One frustrating thing about doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Judo is that it is hard to practice technique on your own. You can watch videos, read instructionals, lift weights, do yoga, and lots of other things on your own that may help your game but it is really hard to practice technique without a training partner. This is where our lifeless friend the grappling dummy can help.
A Grappling Dummy will never truly mimic the resistance and feel of a live training partner but it can help you to figure out movements and work through certain techniques. They are also good for drilling and for having a bit of fun.
Before getting a grappling dummy you should consider the following things:
- What moves exactly do you want to practice?
- Does the Grappling Dummy need to be able to wear a Gi?
- What weight and size dummy do you require? (The heavier and bigger dummies will be a lot more expensive).
- Does the dummy need to be able to be put in fixed positions- arm extended, standing etc.
- Do you want the dummy to come prefilled or are you have to fill it yourself?
Now that you know what you are looking for, here is Breaking Grips picks for the best grappling dummy available on the market today (There are not that many!):
Celebrita MMA Grappling Dummy – Unfilled – Sitting Position Hands Front
The Celebrtia dummy is an unfilled dummy with curved legs which allows allows you to position it in a number of common Jiu-Jitsu positions such as closed guard, turtle and back control. Most other dummies comes straight legged which is often unrealistic for Jiu-Jitsu as resisting opponents typically bring their knees close to their chest.
A good tip for filling is to use cut up pool noodles for the arm sections. The dummy itself works well for practicing both drills and submissions.
Despite being very quite the Celebrita dummy is more likely to develop small tears when compared to other heavier nylon dummies like the ones below. After 8 months of regular use my dummy has 2very small tears that I was able to patch up with Gorilla Tape.
My favorite thing about this dummy is that it comes in 4 different sizes. If you are an adult I would recommend getting the largest 70” size as the other sizes seem to be more suitable for kids/teens.
Overall, an excellent dummy that will not break the bank.
- Allows you to put Gi on it.
- Unfilled allows you to decide on weight and density
- Excellent value
- Comes in different sizes
- Higher risk of tearing than more expensive dummies.
BJJ MMA Grappling Dummy 70″ (XL Version) Synthetic Leather
This Synthetic Leather dummy is one of the more budget friendly options on the market but offers excellent value for money.
It comes unfilled which I prefer as it lets me choose my own desired weight/consistency. I used pool noodles in the arms and legs as I think it provides more realistic limbs on which to work on submissions. The shoulder joint actually moves in a realistic 360 degrees fashion which is something that is not available in many of the higher end dummies.
The synthetic leather itself is hard wearing and is easy to clean when compared to some of the other canvas and nylon based dummies on the market.
Only small issue I had is that the dummy is slightly smaller than expected. I am 6ft and it felt like I was practicing with a 5ft or under opponent.
Overall, the best value dummy on the market!
- Allows you to put Gi on.
- Unfilled allows you to decide on weight
- 360 shoulder rotation for better submission preactice
- Excellent value when compared to other dummies
- Despite being XL is slightly on the small side
Combat Sports Submission Man Dummy
The combats sport submission dummy is a MMA/BJJ dummy that is designed specifically for groundwork.
The dummy comes pre-filled and weighs approximately 85 lbs. It is composed of hard wearing nylon which makes it seem indestructible.
Most grappling dummies are designed specifically for Judo and wrestling and are designed in a way that lets you practice throws, so it is nice to have one specifically designed for ground fighting. Working on transitions such as leg drag, side control, and knee and belly work really well.
However it is annoying that you cannot fit it into a Gi as it would be nice to practice collar chokes etc. Also the arms do not quite move in a realistic fashion so it is difficult to practice armbars, triangles and other submissions requiring the arms.
Overall, good for general drilling and movement but not really a submission dummy (despite the name!)
- Good for practicing back control, guard passing, and drilling
- Very durable
- Hard to do triangles and armbars
- Can’t put a Gi on it
Combat Sports Dummy
The Combat sports grappling dummy comes prefilled and is available in the following sizes and weights: 70 LBS (5.4 tall) 90 LBS (5.6 tall) 120 LBS (5.10 tall) 140 LBS (5.10 tall).
When you receive the dummy the first thing you will notice is the weight. When you lift the dummy it may seem heavier than the stated weight as the deadweight nature of it will make it seem heavier.
The dummy is packed tightly but has a slightly stiff feel to it. The arms and limbs do not move fluidly but may loosen up over time. In terms of BJJ, you can practice some techniques but the stiffness of the dummy really does limit what you can do.
The dummy is probably more suited to Judo and MMA rather than BJJ. The heavy dummy is good for practicing throws and is also thick and durable enough to effectively work on MMA ground striking.
- Comes in 4 sizes
- Heavy duty and extremely durable
- Good for practicing strikes/ground and pound
- The dummy is quite stiff
- Not ideal for BJJ