Advanced training with the skeleton dummy

Precision training with an anatomical skeleton

During our advanced training sessions, we use a life-size human skeleton (similar to the one in the photo) as a training dummy (read All the training dummies).

In this article we want ot explain, in martial terms, the advantages and disadvantages of such”unorthodox” tool (read The use of unorthodox methods).


  • It allows us to precisely understand our bone structure and that of our opponents (weak and strong points)
  • It allows a better and precise understanding of the articular levers’ force directions (read Chin Na)
  • It allows us to understand what kind of mobility the body is naturally favorable or not to perform (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
  • In those anatomical skeletons, the fingers can be discreetly positioned (they are generally fixed with displaceble wire) and the bones structure is light / manageable (about 15 kg)
  • It can be hung via a hook located on the top of the skull


  • 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)
  • If we don’t hang it, the support structure is extremely unstable (a slight push is more than enough to make it fall ruinously to the ground)

What is the skeleton dummy for in 6 Dragons Kung Fu?

The goal is to understand/find precisely:

  • Where to hit the opponents
  • 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 parts of our body is better to use to hit our opponents
  • What parts of our body is better to use to protect ourselves

Seeing the “nude” skeleton of a man help us to better understand the body structure of our opponents and to obtain the maximum results in terms of precise:

  • Attack
  • Defense

A note by Master Kongling – Proportionally, this is not an expensive tool but for a beginner (who is absolutely far from being able to reach such level of precision), it is a totally useless expense.

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.


  • 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 (as we said, it is extremely unstable and fragile)
  • Let’s hang up the dummy to a cord / chain by the head (in most models the metal hook is at the center of the skullcap)
  • The skeleton must remain suspended at a human height (2-3cm from the ground are ideal)



Final notes

A few conclusive thoughts:

  • 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)
  • Again, this dummy is useless for beginners (instead, for an intermediate practitioner it could be useful even only test it one time)
  • The skeleton dummy must never be used with even the 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 video courses

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Have you ever tried to manipulate an anatomical skeleton (eg. at school)?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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