Working on your grappling techniques and sports-specific conditioning can be a challenge when you don’t have a training partner. Working with a grappling dummy or throwing dummy is a great way to make your solo martial arts training more productive — and more fun!
Throwing dummies are not a perfect substitute for the sparring and partner drills that you can get in a class or open mat setting. But they’re a great piece of martial arts equipment for anyone who wants to do additional training on their own. Just like boxers and kickboxers can use heavy bags and speed bags to improve their striking and conditioning, martial artists who participate in grappling disciplines like wrestling, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can use throwing dummies to work on their strength, agility, precision, speed, and cardio. Some grappling dummies can also be used for mat-based striking drills, which makes them a great training tool for MMA, too.
Here’s how you can use grappling dummies and throwing dummies to take your solo martial arts training to the next level.
Throwing Dummies for Wrestling
Throwing dummies are particularly useful for wrestlers because they allow you to work on your higher impact moves without beating up your training partners. When you practice your suplexes and other big throws with with a throwing dummy, you can go as hard as you want for as long as you want without making another wrestler absorb all of those punishing landings. Or having to return the favor when it’s their turn to practice takedowns.
For variety, or an extra challenge, throwing dummies can also be added into classic bodyweight solo wrestling drills, like sit-outs. If you’re looking for a fun new take on sports-specific strength and conditioning for wrestling, you can even put together a whole workout based on moves that involve lifting, carrying, and throwing your grappling dummy.
Professional wrestlers sometimes use throwing dummies for practice in their version of wrestling, too. Some of their conditioning ideas could easily be applied to solo workouts for amateur wrestlers.
Throwing Dummies for Judo
Throwing dummies are useful for Judoka for many of the same reasons that they’re useful for wrestlers. Many Judo throws and sweeps can be adapted for practice on a throwing dummy. This means that you can work on your technique and your power without having to worry that you’re throwing around a training partner too hard or too much.
A throwing dummy might not provide the same level of resistance and real life push and pull that you will get in Judo training with a partner, but it’s a great tool for additional training. Once you’ve worked through the techniques at your pace – and built up your conditioning — you’ll be ready to apply what you’ve been working on to sparring and technique training at the dojo. If you want to work on your grips during solo training, you can even put a Judo gi top on the throwing dummy.
Throwing Dummies for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s standup game incorporates both wrestling takedowns and Judo throws, which means that all of the above uses for throwing dummies in solo training applies to them, too. For BJJ students who want to spend more time working on their ground game on their own, there are also a number of position and submission drills that you can do with a grappling dummy.
BJJ grappling techniques are best practiced in rolling and with training partners. Using them against another martial artist who is also working on their own techniques will provide you with practical applications that can’t be recreated with a throwing dummy that doesn’t fight back. Doing position drills and working on your submission techniques on a grappling dummy or throwing dummy can still help you improve your game, though. This solo training will allow you to work through techniques at your own pace and improve muscle memory. Once you’re more comfortable and confident, you can take all of the techniques you’ve been drilling and apply them to your sparring training. Grappling dummy training is also an excellent option for martial artists who are coming back from injury and aren’t quite ready for partner training and sparring just yet.
Throwing Dummies for MMA
In addition to all of the above drills and workouts, mixed martial artists can also add striking to their solo training with throwing dummies. A heavy bag placed down on the floor can also be used for ground-based striking drills, but using a human-shaped grappling dummy gives you far more options for practical striking training for MMA purposes. Using a throwing dummy or grappling dummy, you can work on your striking technique and power from mount, side control, knee on belly, and guard.
Where to Buy a Throwing Dummy
The Proforce® Grappling & Throwing Dummy, available at AWMA.com is made of heavy duty vinyl fabric that is reinforced at the seams. It’s designed for real life takedowns and throws and offers you a partner that will never complain about being thrown, punched, kicked, twisted, or choked. The youth size throwing dummy weighs 50 lbs and measures 44″ tall. The adult throwing dummy is 90 lbs and 68”.