Sometimes when you’re training, there are things you want to work on again and again and again or even at home, in your garage or without the use of a partner. Sometimes you can’t get someone to stick around and allow you to throw them to the ground time and time and time again. And that’s fair enough. But what are you supposed to do? How do you work on that sweep over and over without begging someone to be patient and let you practice on them? Well, you could get yourself a grappling dummy and go to town.
A grappling dummy is a human-shaped training device that allows you to work on specific moves, throws and submissions like you would on any other person. They are often made of a synthetic leather and come in a range of sizes and weights to fit your personal needs. They are made to withstand your throws, slams and sweeps so that you can practice over and over until you figure out how to use these moves against a real person.
Grappling dummies often have different purposes, so you want to know what you want to use the dummy for before you buy them. Some of them are intended for actual grappling and groundwork while others are better for stand up and striking. If you are focusing on jiu jitsu, then you’ll probably want to make sure that your dummy is designed to be on the ground. If you’re focusing on MMA, then you can get one that is a bit more versatile because you will need to grapple and strike for your sport.
If you really want to step your game up and are very serious about Brazilian jiu jitsu, then getting a grappling dummy can be a really great tool to help you improve. However, you want to make sure that you are serious about it before you buy one, because they are a bit pricy. These are big, life-sized pieces of equipment, so if you’re only planning on training bjj a few times a week and don’t intend on competing, then you might not need a dummy. Instead, just use your training partners or coaches to help you practice that one move over and over.
Once you’ve decided that you do want to buy a dummy, then there are still a few different things you need to know before you make your purchase.
- 0.1 Things to consider when buying a grappling dummy:
- 0.2 Our Top Pick
- 0.3 Comparison
- 0.4 Products We Have Reviewed
- 1 1. Editor’s Choice: The Century Grappling Dummy
- 2 2. Combat Sports Legged Grappling Dummy 120LB
- 3 3. Combat Sports Submission Man Dummy
- 4 4. Combat Sports Youth Grappling Dummy
- 5 5. Unfilled Judo Punching Bag Cum Grappling Dummy From Celebrita MMA
Things to consider when buying a grappling dummy:
- Durability- A grappling dummy’s sole purpose is for you to beat it up. It will be hit, thrown, swept, dragged across the floor and put into submissions. These things are going to be hard on the product, so you don’t want to buy one that cannot withstand a literal beating. The dummy should be made of a high-quality material that isn’t going to rip or tear when it’s exposed to a lot of pressure. You should also ensure that the stitching is done well, so you don’t end up losing a head or an arm when you put it into a hold. The higher quality dummies will cost a bit more, but they will last longer. You should only buy a dummy if you’re serious about your bjj anyway, so there is no reason to bargain shop and get a cheaper one that could fall apart quickly.
- Flexibility– Your dummy should not be stiff and immobile. You’re not using the dummy like you would practice your moves on a heavy bag that’s lying down. You need to be able to put the dummy into holds, chokes, armbars, leg locks and any other kind of submission you can think of. If your dummy is too stiff, then you will struggle to get it to move into positions you need it to be in. However, if your dummy is too flexible, then it won’t offer you any resistance, and it won’t be doing its job in helping you improve. A grappling dummy is supposed to help you get better, so if you’re training with it and not having to put forth any effort, then it won’t be of any real use to you. Find a dummy that is flexible enough to move, but not too flexible that you don’t get a proper training session from it.
- Size– A grappling dummy is meant to resemble your opponents as much as possible, so you want to make sure that you buy one that will be around the size of the people who you’re grappling with. You might immediately think that this means that you should get a dummy that weighs the same amount as a real human, but you’ll find that to be pretty impossible. Take into consideration that a grappling dummy is not alive, and therefore is “dead weight,” which feels much heavier than it actually is. However, you can consider your own size and get one that is relative to you. If you’re a smaller person, then you should get a lighter dummy. If you’re heavier, then get one of the heavier dummies. This also goes for height. Don’t buy a dummy much taller than you, because you probably will not be grappling with people who are that big. Don’t get one much smaller than you for the same reason. Try to get as close to your opponents’ size as you can
Grappling dummies are big, difficult equipment to decide on, and we know that there are a lot of factors that go into a purchase like this. We have a few that we like, and we reviewed them here to help you decide which is the best Brazilian jiu jitsu grappling dummy for you.
Our Top Pick
Looking for that perfect partner to try all your moves and locks on? A good grappling dummy is what you need, to perfect all those throws and locks on, without risking hurting a human being. The 90LB grappling dummy from Century is by far the best we have come across, to perfect all those grappling moves on.
