. “I’m a physiotherapist, I practice with people in this area. So I actually provided my gym, which turned into a training center,” says the salon owner and a member of the lockpicker association Jana. The motivation to come to a meeting varies among participants. “Lockpicking has always attracted me to overcome something mysterious, which is not visible, and in a way it’s technically difficult. This is a challenge for me that excites and attracts me,” says David, who otherwise makes a living in cassette making. “My girlfriend enrolled in the workshop, it was a stabbing on her part to finally go and stop talking about it,” he adds with a smile. She is not the only participant in whose story the partner played the role. “I was interested in the technique of the lock, so I bought my first padlock and sharpened my foil at work. I discovered it on Facebook. In Breakfast with Nova I saw men and my girlfriend offered me if I didn’t want to try it, so I got here,” says Ondřej, who works as a toolmaker in Skoda (car).

However, most organizers and public participants are connected by love for puzzles. “I’ve always enjoyed puzzles, puzzles and puzzles. And by chance I came across lockpicking,” says Marek. He is a civilian chemist from the Academy of Sciences, but professional locksmiths predominate among the members of the association. According to locksmith Zdenek, who holds the world record for the fastest open lock, lockpicking is rarely used in their work. “It’s a lengthy job. When someone slams their keys, they want to be home quickly, they don’t want to wait there with the locksmith for three hours. The official method is to drill an insert that will be destroyed,” he explains.

Lockpickers are often blamed that their work can lead to crime, theft and burglary. But Marek disputes that. “Thieves practically do not use lockpicking. This is because they need to open the lock as quickly as possible. The thief prefers to pry the door rather than kneel for fifteen minutes and bother with the insert,” he adds. Both members of the association agree that opening a liner is much harder when it is in the door than when holding it in hand somewhere in the race and can rotate it as needed.

At first I looked at this fun very distrustfully. I couldn’t imagine sitting on the couch watching TV on the weekend and trying to open one lock after another. At the same time, I realized that, unlike many meeting participants as a freelancer, I do not have a clearly defined boundary between work and leisure, which I should fill with a hobby. In the end, I also tried to open a lock during the workshop.

In addition, as I watched the enthusiasm of all members of the lockpicker association, I remembered the famous book Bowling Alone by American political scientist Robert Putnam. It describes how federal activity broke down in the US during the second half of the 20th century. It is the decline in engagement in ordinary societies that caused the decline of trust and involvement of citizens in politics, and overall weakened the structure of democratic institutions. Opening locks may seem obscure and personally will probably not become a competitive lockpicker, but the question is whether its real meaning and greatest benefit, as with many other federal activities, ultimately does not lie in promoting greater involvement in public space. And I have to admit that after six minutes of effort, the click of the open lock was a pleasant feeling.