Best Grappling and BJJ Dummy of 2017
There is nothing more important than practice if we want to make serious progress in any martial art. With that in mind, it is essential to simulate the exact conditions of combat as closely as possible when practicing. Many martial arts trainers will ask their trainees to couple up and sparr together. However, this can sometimes be dangerous, and not all moves can be safely practiced on living, breathing partner.
It is precisely for these reasons that grappling dummies were invented. Their purpose is to provide a safe target for the hardest and most brutal kicks, punches, and takedowns, which would be too dangerous to try on a living person unless you were trying to hurt them badly.
Though all of these dummies are referred to as ‘grappling dummies’ these come in a wide variety of uses and types. The primary division between the types of dummy is its stated purpose in martial arts. In that regard, there are submission dummies and striking dummies.
Submission dummies are lighter in weight, and a bit less sturdy than striking dummies. They are usually used to practice submission techniques such as takedowns, chokes, and other moves related to wrestling in particular. These are the more common type of dummy, as they are arguably more versatile and more comfortable to use due to their lighter weight.
Striking dummies are much more substantial, as they aim to simulate the full weight of the human body. These dummies are used to practice very intense takedowns, throws, kicks, and punches. These dummies can take quite a beating due to their sturdier construction and added weight.
However, there are drawbacks to striking dummies that make the lighter submission dummies more popular. The limbs of striking dummies are rigid, and their stance is fixed, so they can only be used for a narrow set of moves, as opposed to the more flexible submission dummies.
In this guide, we aim to showcase some of the best dummies available from both of these categories. We will be taking a look at some of the most critical characteristics of five different dummies, to provide you with the information you need to make the best possible choice for your needs.
Ring to Cage MMA Grappling Dummy
Our Rating: (5.0/5)
|Material||22oz Polyester coated vinyl|
|Filled and Unfilled|
Ring To Cage is a reputable manufacturer of fighting gear for all sorts of combat sports including boxing, MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, and many others. Their stated goal is to bring evolution to the fighting gear market by constantly turning out new and improved designs based on the feedback they get from their customers.
Let us take a look at the dummy in question. Firstly, it is important to note some of the necessary information about it. It comes in two models, one made to simulate a grown person, and one made to mimic a child. The grown version is made to stand 6 ft tall once filled, and weigh approximately 70-75 lbs. The kid’s version is made to stand around 4 ft 6 in, and weigh 30-35 lbs once filled. Both are made of a durable, military-grade material called cardoura, which is a type of nylon.
This grappling dummy is arguable of the striking dummy variety. Though the manufacturer offers users a choice whether they want the dummy to be delivered filled or unfilled, this dummy is quite heavy and sturdy in either case. Users have noted that the dummies that were supplied by the manufacturer are quite heavy and sturdy, and could take everything the users could throw at them without any difficulty.
The users who ordered this dummy unfilled reported that it took quite a lot of textile to fill it up fully and that it was also quite heavy once filled, though not as heavy as the ones filled by the manufacturer. The dummy comes with a very detailed filling guide, and Ring To Cage makes a point of having great quality customer service available to customers for any questions, including filling instructions.
In spite of being a striking dummy, this grappling dummy does come with specific flexible features, around the knees in particular. The knees can be bent into a kneeling position to practice ground takedowns more easily. However, users have noted that though the knees could be bent, the arms could not, which decreases the range of possible positions this dummy can assume.
I & I Sports Bubba II Grappling Dummy
Our Rating: (4.6/5)
|Filled and Unfilled||No|
Combat Sports is another well-known manufacturer of combat sports equipment, as the name may imply. In addition to the wide variety of gear for various types of sports that they manufacture, they also make grappling dummies, and we will be taking a look at one of their dummies in this guide.
Firstly, it is important to note that these dummies come in several sizes and weights. Regarding weight, Combat Sports offers a range of 70, 90, 120 and 140 lbs dummies, to suit the needs of almost all users. The heights of the dummies also follow their weights, and can thus range upwards of 5’10” for different models, as it is difficult to standardize heights rigidly due to the filling process.
This dummy could also be classified under the striking dummy variety, especially when considering the weight of the more substantial models, and the fact that it comes pre-filled by the manufacturer. It can stand on its own, but it is not advisable to keep it upright for prolonged periods of time, as the legs can sometimes buckle under its weight. It would be best to suspend it from the ceiling with some harness for hitting practice since that also helps stabilize the dummy.
This dummy is made of high quality, military-grade vinyl material that was made to take the most vigorous blows with no problem. The manufacturer took care to reinforce the seams to prevent the dummy tearing open when kicked or punched.
Regarding flexibility, this dummy falls into the more rigid category, as its knees can’t bend to allow it to kneel and allow for floor takedowns. However, an interesting feature is the ability of the dummy’s elbows to bend slightly, so it can assume some upright positions that require handguards.
