Quest for the Perfect BJJ Grappling Dummy: Part I – Amazon Shopping
Rise of the Grappling Dummy
Like Planet of the Apes, I predict the rise of the grappling dummy in BJJ. One day, perhaps we will have artificial intelligence added to these grappling dummies and they will adapt to our styles in real-time.
The reason grappling dummies are more important now is the need for social distancing in the grappling arts. Many two-man drills can be adapted to man-dummy drills. Each student can have a dummy and remain within their social distancing square. After each class, the dummies can be sprayed with the same sanitation solution used to spray the mats. Both the dummy and the mats are made of vinyl.
The problem is that grappling dummies are not widely available at local sports stores such as Dicks or Big 5. Online, Amazon reigns supreme in online shopping and they do not disappoint when it comes to grappling dummies. The wide selection makes it difficult to narrow down which is best. We decided to buy one of each type of dummy and then once the right fit was found, to buy in volume. One of our favorite purchases is the Combat Sports dummy.
Dummy #1 – $168 – Combat Sports – 90# – Vinyl
The combat sports dummy is 90 pounds filled. It is 6 feet tall with stiff arms and stiff legs. Its covering material is vinyl. Color is black.
Pre-filled during manufacturing
He is at the top of the list because of several reasons. One of its best attributes is a human-like feel. Because the dummy is filled during manufacturing with the best materials and packing processes, the form holds while practing in a manner that is close to how a human grappler feels than dummies that are filled after delivery.
Our students practice armbars, including an ongoing contest of how many armbars can be completed within 1 minute and within 4 minutes. For our Gracie kids, the current 1 minute record is 19 arbars an the current 4 minute record is 64 armbars. It is the human-like resistance when drilling armbars from the mount that makes this dummy stand apart from others. Even armbars from side control are fun.
No joints for elbows or knees
On the downside, there are no joints! The arms stay stuff rather than allowing a curl. The legs stay stuff, so guard passes and leg locks are hard to practice on this dummy. On the other hand, I wouldn’t give up the benefits of this dummy for joints, so the joint dummy will have to be a separate one. We only have one of these dummies at each dojo.
Another drawback is price. We somehow had good timing and only paid $262.18 delivered because now the price seems to be a lot higher. And availability of this type of dummy is very limited as of this moment.
This is not the dummy per student solution. One per dojo is sufficient.