A new approach for 2024 to bring our skillsets to you in a more accessible format.
Starting in early-2024, We will begin offering 1-day Seminars, covering our legacy curriculum in a new format and making both the price point and time commitment more accessible to those with busy schedules. They will be on Sundays, during the day.
Of course, we will still plan to have our weekend-long immersive workshops, as well as Mixed-Skills classes with trusted partner instructors. We also continue to be available to be hosted to deliver these seminars to private groups.
***NOTE: We still offer RESTRICTED-LEVEL CLASSES in COVERT ENTRY and COUNTER-CUSTODY to LE/MIL/GOV organizations. Email us at [email protected] for details.***
In the meantime, we will be offering Seminars on the following topics:
Situational & Behavioural Awareness – S.A.F.E. (Situational Awareness For Everyone)
Introduction to Personal Safety & Security
Disaster, Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity
Travel Security (AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST)
Women’s Safety (Women-Only) (AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST)
Introduction to Counter-Custody, Self-Rescue & Restraint Escape – (Part 1 of 2)
Counter-Custody, Self-Rescue & Restraint Escape – (Part 2 of 2)
Introduction to Lock Picking (Pt 1 of 2)
Physical Security and Non-Destructive Entry Methods (Pt 2 of 2)
The Back-Up-Bag Protocol
***Stop The Bleed first aid classes (to be added to the above)***
And more to come!
These Seminars can be taken individually as a stand-alone or together in series towards building a wide-spectrum of skill sets. Depending on the subject matter, there will be differing ratios of theory and practical learning.
Soon, we will be listing the classes individually on our web store, with dates and seminar outlines, to sign up to.
This review’s purpose is not to pit one against the other, but rather to showcase both on their own merits as they are different. They are also custom-made for me, so your experience may differ. With that in mind, here are my thoughts.
I received a selection of picks and some other “tools” (including bump keys, handcuff keys, tiny patches, a glow stick & beads and a fantastic little pouch.
The picks themselves feature a variety of profiles. They come wrapped in cordage and shrink-sleeved with a rubber covering. Then they’re topped with little silver skulls to ensure a level of bad-assery when picking.
The grip and finish are fantastic, however I find that the handles are a bit narrow for my hands. It’s not that it hinders use in any way, it just causes me to use a different grip.
The only preference I’d change on these is the flexibility (bend from side to side) of the picks. Yes, I know that I’m not supposed to be bending them from side to side, but I am used to slightly more rigid picks. Again, personal preference. This does not detract from their effectiveness, I just find that the feedback takes some getting used to.
The second set I received was a “pen kit” which is a super-minimalist kit which fits into a pen body – VERY COOL. I took it along with me on a recent trip to New York and had zero issues with it. It works equally as well as the “regular” picks, but the handles are bare and the turning tool is not as versatile as the full-sized one.
The finish and polish on these are great and there is no noticeable drag through the lock bodies in any of my practice cylinders or padlocks.
The hand-made custom set of Rare Element lock picks I received took a while (RELP has a waiting list for his stuff, so be patient, it’s worth the wait) and arrived in great shape.
I opted for a mix of rakes and some custom turning tools. The picks came in two thicknesses and various similar profiles. All were high-carbon steel. One was even hand engraved. VERY COOL!
The finish on these had an “acid etched” look to them which looked great and still benefited from the polishing they received. No drag or snag in any of the tested lock bodies.
The only thing I found, well, needing of some adaptability, were the custom turning tools that came with the picks. They had slightly different ends then I’ve been used to but once I got the hand of them and figured out a comfortable way to hold them, they worked very well. Also, the handles are straight steel with no additional grips or wrap added. This is personal preference. They are wider than the CMTP picks, but this isn’t a negative. Just different.
Picking cylinders and padlocks went very well with both sets. I have to say, it’s very difficult to pick one over the other, so I won’t. Both sets are fantastic. I would advise that if you have particular wants or needs that you contact each and discuss. Custom jobs are for particular needs and have requirements that only the person making the items can take into account. They’re top-notch, period. If you’re just starting out then of course, wreck some production stuff. But if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, or are working with these types of tools professionally, do consider checking what these guys have to offer.
