The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Grappling Dummy, Wrestling Dummy, Jiu Jitsu Dummy or Judo Dummy

Grappling Dummy

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Grappling Dummy, Wrestling Dummy, Jiu Jitsu Dummy or Judo Dummy

We all know that the key to getting great at anything is time. Time investing and invested well.  The same holds true for grappling, wrestling and judo. All combat sports require the utmost dedication to every facet of the sport, from sparring, technique drilling to conditioning.

The problem with training time is our schedules are all different. Not everyone has access to the same training facilities and partners.  I know this feeling very well. As a member of the US armed forces I was unable to actively training in both BJJ and grappling.  The result was long periods of time spent away from quality training partners.

Luckily I discovered the practicality of grappling dummies early on and since that day grappling dummy training has been an integral part of my training regiment for both conditioning and techniques.

It comes down to this:

Grappling dummies should be a part of any serious grapplers toolkit. They are available 24/7, help your conditioning and improve your technique. I urge anyone who is SERIOUS about improving to get one.

My name is Scott Summers and I’ve been actively involved in the grappling and wrestling community for over 20 years.  After a long career as a Minnesota State Wrestler and All-American wrestler I transitioned into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at age 25. A couple years down the road I won the Mudials in the purple belt Pena Division.  I continued on to receive my black belt from Augusta Alexanda in 2003.

A Brief History to Grappling Dummies

While grappling dummies haven’t always been as pretty as their are now, they have been used for centuries. Roman and Greek wrestlers used sacks filled with sands to practice throws and increase conditioning. 

Turkish and Iranian wrestlers have been using similar tools, using either sand or densely packed clothing to training drills, belly to belly throws and increase conditioning and cardio.

Fast-forward to Russian and American college wrestling programs and you have nearly every collegiate level wrestler using grappling dummies for both judo and wrestling.  Often times such dummies are used at the end of practice to help conditioning.

What is a Grappling Dummy?

Modern grappling dummies are constructed using high quality durable plastic blends and filled with either sand or densely packed clothing/fabric. They weight anywhere between 40 pounds to 150. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes with some better suited for Brazilian jiu jitsu and other for wrestling and BJJ.

5 Reasons Why You Should Get a Grappling Dummy

1) It’s maybe the best workout you’ve ever had.
For those of you who have never continuously struck or drilled the same movements for two to four minutes without a rest, congratulations.  Using a grappling dummy is one of the hardest workouts you will probably ever have. 

2) You’ll burn a shitload of fat.
HIT or high intensity training has become immensely popular in the last 15 years and rightly so, it’s one of the best ways to lose huge amounts of fat while both strengthening and shaping muscle.

Grappling dummies offer one of the most intensive HIT workout sessions known to man.

If you don’t believe me just ask any varsity wrestler and they can attest. Throwing or manipulating the dead weight of a dummy for even thirty seconds can be exhausting.

3) Ingrain BJJ, MMA and Wrestling movements and techniques.
Drilling the same move over and over again is fundamental to becoming a great all around grappler. You can’t always get into the gym, but drilling for 15-20 minutes a day will make you a monster five or six months down the line.

4) Make your BJJ and wrestling transitions smooth.
This might only make sense to more experienced grapplers, but we all understand the value of smooth transitions. A match is won or lost in those small pieces of time here and there. Knowing how to transition out of or into a position is essential for taking advantage of opportunities.

Hence the importance of a grappling dummy.  It allows you to work on those transitions like knee of belly, leg drags, step-outs and also weight distribution.

5) Extremely cheap way to practice.
If you add the time it takes to drive to your gym, drive home on top of the monthly fees, the money can add up pretty quickly.  Getting a dummy at home provides an extremely convenient place to train that is both effective and cost effective.

Quick Points

  • It won’t say no to you.
  • Always ready to train.
  • Great conditioning.
  • Great strength training.
  • Improve transitions and techniques.
  • Learn how to manage weight distribution.
  • Used by high level grapplers, wrestlers and judokas across the world.


