Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Secrets of Ninja (34)


When confronted by a locked door, recourse sometimes must be made to the art of So
Hao Tsui, or Lock-Picking Form. The ancient Ninja developed special tools for slipping the
latches of their enemies.

To employ such tools, one kneels at the door, adjusting height so that eyes are even with the
lock. In the case of modern manipulation, the turning wrench is held in the left hand, applied
with a slight pressure, while the pick is inserted and used to set the pin tumblers by the right.
This posture is preferable especially at night, since it offers some concealment. There is a
method known as raking, in which the pick is used in a rapid to-and-fro action to bounce the
tumblers free. While raking, one should stand and appear to be trying to make a proper key
work. This technique is often used by hotel burglars. If they are discovered, they can pretend
to be closing the door instead of opening it.


When encountering a door which is slightly ajar, approach the hinge side of the threshold,
reach across the door, and lightly grasp the latch. Scan the interior of the room beyond by looking
through the crack between the doorjamb and the door itself. You may slowly open or close
the door to allow more of the interior to come into view, bearing in mind that extremely slow
movement is not visible.

Never stand in front of a door even if it is closed, since doors are easily penetrated by gunfire.

Police use a variation of this position when preparing to enter a room occupied by armed


When confronted by a closed door, approach its latch side. Press your back to the wall next
to the jamb. Slowly open the latch using the right hand and peek inside through the aperture
thus provided. Place the left hand on the wall near the shoulder and be prepared to push off and
escape should you draw attention.

In all instances, listening at the doorjamb is equally as important as trying to see inside.

Ju Men Pu, the Entering Pivot of the Kuji Ashi, is used to enter a doorway without being observed.
At night, when you enter a lighted room, light will escape as the door is opened, revealing
your presence. If the interior is unlit, the shadow cast by the door, or its very movement
may give you away:

To overcome this, press the shoulder against the doorjamb, gripping the latch with the left
hand. Open the door quietly, inch by inch, and move slowly forward. Hold the cloak or hand
above the head, lightly touching the top of the door, to fill the newly formed opening.

Press into the opening, filling the gap and allowing no fight to escape. Step in and back with
the right foot first. Slide the hips in, then the shoulders. The head, the left foot, and lastly the
right hand are drawn inside. The right hand is lowered only after the door is closed from

By this method, the door is opened only slightly, lessening the chance that the hinges will
creak, or that the movement of the door will betray you.