I have often been asked why do I study physical security, locks, lock picking, etc? It’s usually followed by accusations of either teaching others to be criminals or being a criminal myself. The only thing criminal about me is the wage I get paid by my employer for the crap I have to deal with. Aside from that, I find it fun, fascinating and I happen to be pretty decent at it.
Several of the negative interactions have, sadly, been with police officers who mention the points above and question the legalities of tool ownership. When I offer to them how it would save time, money and headache if they could do a welfare check without destroying a window or door, they suddenly have a different perspective. It’s a useful skill. Period. And if it is used within the proper LEGAL parameters, a very useful one too. It can even be fun, as there are hobbyist groups – such as The Open Organization Of Lockpickers aka TOOOL (https://toool.us ) – who look at all aspects of locks and even hold international competitions. On an extreme scale in a time of crisis, what you may need to save a life, either your own or someone else, may be on the other side of a lock. In such extreme circumstances I’d sooner have the option to access said item than not.
I have used my skills in a variety of situations (all legally, of course) to help people into their locked cars (while running with keys inside), being locked out of their houses, freeing their bikes, opening various padlocks and even rescuing stuff from desks, safes, etc. Those looking to go into law enforcement, security, military, intelligence, investigations (public or private), architecture, locksmithing, transportation or even property management can all gain from learning more about their physical security. Even to better secure your home or business from potential break-ins.
Like so many other skill sets and abilities, it is the user who wields that knowledge for good or evil. Knowledge of martial sciences can be applied to harm or defend from harm. Medical knowledge can be used to again, harm or heal. Criminals don’t care for the integrity of your front door lock or back window if they are going to rob you. Locksmiths, law enforcement, security testers and even hobbyists do. For various reasons, non-destructive bypass of security is a useful tool for even the average home or business owner so that they can make sound decisions for their own safety and to identify the gaps in their security picture.
Through my years of Government and Security work, the more I learn about the weaknesses in security and physical security specifically, the more effective I have grown to become at evaluating my own personal security picture and that of those who have engaged my services for the same.
If your home or business is protected by bottom-budget hardware and little-to-no planning, you might want to think about taking the step to invest in some education and training and up your security game.
If you’re in the Toronto area in May and wish to take a full-spectrum learning opportunity, come join us for Covert Entry Concepts and even add-on the Safe Dial Mechanics. It’ll open your eyes to the world around you.
Covert Entry Concepts – Only Canadian Offering!
This course will teach Law Enforcement Personnel, Special Operations Forces, and Government employees and security professionals the principles of lock bypassing and making covert entries into buildings or properties.
This class is entirely hands on. From the moment you enter the course you will have tools in your hand and are working to exploit various locking mechanisms. Students will learn to recognize the vulnerabilities in existing hardware, how they are attacked, or sometimes even bypassed entirely. You’ll walk away with the skills needed to compromise most of the locks used in North America today. Students will be much better positioned to provide service in a variety of tactical areas: check welfare calls, search and arrest warrant service, establishing sniper positions, sneak and peak operations, surveillance operations, fire safe opening, and breaking and entering investigations.
Since the techniques taught in this class are largely nondestructive, agencies will also benefit by having a decrease in civil actions due to property damage.
The cost of the course is $865 CAD with a $200 deposit required to hold your place. If taken with Safe Dial Mechanics, the cost is $1150 for both.
Sat May 12: 0800hrs -late (dinner and a appropriately-themed movie to end the evening)
Sun July 30: 0800hrs – 1700hrs
Included in the cost of the course is a comprehensive set of high quality tools that you can use on the job or practice at home to maintain the skills you’ll build in class.
• High Quality 12 Piece Pick Set
• Set of covert jigglers
• Set of warded picks
• Bump Hammer
• Bump keys
• An e-z decoder
• Underdoor tool
***Team dinner scheduled and provided for Saturday night.***
DISCLAIMER:*Nothing in the course offering is intended to be used for unlawful purposes. Consult with your local laws prior to employing these techniques in the field. This is intended for lawful use ONLY. True North Tradecraft and its partners do not condone or advocate illegal activities.*
How often have you thought “hey, I wish I could learn that…but the training is only available in the US. So much for that.”? I have. Many times. So, in my quest to build my own skills, I saved up some money and travelled to the United States to attend training I had my eye for months.