Types of Dummies: BJJ Dummy, Judo Dummy, Jiu Jitsu Dummy, MMA Dummy

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Dummies

A dummy used for BJJ usually comes in either two positions:

  1. Lying flat on its back
  2. In kneeling position

The first position allows BJJ practitioners to practice key locks, kimuras, guileete chokes and simple knee on belly transitions

The second position allows people to practice any submission from closed guard or the back including: triangle chokes, armbars, razor armbars, kimuras, collar chokes, gulliote chokes.

Wrestling Dummies

Dummies used specially for wrestling are usually a bit heavier and used primarily for throwing or conditioning.  They usually don’t have arms ( at least not the ones I’ve used ) and are great for practicing finishing your double leg, helping perfect a beautiful 5-point throw or just lifting up and down repeatedly.

Judo Dummies

A dummy for judo is essential if you want to get used to using your weight to throw heavier amounts of weight.  Olympic teams throughout the world use these dummies to simulate throwing an opponent.

The best part about using dummies for judo is that your training partners can avoid the usual “wear and tear” of being thrown continuously for thirty minutes on end. 

MMA/Mixed Martial Arts Dummies
Dummies for fighting or mixed martial arts are usually the most durable with a thick plastic skin that allows for maximum damage. These are either placed upright or in a lying down position.

If you want to practice your ground and pound, strikes or just get an insane cardio workout these are great for you.  You might think it’s easy continuously hitting a dummy for even two minutes but let me tell you it’s not.

How to Use Your Fighting Dummy
When it comes to training there are one a few main ways to use a dummy effectively.

Throwing Drills
Practicing throwing the dummy in any position. Great for judo and wrestling

Submission Drills
Ideal for building speed and drilling basic submissions into your muscle memory. Choose from either lying down dummies or standing.

Ground and Pound for MMA or Fighting
If you want to practice hitting on the ground or standing up, pick a high quality dummy that can last years.

Conditioning
For conditioning please choose a dummy within the forty to fifty pound range, anything beyond that is too difficult. You might think you’re strong but trust me throwing around forty pounds of dead weight will kick your ass!

Check out this video below to see what you can do with your dummy:

Things to Consider When Buying a Grappling Dummy for Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu or Judo

Remember your dummy will last you years. A quality dummy is a great investment that can be used for 5 to 10 years. I’ve had mine for over 4 years and use it two to three times a week.

***If you buy shit quality you will get something that comes apart in two to three months******

With that said here are some things you need to consider:

Durability

The plastic surface should be extremely durable made of a plastic composite that ensures it isn’t going to get ruined after a few months. Nothing is worse than having a dummy break open and leaving stuffing all over the gym.

Most martial are constructed using Denier Cordura, which is resistant to moisture and tearing.

Ability to Wear a Gi

If you train Gi jiu jitsu you’ll want to have a dummy that is big enough to put on a Gi. This is a GREAT way to practice collar chokes, bravo chokes and any other weird label-based chokes.

Price

Generally speaking go for the higher price. You can buy something on the low end for 50-75 dollars but it is almost guaranteed to come apart within 3-6 months. Anything above 150 dollars will last a lifetime.

Stitching

Like fabric, the stitching indicates how well put together and sealed the unit is. A higher quality grappling dummy will be triple stiched, the same goes with wrestling or judo dummies.

Weight

Don’t let your ego get the best of you and get the heaviest dummy. Follow the below chart to find what weight is best for you.

Children 10-20 pound
Young Adults (age 8-14) 2 0 – 30 pounds
Adults (Under 75kgs) 40 pounds
Adults (Above 75kgs) 50-70 pounds
Women 30 pounds
Collegiate Level/Highly-Skilled Competitive Athletes 70 pounds to 100 pounds

Again, I stress – do not buy an overly heavy grappling dummy because you think you’re a really strong badass fighter.

 

I mention this for a few reasons:Again, I stress – do not buy an overly heavy grappling dummy because you think you’re a really strong badass fighter.