With the poseable arms and reinforced stitching, this dummy is the perfect partner for practicing various takedowns on.
After speaking to a number of MMA fighters and trainers, we have narrowed down our search for the perfect dummies to practice all the grappling moves on. Choosing the right dummy is important as it can really change your style and technique.
Here are some of the best dummies according to our study, available in the market for you to choose from:
|Products||Size & Weight||Material Used||Position||Can Be Used For|
|Century Grappling Dummy 90LB||90 Lb||Thick cut vinyl||Standing with poseable arms||Throws
|Combat Sports Legged Grappling Dummy 120LB||120 Lb; 5’10 inches tall||Nylon||Standing||Takedowns
|Combat Sports Submission Man Dummy||80 Lbs ; 5’10 inches tall||Nylon||Standing||Leg locks
|Combat Sports Youth Grappling Dummy||35 Lbs at 4’6 inches tall;|
50 Lbs at 5 feet height
On the floor moves
|Unfilled Judo Punching Bag Cum Grappling Dummy From Celebrita MMA||25 Kg – 55 Kg|
40” to 70” height
Products We Have Reviewed
After a lot of debates and discussion amongst ourselves, we came up with a list of dummies that would be perfect for all the grappling techniques. Then we discussed the same with our team of fighters and trainers and got their inputs as well. The result is this list of carefully selected products for those who want to progress in grappling:
- Century Grappling Dummy 90LB
- Combat Sports Legged Grappling Dummy 120LB
- Combat Sports Submission Man Dummy
- Combat Sports Youth Grappling Dummy
- Unfilled Judo Punching Bag Cum Grappling Dummy From Celebrita MMA
Not all details can be derived and understood from a comparison table. Here is a detailed review of all the above listed products:
1. Editor’s Choice: The Century Grappling Dummy
When you want a dummy to practice the moves you learnt recently in your MMA session, you need a dummy that is not only the right size but is sturdy and well designed too.
One of the biggest advantages we found in this dummy is the poseable arms. When you are grappling with a dummy, you are not going to learn much with a rigid doll. You are not a child who needs a soft toy to be your make belief opponent. What you need is a good dummy that can really add some value to your practice.
This 90LB dummy is of the average weight, hence letting you try out all those locks on a average sized person. Century has thought about everything before releasing this dummy. Practice with this dummy, and you won’t be left looking like a joke because you were practicing with a doll and try the same moves with an actual person.
- Reinforced stitching
- Made of thick cut vinyl
- Can be used for throwdowns and grappling
- Poseable arms
- 1 year warranty
Some of the benefits you are sure to receive by using this dummy are:
- Sturdy and long lasting due to the reinforced stitching
- The arms can me moved and positioned as required for each technique
- Weighs a solid 90LB, thus letting you get the real feel of fighting with an actual human
- It is already stuffed and ready to be used, right out of the box
Some of the disadvantages with this model are
- A little too bulky for a medium or small sized person
- Not suitable for kids as it would be too big and heavy for a kid who is 10 or younger
- Could be a little too stiff to practice many grappling moves where the limbs have to be bent
- It is not freestanding; hence it has to be harnessed every time you want to use it. This may not let you learn much on the balancing front
Our Detailed Review Of Other Dummies
Now that you have a clear idea about the best grappling dummy in the market so far, here is a detailed review of the other products as well.
2. Combat Sports Legged Grappling Dummy 120LB
Weighing and measuring an average male, this dummy can be the perfect partner to practice all those take downs with. Though this is one of our best choices, it is not the top pick due to its weight. Read on to know more about this dummy:
- Weighs 120 Lbs
- Height is 5’10 feet
- Made of heavy duty nylon
Some of the benefits of using this particular dummy are:
- The dummy is not too tall, hence makes it easier for you to practice realistically
- The correct size and height makes it a more practical partner as one can learn a number of maneuvering moves and throws as with a real life partner
- The heavy duty nylon is made to last long and endure all the moves
Here are some of the not so good features of the dummy
- The dummy can be heavy. 120 Lbs of dead weight can be a little too much to handle by an average sized woman or a teenager. A 120 lbs dummy is actually much heavier than a 120 lbs human.
- There are no reinforced or multiple stitches. This may cause the dummy to rip at the seams after a few practice sessions
- With the arms and legs set in place, this dummy can be used only for take downs and throws. It cannot be very useful for submission moves.
