Advanced training with the skeleton dummy

Precision training with an anatomical skeleton

During our advanced training sessions, we use (very very softly) a life-size human skeleton (similar to the one in the photo), let’s see the advantages and the disadvantages of this “unorthodox” tool (read The use of unorthodox methods).

Advantages:

  • It allows us to precisely understand our bone structure and that of our opponents (weak and strong points)
  • It allows a better understanding of the Chin Na force directions (articular levers, etc., read Chin Na)
  • It allows us to understand what kind of mobility the body is favorable or not (in terms of weights, directions, balance points, etc.)
  • It allows giving consistency to what otherwise, without direct observation, would remain in the imprecise field of theory
  • The fingers can be discreetly positioned and the bones structure is light / manageable (about 15 kg)

Disadvantages:

  • This is not a training dummy born for the martial purpose (it is not strange to find it from a physiotherapist or in a school)
  • It is made of plastic and its joints are connected with extremely delicate screws
  • Although advertised as very robust, it has not been designed to withstand shocks or heavy loads (eg. the weight of a person)
  • If it falls it breaks easily (skullcap, teeth and shoulders are very delicate but they can be repaired with the glue)

What is the skeleton dummy for?

The goal is to understand/find precisely:

  • Where to hit the opponent
  • Where to defend ourselves
  • Why hit a certain part of the body
  • Why use or not a certain part of the body
  • How to hit correctly
  • What part of our body is better to use to hit

Seeing the “nude” skeleton of a man help us to better understand the body structure of our opponents to obtain the maximum results (both in terms of attack, both in defense).

A delicate exercise

With the due precautions and great caution, in addition to the study, it is possible to combine a slight martial practice: let’s see how.

Preparation:

  • Let’s mount our anatomical skeleton (it is not a bad idea to reinforce the screws that support the arms with hot glue)
  • Let’s temporarily remove the pedestal from our dummy (it is extremely unstable and fragile)
  • Let’s hang up the dummy to a cord / chain by the head (in most models there is a metal hook in the center of the skullcap)
  • The skeleton must remain suspended at a human height (2-3cm from the ground is ideal)

Execution:

  • Let’s practice any striking or Chin Na technique we want but in slow-motion and without power, speed and intention
  • Let’s concentrate on softness, harmony, precision and on a flow of good quality
  • The goal is to become familiar with the mobility of the limbs of a human being (beyond the influence of muscles, tendons, etc.)

Variations:

  • We can also work with our eyes closed (or blindfolded, read Advanced training: gradually learn to fight in the dark) to gain good spatial intelligence in relation to the human anatomy
  • The exercise can also be performed with the dummy sitting on the ground or with bended knees (eg. to work on the levers to the lower limbs) but we need to pay even more attention

Final notes

  • We should use a plastic relatively low-cost skeleton (there are also very expensive versions with part of the body muscles but they not worth the expense)
  • The important thing is to buy a life-size anatomical skeleton and not, for example, a toy for Halloween (as it is not anatomically correct)
  • This dummy is useless for beginners and it must never be used with (even minimum) strength (read The path to the soft movements)
  • We can add some customizations (reinforcement, pressure points indicators, muscle simulators, etc.) to make it more durable and effectual

In-depth articles

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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