  1. Your technique might suck and you’re a lot less likely to get injured using something lighter
  2. It’s incredibly tiring
  3. It’s a pain in the ass to fill up a bigger grappling dummy (some require being filled up)

If you have any more questions please contact me via the contact option and I’ll help you choose whatever dummy you need.

***If you run a kids program or want to purchase more than 10 units email me and I can help you find a better deal with some of the nations biggest manufacturers. ****

What Are My Favorite Fighting Dummies

As of this year I’ve bought over 70 of these things. I run a kid’s program at a local college and also help coach grappling and wrestling at several martial arts clubs.

The below list are my suggestions all which are available for purchase from MMA warehouse.

( I find that they have the best selection in terms of quality and service)

Best Grappling Dummies – Reviews and Scores

BJJ Dummy

BJJ Dummy

If your looking to improve your ground game than one of the easiest places to start is by learning how to properly transition and attack from side control or mouth. 

This dummy is anatomically correct, meaning it’s not too small or big. It actually feels like a regular person.  The arms are flexible allowing you to easily practice armbars or kimuras. It’s made of durable nylon and weights roughly 80 pounds.

This is my recommended unit for anyone who wants to practice BJJ or increase their submission skills.

Takeaways:

  • Anatomically correct
  • Flexible arms and limbs
  • Durable nylon
  • 80lbs
  • Great for increasing submission speed and skill
BJJ Dummy

If your looking to improve your ground game than one of the easiest places to start is by learning how to properly transition and attack from side control or mouth.




Celebrita MMA Judo Punching Bag Grappling Dummy unfilled – Sitting Position hands front

Celebrita MMA Judo Punching Bag Grappling Dummy unfilled

If you want to practice submissions from the bottom,this is the best choice. The dummy position allows you practice BJJ submissions from not only the bottom in full guard/half guard but also from the back. 

Legs bend at a 90 degree position and this unit is actually quite well balances so it won’t suddenly fall over you.

Watch this quick video to see what you can do with it:

This is a great unit for warmups and just drilling submissions. One of my favorite uses for the Celebrita dummy is just simply doing 50X armbars, triangles and kimuras. After about 2-3 months of this I’ve noticed a massive improvement in the speed of my submissions especially my armbars.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Work Submissions from the bottom or back.
  • Well-balanced.
  • A few months of practice will 2X your submission speed.
  • High quality leather.
  • Easy to fill with raw cotton.

Celebrita MMA Judo Punching Bag Grappling Dummy unfilled – Sitting Position hands front

If you want to practice submissions from the bottom,this is the best choice. The dummy position allows you practice BJJ submissions from not only the bottom in full guard/half guard but also from the back.





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Best Wrestling Dummy and Judo Dummy

COMBAT SPORTS LEGGED GRAPPLING DUMMY 70LBS.

COMBAT SPORTS LEGGED GRAPPLING DUMMY 70LBS.

If you want a wrestling dummy, that can double up as a BJJ dummy this is a great choice. The extended fake arms allow you to practice submissions on the ground as well and simulate going for an armor when your opponent extends his hands incorrectly.

Durable nylon which can be punished and won’t tear easily. We had kids using these all summer for the last 3 years and have yet to see a single tear or rip in the fabric.

The dummy weights approximately 70lbs but if you want a lighter weight you can stuff it with a lightest (less dense) material like clothing.

If you’re wondering what you can do with this bad boy, check out this video:

This unit also works very well in a GI making a great addition for not only throwing but also BJJ. At 5”6 it’s a great height to practice throwing or finishing your double leg.

Additionally, due to it’s size and weight you can get some great all around conditioning exercises. Please Note – this unit COMES FILLED.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Comes filled already.
  • Great for wrestling and throwing.
  • Can wear a Gi.
  • Great for conditioning.
  • Extended arms means you can practice submissions.
  • High quality nylon material
COMBAT SPORTS LEGGED GRAPPLING DUMMY 70LBS.

Durable nylon which can be punished and won’t tear easily. We had kids using these all summer for the last 3 years and have yet to see a single tear or rip in the fabric.