3. Combat Sports Submission Man Dummy
When it comes to grappling moves, there are more than take downs and throws. When in real life, your opponent finally submits to your blows and does not fight back; you cannot just walk away like in the movies. There are moves that come in use, here as well. A submission man dummy will be more flexible than a regular grappling dummy. This allows you to practice more moves, in a more realistic manner.
- This is the very first dummy that was anatomically correct
- Pre-positioned yet flexible arms and legs
- Perfect to practice various arm bars, chokes, mounts and submissions techniques
- Weighs 80 lbs
- Height is 5’10 inches
- Material used is durable nylon
Some of the reasons because of which this dummy is so high up in our list
- The legs are very flexible, hence making it a perfect partner to practice all those locks and moves related to the legs
- The dummy itself very flexible, hence allows you to practice many submission locks and techniques
- The right size makes it very practical as practicing with this dummy will enable you to take down an actual person without much change to your techniques
Some of the reasons we were not really impressed with this dummy were
- The hands are not as flexible as the legs. As a result, we were able to practice only the Americana hold. Others like Kimura and arm bars which require the arm to go behind the body, were not possible. It was in fact difficult to even do the basic triangle choke as the arms wouldn’t move behind the ears.
- Nylon can be a little slippery when you are putting all your weight on the dummy and trying to perfect a move. Your sweat can make it harder to hold it in place
- The shoulders of the dummy is very broad, thus making it difficult to perform many moves
4. Combat Sports Youth Grappling Dummy
Today’s children need to learn combat sports and some defense techniques too. With this youth grappling dummy from Combat Sports, even the early birds have a suitably sized dummy to practice with.
- Made of durable nylon
- Reinforced seams for durability
- Weighs 35 Lbs / 50 Lbs
- Height is 4’6 inches / 5 feet
Here is why this dummy is suitable for your child
- The height is appropriate for a youngster. Makes it convenient to practice with
- As it is not too heavy, children will not struggle to lift the dead weight
- The arms are flexible and different locks and arm bars can be practiced
- With legs fixed in place, it facilitates double leg takedown, and movements where one has to roll away the opponent
Some of the reasons why this may not be the best choice for your child
- It can be too heavy for a kid below the age of 10 or 8
- Though the height can be apt for a kid, it is not the height of a full grown adult. Hence practicing with this dummy may not facilitate using the techniques in a real life situation when attacked by an adult
- Can be a little stiff for some of the moves
5. Unfilled Judo Punching Bag Cum Grappling Dummy From Celebrita MMA
Apart from easy packing and low shipping weight, an unfilled dummy gives you the flexibility to fill up as per your requirement. You can reduce or increase the filling as per the person using the dummy. This is why this dummy is one among our choices. However it is ranked below the other 4 products as it does not offer the same experience as those dummies.
- Comes unfilled, hence can be filled as per requirement
- Minimum weight 25 Kg and maximum weight up to 55 Kg
- Positioned on its knees
- Legs curved at the hips at an angle of 90 degrees
These are the reasons why we have this dummy on our list
- Can be filled in as per the weight requirement. The weight filled in will affect the height proportionally; hence can be used by below average height people and kids too
- The filling material contributes to the majority of the weight. Hence one can choose to fill it with any filler material or even cut up cloth if you want it to be light
- The sitting position allows you to practice many submission and takedown moves. One can even practice the chokes and leg locks on a sitting dummy
Here are the reasons why this is not the top on our list
- Since you have to fill it, it cannot be used right away
- Choosing the wrong filler material may result in unsatisfactory results
- If not filled up properly, dummy can get floppy while practicing the moves
- Cannot practice throws with a sitting dummy
Our Final Thoughts on Grappling Dummies for MMA, Wrestling and BJJ
If you are very serious about your training, then getting a grappling dummy can really help you with your training. They can be used over and over again while you work on one thing, and they don’t get exhausted or complain like a potential training partner. Having a dummy to work with is a great tool when you’re focusing heavily on an aspect of your bjj game.
Finding the right dummy is very important. Make sure that you get one that is going to last you a long time. These can be expensive pieces of equipment, and they’re going to be exposed to a lot of potential damage. You want a dummy that can withstand throws, sweeps, drags and submissions all without ripping at the seams or the material falling apart.
You also need to have a dummy that is flexible enough that you can move it, but sturdy enough that it still gives you some resistance. A dummy that won’t move will not allow you to get any real practice in, and a dummy that flops around too easily won’t accurately represent the struggle you’ll have against a real human.
Finally, make sure you get a dummy that is the right size. You should be grappling with a dummy that best represents your opponent to prepare you for actual competition. If you follow these, then you’ll be able to get a great bjj grappling dummy that will help you improve your game and last for a long time.