Celebrita MMA Wrestling Dummy
Our Rating: (3.8/5)
||49 – 121 lbs|
|Filled and Unfilled||Yes|
Celebrita is the first manufacturer on our list that specializes precisely in making grappling dummies for various combat sports and martial arts. They are an online store which sells variously branded dummies, in addition to producing their own dummies. Let us take a look at some of the features of their flagship MMA dummy.
Firstly, the dummies come in two different varieties, one for use by adults, and one for use by children. The ones aimed at adults are 59″ to 70″ tall, and the kid’s dummies are 40″ to 47″ tall. However, their weights can vary, since they can be delivered filled or unfilled. The manufacturer notes that the estimated maximum weight of the adult-sized dummy is around 100 lbs, whereas the kid’s version can take significantly less weight, due to their size.
This dummy is made of a canvas material that is not made to be kicked or punched especially hard. Thus, we would classify this dummy firmly within the submission dummy variety. It is important to note that the fact that it is made of canvas is a feature and not a drawback. The canvas material allows for much more flexibility and means that this dummy can take many different positions.
In fact, this dummy is quite versatile and is particularly suited to sophisticated techniques such as grapples and takedowns, especially floor takedowns. All of its limbs can be positioned any way the user needs, which makes it a handy practice tool. It should be noted that though the dummy can kneel, users have reported that it needs help standing up since there is less material inside the knee area, which is precisely what allows it to kneel but makes it difficult to stay upright.
Combat Sports MMA Wrestling Dummy
Our Rating: (3.9/5)
|Weight||70 – 120 lbs|
|Filled and Unfilled||No|
I&I’s Bubba II grappling dummy is in a league of its own regarding quality, as it offers a professional level product that could be used by any of the most acclaimed practitioners of combat sports. It is suitable for Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and many other combat sports, due to its robust build.
First of all, let us take a look at the underlying characteristics of this dummy. It is 5’10” tall and weighs 42 lbs. The manufacturer claims that this is the best possible weight for a grappling dummy of this kind. Thus, it is evident that this dummy always comes pre-filled by the manufacturer, and that is particularly important for this dummy, due to its unique construction.
The distinguishing feature of this dummy, when compared to the others on our list, is that it features a sort of wooden skeleton inside, which allows it to be positioned in a variety of ways. It is also important to note that the stuffing for this dummy is made of foam, and features various lifelike features such as rubber ligaments at the joints.
This allows the user to position this dummy in an almost limitless number of positions, since the joints are fully moveable, and the dummy is lifelike in its response to movement. Its lightweight puts it firmly into our submission dummy category, mainly because the ‘skin’ is made of an industrial duct tape that is not designed to take punches and kicks.
This is the perfect dummy to throw around and grapple, and it responds wonderfully to floor takedowns. In fact, this dummy only has one downside, and that is the price. It will set you back around $675, but it is a worthwhile investment when we consider the quality of the build and the fact that these are handmade, requiring 20 hours of work for a single dummy.
Ring to Cage BJJ Throwing Dummy
Our Rating: (3.9/5)
|Material||Military grade cardoura|
|Weight||30 – 75|
|Filled and Unfilled||Yes|
This is the second dummy form Ring To Cage on our list, and there is a good reason for including it. This is the manufacturer’s upper-level dummy, aimed at professionals who want an exceptionally realistic and lifelike experience with a grappling dummy.
This dummy is aimed in particular at practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, Wrestling, and MMA. It features specific characteristics well suited for these sports, including bendy and flexible knees and elbows, as well as a sturdy build that uses an exceptionally high-quality material. Let us take a look at these characteristics in more detail.
First of all, this dummy is around 6’ tall when fully stretched out, and weighs 55-60 lbs when you order it pre-filled. There is also a children’s version which is 4’6” tall and weighs 30-35 lbs. It is made of a heavy-duty 22 oz polyester coated vinyl, to help prevent any splitting or punctures through use.
To boost its resemblance to real life opponents, the manufacturer added distinct hands and feet to this dummy. However, those features are not as crucial to the overall functionality of this dummy as the fact that the knees and elbows can bend freely to allow the user to set it up in any position required for any of the sports mentioned above and martial arts.
We would designate this dummy as a multipurpose product, a hybrid between the striking and submission varieties. On the one hand, this dummy is lightweight and flexible, which makes it excellent for submission practice. On the other hand, the heavy-duty material it is made of allows it to be used as a punching and kicking dummy, as there is no danger of it splitting open when receiving a particularly hard punch or kick.
While all of these dummies are very high quality, with great features and terrific reliability, they are all well suited for different things. As we have already pointed out, you have to keep in mind that not all dummies can take an equal amount of beating, so if you intend to kick or punch your dummy, you would do well to choose one of the heavier ones. If you merely want to practice takedowns, the lighter dummies are the better fit. This has been a rough guide with the aim to help you choose the grappling dummy that is best for your particular needs, and we hope we’ve managed to accomplish that aim.