TITLE FREESTYLE THROWING/GRAPPLING DUMMY

TITLE FREESTYLE THROWING

So this unit is perfect for everything : wrestling, judo throws, conditioning, practicing your submissions and wearing a Gi. Made of a high quality nylon/plastic mix it is made durable enough to use for a while.

All around this is my most recommended purchase for a great grappling dummy as it comes everything you need for BJJ, wrestling, Judo or just conditioning.

Quick Takeaways:

  • My most recommended grappling dummy
  • Versatile
  • Can be used for wrestling, judo, BJJ or MMA
  • High quality material

TITLE FREESTYLE THROWING/GRAPPLING DUMMY

So this unit is perfect for everything : wrestling, judo throws, conditioning, practicing your submissions and wearing a Gi. Made of a high quality nylon/plastic mix it is made durable enough to use for a while.



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MMA Dummy or Fighting Dummy

COMBAT SPORTS HANGMAN DUMMY

COMBAT SPORTS HANGMAN DUMMY

If you’re looking for a dummy that you can practice striking and grappling then this unit is what you want.  The hangman dummy has hooks on the its head and shoulders allowing you to hook it up to a ceiling mount and practice strikes.

Since it’s fairly tall it gives you an accurate target to practice leg strikes, elbows, clinching or body shots.  Combine some basic shots in there and you have a great dummy to practice any number of combinations.

How We Use It

In our kids program we have 5 of these units. We have kids line up and call out combinations – 1, 2, 3, double or 2, body shot, level change, shoot. You can add whatever combination you want as this unit allows for more accuracy than a traditional heavy bag which is wider and larger.

Quick takeaways:

  • Practice thai clinching, leg kicks, elbows, strikes or any combination.
  • Best MMA dummy on the market
  • More realistic size for increased accuracy.
COMBAT SPORTS HANGMAN DUMMY

If you’re looking for a dummy that you can practice striking and grappling then this unit is what you want. The hangman dummy has hooks on the its head and shoulders allowing you to hook it up to a ceiling mount and practice strikes.




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Best Youth Wrestling Grappling Dummy/ Best Women’s Grappling Dummy

COMBAT SPORTS YOUTH GRAPPLING DUMMY

COMBAT SPORTS YOUTH GRAPPLING DUMMY

For young children starting grappling early is the key to become an elite level wrestler or grapplers. This is the perfect unit for kids and women.  Weighing in at 35lbs or 50lbs this is one of the lightest youth wrestling dummies on the market.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Great for youth wrestling
  • Great for women’s grappling
  • 35lbs to 50lbs
  • High quality material

COMBAT SPORTS YOUTH GRAPPLING DUMMY

For young children starting grappling early is the key to become an elite level wrestler or grapplers. This is the perfect unit for kids and women. Weighing in at 35lbs or 50lbs this is one of the lightest youth wrestling dummies on the market.


FAQ

What is the best dummy for me?
The best dummy for you is the one that is the highest quality. I can’t stress this enough, don’t go cheap or they will fall apart.

Do they come filled?
Most units do not. The deliver cost of shipping a fully stuffed 60lbs dummy would be huge. You’ll need to stuff them. Luckily this is really easy to do, old clothing, fabric or even sand work well.

However the units I reviewed here do come filled. Let me repeat that I’ve reviewed units that do come pre-filled in order to save you the trouble.

If you do have to fill it , the easiest way to do this is to go to a fabric store and get them to stuff it for you. I have purchased enough fabric to stuff mine for just five dollars.

NOTE – some units come stuffed, check the description.

What weight should I choose?
Please refer to the weight guide that in this post to find the best grappling dummy weight.

Are these good for children or people who want to lose weight?
Yes and yes. They are great for anyone who wants an intense workout in their backyard or at home.  Kids love these things, my two boys have one and they love playing around on it.

Is this an effective replacement for training?
The answer is a resolute … no, it is not. However, it is an extremely valuable supplement to training. Just like weight training is a valuable and needed supplement to becoming a great wrestler.