In November 2016, I had the privilege of attending the Covert Entry Concepts (CEC) training course in Maryland. It was put on by The CORE Group in their Maryland facilities and wow, what a good time it was.
(*I lucked-out by taking two courses back-to-back at The CORE Groups’ Maryland facilities, the Covert Entry Concepts and Physical Security Analyst. This is a review for Covert Entry Concepts. I will post a review of the Physical Security Analyst soon.)
The purpose of the course, in broad strokes, is to be given an education in physical security, how to identify and exploit any weaknesses with the ultimate goal to test those weaknesses and close any found loopholes for a client to protect them from attack. As a security professional myself, I feel that expanding my skill sets is a responsibility to make me more effective in my job.
“The CORE Group was initially formed by a trio of security auditors and researchers who had collaborated on numerous projects and conference events over the years. At present, their combined experience in the physical security sector represents decades of hard knowledge and applied work. The CORE Group finds innovative ways to augment typical security auditing and assessment. Most companies incorporate digital penetration testing and web application testing into their standard procedure of self-assessment. The CORE Group offers a variety of packages that can greatly assist in a company’s understanding of their security posture at a fraction of the cost of larger, more “conventional” testing.”
The CORE Group conducts training all over, training Law Enforcement & Military, Government Agencies, Physical Security specialists, Red Team and PenTesters, IT Security and Locksport enthusiasts. They attend many of the “cons” (such as Black Hat, DEF CON, SANS, etc.) throughout the US, many times running the “Lockpick Village” and providing intensive training to professionals all over.
The course was a 2-day, Monday/Tuesday set-up. A mixed bag of Law Enforcement, Military, physical security professionals and “other, government” types. A good group of people to get to know and learn with. Our Instructor, Rob, Chief of the Law Enforcement training division of The CORE Group, was welcoming and professional from the word “go”. After some quick ice-breakers, we moved right into an introduction to lockpicking.
Discussions, anecdotes, slides and practical demonstrations were all used to great effect in training to underline the principles and applications for what were were learning about in that moment. Everything was helped by Rob’s sense of humour, positive attitude, patience and obvious expertise in the subject matter. We worked on a vast array of topics. Lock-picking; bumping; bypasses; construction; safes; tamper-evident seals; elevators; impressioning; the Mace Face Challenge; casting keys; attack vectors; padlocks; restraint escapes and so much more. So much information was covered that, even weeks later, I found myself re-reading the detailed notes I had made in an effort to absorb it all. Not only was it an incredible amount of practical and useful information, but much of it was eye-opening and fascinating as well. Not all aspects are covered in every session that Rob delivers due to geography or other issues, but my experience was just great.
Here is a look at some of the stuff we got to play with:
After enjoying amazing chicken, fantastic bbq, getting to know the other participants and doing an awesome escape exercise preceded by burpees (I hate burpees) it ended up being a really great time.
I felt as if it was a skill-building game-changer. The depth and breadth of knowledge shared and learned was exceptional. Though these are all perishable skills requiring regular practice, the base is unmistakably solid. It certainly opened the door to a world of opportunities. The people I met and the confidence in my abilities were well worth the cost and effort to travel south of the border. I highly recommend taking this training if you have the means and opportunity. It’s a staple of tradecraft and is useful in a myriad of situations (all ethically bounded, of course). Use your powers for good. And if you work hard, you can earn one of these…
If you’re interested in taking this course IN CANADA, True North Tradecraft, in partnership with Tactical Beaver, will be sponsoring a unique run of this course in downtown Toronto on the weekend of July 28-29-30, 2017, to be taught by Rob of The CORE Group. This training is not available anywhere else in Canada (to my knowledge – and I’ve searched) and is well worth it’s weight in gold. It will include top-tier instruction, a kit of equipment for you to practice on and keep when you’re done and breakfast daily with dinner on the Friday night. For more detailed information, e-mail us at [email protected] . Spaces are limited and booking up already. Tactical Beaver will also have a table with great apparel available to purchase at a discount.
Check it out. It’s a really great opportunity to learn from an expert in the field and do so IN CANADA!