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).

Advantages:

  • 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

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)
  • 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.

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 (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)

Execution:

Variations:

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

Questions

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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