Experts often get quizzed about whether a jiu-jitsu grappling dummy can improve their performance. The short answer is, it all depends on your level.
Should You Buy A Grappling Dummy?
It can be challenging for those with a sporadic work schedule to consistently attend martial arts classes. Not to mention, competitive people want to spend time outside the class perfecting their movements, so a grappling dummy can be advantageous. Besides having the ability to workout at any time, even when you have no sparring partner, grappling dummies are pretty realistic. They are usually made to be heavy enough to feel realistic, and most of them have moving joints and flexible limbs. So in theory, these mannequins enable a jiu-jitsu fighter to train and sharpen techniques on their own. This allows them to train more often, without a partner. Trainers say that may be especially useful in providing a way to train at home, which can often be a problem for martial arts-based workouts.
How Realistic Is A Jiu-jitsu Grappling Dummy?
Most of the major supply companies for martial arts will sell a jiu-jitsu grappling dummy, and they come in many different styles. Many of them are very pragmatic with features like limbs and joints that offer good resistance, and others are just essential dummies, but all of them have, more or less, a human form. Generally speaking, these mannequins are designed for durability so they can withstand a fairly significant training without breaking easily.
One disadvantage is, when buying these mannequins, weight is often considered a major problem. In most cases, mannequins aren’t made to be as heavy as a person of equivalent size, and of course, there are plenty of reasons for this. One of the biggest problems is the fact that a grappling dummy is an essentially dead weight, which makes it harder to maneuver. Reduce the weight of the mannequin to about half or one-third the weight of a person of equivalent form and you can make the experience a little closer to reality. Still some dummies – the more expensive kind – are designed to be much closer to the weight of a person, and certain practitioners prefer this.
Many trainers agree that using a grip dummy can be very useful in many aspects of training. You are able to train on various drills and throws to a higher level of accuracy since you have the time needed to work on things at home.
Choosing A Grappling Dummy
When buying a jiu-jitsu grappling dummy keep in mind your intended use like throwing and takedowns, positional drills and ground and pounds, and then look at the elements of the dummy.
1. Dimension and Size: It’s vital to examine the dimensions of each grappling dummy. This will help you determine the appropriate size that matches your height and weight, as well as your intended use.
2. Weight: Remember we touched on dead weight, well when picking out a dummy don’t forget to account for the mannequin’s dead weight. This is different from positioning to pick up a teammate. Because of the dummy’s dead weight, it will feel heavier, which makes it harder to throw and perform takedowns. Trainers typically suggest you multiply the dummy’s weight by 2 to gauge how heavy it will feel during practice.
3. Joints and Limbs: Grappling dummies with flexible limbs are more realistic, and this allows you to practice submission techniques like joint locks. Additionally, with these types of dummies, you can create a realistic training session by clothing the dummy with a Jiu-Jitsu uniform, which is beneficial for practicing specific techniques.
4. Quality and Durability: Yes, quality matters because a grappling dummy that has good tight stitching that is reinforced with multiple rows, especially in high-stress areas will be much better at taking the abuse, like takedowns and ground and pounds. And think about purchasing a durable product. A dummy made with the durable material can better handle the wear and tear of repeated abuse.
Many fighters opt for a dummy heavy bag, but typically end up buying a jiu-jitsu grappling dummy after the fact. Why? The heavy bag is cheaper but the product doesn’t have limbs to practice submissions, and overall, this makes it limited in its use for drills. Grappling dummies are more versatile, designed with portability in mind, and designed to help improve jiu-jitsu ability.
The purpose of a jiu-jitsu grappling dummy is to sharpen your skills, and it’s well worth the money if you’re looking for that advantage.