Homemade Grappling Dummies

A reader writes:

Q: I would like to own a grappling dummy but all the ones I have looked at are very expensive. Do you have any suggestions?

A: There are many commercially available throwing and grappling dummies available on the market, including the Bubba dummy, Erik Paulson’s Motion Master and Submission Master dummies, the Adam Takedown Machine, the Big Blue Dummy, etc. These are all quality products and can all be valuable training accessories, but as you point out they are very expensive, ranging from c. $400 to over $2000, not including shipping!

One possible solution is to try and make one yourself. An example of plans can be found on this site, and also by googling “how to build a grappling dummy.” If you make it and find that you DON’T enjoy using it then at least you are only out about $50, rather than ten times that much.

One quick note: if you build a dummy make sure that the knees and elbows bend. I have only limited experience with grappling dummies, but I have found that I greatly prefer dummies in a ‘turtle’ position rather than in a standing position (ie straight legs and arms).

Dummies that stand straight upright end up lying flat and corpse-like on the mat; no real opponent would ever position themselves like that.  A dummy in the ‘turtle’ position, on the other hand, simulates ground postures and positions (both top and bottom) much better than a straight up, ‘standing’ position.

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