Grappling Dummy Buyer’s Guide

Overview

We’re all looking for ways to improve our jiu jitsu off the mats. From taking supplements, fixing our diets, exercise and watching YouTube videos there are plenty of different ways to up your game when you’re not at the gym. Arguably a grappling dummy can be a useful tool to help drill concepts and moves when you don’t have a training partner. But what type of dummy is right for you? There are a couple of different types of dummies and a variety of companies making each. Identifying your goals will help you to determine which type of grappling dummy to purchase.

Grappling vs Throwing Dummies

Depending on your goals you may be more interested in a grappling dummy OR a throwing a dummy. A standard grappling dummy is generally more flexible than a throwing dummy, lighter, and easier to practice more variety of movements on than a throwing dummy. You can sit a grappling dummy up in your guard, and you can practice leg locks on a grappling dummy. A throwing dummy on the other hand will allow you to practice some grappling techniques on, but where they really shine is giving you a good way to practice throws. They are heavier than grappling dummies, and more durable. Throwing dummies can give you a good workout and double as a ground and pound heavy bag. I’ve even seen some people hang their throwing dummies similarly to a heavy bag to get double duty out of them.

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Pavel Tsatsouline’s Simple and Sinister

Pavel Simple and SinisterI’ve tried various workout routines to improve my jiu jitsu over the past couple of years. I was a big fan of the Strong Lifts 5×5’s, and was doing that routine for a while, and though I got stronger it didn’t seem to transfer to the mat that well for me. I was trying to get in a few days of weight training, and a few days of jiu jitsu every week, but the 5×5’s were leaving me too tired to train that hard in jiu jitsu. I also didn’t feel that the type of strength I was getting from 5×5’s was what I needed to improve my jiu jitsu game. It occurred to me that what I was really looking for was muscular endurance rather than adding more weight to my max reps. A friend at the jiu jitsu school I attend suggested I try Pavel’s Simple and Sinister program (among other Kettlebell exercises). I tried it and found that it was exactly what I needed. I’ve modified the routine somewhat, but doing this workout has dramatically improved my endurance during jiu jitsu rounds, and the best part is that it doesn’t leave me too spent the next day so that I can actually train jiu jitsu without dealing with DOMS. Here’s what I’m currently doing:

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