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.
How can a Grappling Dummy help your game?
I’ll admit that I used a grappling dummy more as a white belt than I do now. Early on when I needed reps and couldn’t get to the gym I would drill on my dummy in the basement. I do still find it useful now though. If I learn a move at class that I need to iron out the details on, I will grab the grappling dummy and get to work. Some people claim that grappling dummies are a waste of time, but I would disagree. There is absolutely no substitute for training with a real partner, but if you set your expectations correctly then I believe there is value to working with a grappling dummy.
I’ve listed out some grappling dummies you can purchase below. You can also build a grappling dummy pretty cheap, and it’s not a bad alternative to purchasing a more expensive one.