A cheap reactive dummy
In 6 Dragons Kung Fu, we use various kinds of training dummies (made of wood, metal, fabric, etc.) and each of them has different peculiarities and workout goals (read for example 6DKF’s speed training with the wooden dummy). The one we want to describe in this article is vaguely similar to the classic Muk Yan Jong (or Mu Ren Zhuang) of Wing Chun (but also of Jeet Kune Do, of Choy Li Fut, etc.) and it is called “6DKF’s Reactive Dummy”.
Let’s see some of this effective training tool main features:
- It is very cheap – It is composed entirely of recovery material (metal, PVC pipes, wood, etc.)
- It is reactive – It has the remarkable advantage of having mobile arms able to elastically respond to our stresses (in a way not entirely predictable)
- It is (relatively) robust – Although it is not done to be hit at full power it is relatively stable and durable
- It absorbs the blows and can rotate – It absorbs the bumps by vibrating slightly (it is rather heavy and it can also rotate on its Y axis)
- It can be easily replaced / fixed up – In the remote case where it breaks, it is always possible to build another or to replace a single part
What is this dummy’s purpose
The practice with this tool is extremely varied (but the idea is not to try to replace the original wooden dummy); the 6DKF Reactive Dummy has been developed to allow us to:
- Develop tactile feel of opponent’s arms – They can be pulled, moved, hit (etc., read 6DKF’s interactions: from the strong blow to the light)
- Increase the functional speed of the lower and especially upper limbs (its speed is “adjusted” to ours as for speedballs, read Basic tools: the Hanging Speedball)
- Increase spatial intelligence – In terms of close combat, it can affine the precision of the upper limbs (grab, touch, etc., read The most important skill in combat)
- Increase coordination – It forces us to work with the left and the right side of our body simultaneously and in a combined way (read Learning to have coordination: the cyclical concentration)
- Use both upper and lower limbs – We can work with upper and lower extremities simultaneously (eg. we can train lower kicks and at the same time, manage arms contact)
- Simulate live interaction – Depending on the distance that we choose to maintain from it, we would also have to manage its “counterattacking” limbs in dynamic motion
- Learn to find spaces and times to attack – We can train our minds to find the timing and discover the spaces necessary for sequential and / or synchronous attacks / defenses
- Begin a middle-level conditioning – Without protections (on its body and arms), we can strengthen our knuckles, elbows, wrists, feet (etc., read Conditioning check for the impact)
A note by Master Kongling – I had a lot of satisfaction training with this dummy, especially working on timing, sequences of dynamic control and trapping. The only delicate part (that I have substituted by a metal one), is the central limb (that simulates legs and/or a third arm). I am using it since 2014 and it is still in good conditions.
Concluding the article we want to list a few notations and tips:
- It does not need glue or bolts, it can be built by anyone, (it does not require special skills or special tools)
- Although it can be used wearing gloves and with additional protections, it is not suitable for a beginner
- This is an experimental model in evolution
- In no case, a training dummy can replace a human partner (they are made only to work on specific details of martial preparation, read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons)
Later we will talk about the other training dummies of the 6 Dragons Kung Fu and we will also publish an assembly guide.
- A Wing Chun wooden dummy like in PVC – A cheap version of the Wing Chun’s wooden dummy
- Advanced training with the skeleton dummy – An exercise to build precision and anatomy knowledge
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- Have you ever thought about building your own training dummy?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.