Do Grappling Dummies Work? – Here are Some Benefits

You can see grappling dummies in almost every martial arts (BJJ, MMA…) gym and many people learn grappling with grappling dummies in grappling classes. Since there are truly many benefits of grappling dummies and this is why many people always consider training with them. I also benefited from them and improved my skills during my MMA training sessions. Without further ado let’s have a look at these benefits and below I also included my and my trainers’ experiences.

do grappling dummies work

1. You can’t always find a Sparring Partner

I had to do most of my MMA training sessions at 6 am. As you can guess, there was not anybody in gym let alone people who do MMA training sessions. So shortly I just had to train with grappling dummies. Also, I am guessing that not a lot of people who let you practice a myriad of painful techniques on them. So your muscles can’t get used to doing these grappling techniques, takedowns etc. However, if you have a good grappling dummy, you can pretty much practice everything!

Also, I am always scared of hurting my MMA sparring partner. Even though they have right and protective gears (MMA mouth guard, headgear etc.), it is not a real match and obviously, I always try hurting them as little as possible and don’t go full power. So it is not always beneficial to train with a sparring partner.


2. Improve Your Skills

Alright, I don’t know what you want to improve. Some of you may do BJJ training sessions and want to improve leglocks or you may train for wrestling and want to improve the technique while you are throwing your opponent. Honestly, there is a myriad of techniques which you can do with grappling /throwing dummies.

Considering that your grappling dummy has suitable qualities like not stiff limbs etc. you can practice all of them and more. These are pretty versatile and you can also change the position of limbs which need to provide optimal resistance for a good workout and I am sure that you can improve your skills without any problem whatsoever.

Actually, some of these are even suitable for stand up striking and because of this, many people, who do boxing, kickboxing, train on them and improve their precision.

You can mimic many situations and your muscles can get used to doing these (throwing, submission etc.) and thanks to the muscle memory, when you do any of these movements next time, you can do them easier and also spend less energy!

Are not these benefits just awesome?

should you make your own grappling dummy

3. It is Practical

When you buy grappling dummies, you will probably see that there are unfilled and filled options. If you choose filled, after you get the shipment you are basically ready to go. These are also not heavy and many of them weigh between 50 Lbs. and 80 Lbs. and if you have a suitable surface (good MMA mats etc.), right gears (grappling socks, shorts, BJJ GI…) you can train with them anywhere including your own backyard!

All of these three reasons are why we keep seeing grappling dummies in almost every martial arts gym.


You should not Build Your Own Grappling Dummy!

Alright, I am really not good at building things, I am not even good at cooking, for crying out loud. Anyway, you may not be good at building things, too and that is understandable. However even though you are good at it, you can actually do more harm than good. For example, you may use bad materials which can scratch BJJ mats and hurt the durability of both your grappling dummy and mats.

Well, I actually have friends who thought in this way and ruined our mats in MMA gyms and this happened more than once! Also, you may not choose right filling materials for your own grappling dummy. For example, will you work on submissions? Or you may want to practice throwing hooks to vital areas or you may want to practice takedowns. Each one of them requires different materials and designs. So it is seriously not an easy task to pull it off. For example, the limps can be stiff and you can’t practice grappling properly or the weight distribution may not be ideal for takedowns.benefits of grappling dummies

Considering all of these you should not build a grappling dummy! I had to explain this since there are many people who “try” building grappling dummies and fail miserably. I thought that only my friends “tried” this however after checking out many forums (Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and MMA) I realized that there are actually many people who want to build their own grappling dummies and I generally read really bad reviews so far.

However, you may be on a tight budget and I know that if you practice any martial arts, the price can add up. For example, I do MMA training regularly and change city or country every single year. So finding an affordable and good quality bag for MMA can be a real challenge for me. So when it is the case, I drive and find a local MMA, boxing gym and buy a used one. You can also go to an MMA, BJJ or wrestling gym and get a used grappling dummy. I am sure that they won’t charge you more than 60- 70 dollars.


Final Thoughts

I did many grappling sessions with Century Grappling Dummy for a really long time in my old MMA gym in Phetchaburi, Thailand and I always trained with it in the mornings when I did not have a sparring partner. Obviously, working on grappling, takedowns etc. improve your muscle memory and make you ready for real ones. Considering all of the benefits, if you do BJJ, boxing, wrestling, MMA or any other martial arts, grappling dummies are just vital. If you want to start training with them right away, definitely have a look at these best grappling dummies. It does not matter whichever martial arts you practice, you can find a suitable grappling dummy for your need (takedowns, leglocks…). I really hope that you enjoyed reading and if I missed any benefits of grappling/throwing dummies, please just have a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Image Courtesy of  Peter Gordon (two pictures) and ARMED FORCES SPORTS via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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2 thoughts on “Do Grappling Dummies Work? – Here are Some Benefits”

  1. Hi there, I found this a very interesting post as I have never heard of a grappling dummy before. And I can see why it would make absolute sense to have one for many reasons. They must be fantastic for training exercises, especially when you can be rougher with it and not worry about causing it injury ha ha.

    1. Well, you can get rough as much as you want and I don’t think that dummy would mind 😉 but you can hurt yourself so always have right protective equipment like MMA gloves etc.

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