The Belt ranking system is a tiered classification developed and maintained by LockPickers United (LPU), a group of locksport experts and enthusiasts. It emulates the color-coded belt rankings commonly used in martial arts disciplines and functions primarily to codify achievements in lockpicking and related skills. The rankings attempt to provide a concrete framework for quantifying skill and progress in lockpicking/locksport.
Belt rankings are defined by lists of qualifying locks, forms of documentation for picking, and other related challenges for more advanced belts. Participants submit documentation of their accomplishments for review by moderators and are awarded belt ranks accordingly.
The belt ranking system is used both as a means of comparing the relative difficulty of locks as well as a set of milestones for evaluating one's personal progress and achievements. It creates a basic model of reputation management for participants and other people involved in locksport. An individual's belt rank is also used by LPU to limit access to some resources on sensitive topics such as safecracking.
Belt ranking classification is also used as a shorthand for lock difficulty, as each belt defines a list of locks of comparable complexity. Locks not on the list are frequently described by their "approximate" belt level.
|Qualifying lock examples
|Additional requirement example
|"Open any lock with any tool"
|Master Lock No 140
|Master Lock No 150
|Master Lock No 410
|American Lock 1100
|Show ability to gut & reassemble locks
|Build and share a challenge lock
|Demonstrate history of helping new pickers
|Make at least one specialized tool
|Mentor another advanced picker in picking a difficult lock
|ASSA Twin 6000
|Detailed requirements for advanced skills or "Master's Projects"
|This list is for reference only. The current, official list of locks and requirements are maintained by LPU administrators.