The Wing Chun wooden dummy is a fantastic training device. It toughens the arms for blocking, it toughens the hands for striking, and it is an attacker that never quits, but always loses. Unfortunately, they can be expensive, so here are a couple of alternatives to help the wooden dummy aficionado.
The Wooden Dummy is popular in many martial arts, but the main art is Wing Chun Ving Tsun) Gung Fu. This martial System has practiced with the wooden fellow for the longest, and even has a complete form for dominating it. Other martial arts, however, use the dummy, also.
The Wing Chun wooden dummy in Jackie Chan’s Rumble in the Bronx shows how to use the equipment. Seeing the dust fly when Jackie lays into it is a wondrous experience. One Another great martial arts movie to feature the wooden figure is Ip Man, with Donny Yen.
In the beginning the martial artist will become competent at pummeling kicking bags and speed bags, and perhaps toughening the mitts on the makiwara. It won’t be long, however, until the karateka or kung fu student nails a couple of rug samples to a tree trunk and moves into the Wing Chun realm. The trick, however, is to get the equipment to strike at you so you can work on your blocks.
This writer did this by wrapping a towel around a pole, and then having people jab at him. This quickly turned into an advanced form of living freestyle, where the block had to be executed, and the distance to the pole wielder closed. It is quite difficult to dash three or four feet quickly enough to stop the pole swinger.
The next step is to fix a pole on a pivot. Simply bury a two by four in the backyard, then place a moveable stick atop it. On can block the pole, and block it again on the backswing. One can even explore ducking and blocking.
Eventually, one will want to get a largestick-a log- and drill holes in it. This is how you make arms and legs. One can then shift back and forth, slap the wooden limbs, and pretend that one is fighting a real attacker. What is really great is to put some large springs on the ‘limbs’ so as to increase the spring in them.
The cost of lumber being what it is, one might consider alternative materials. Plastic tubing might work, if one could find thick enough plastic that won’t break. You might want to wrap towels or some other material around the plastic to protect the arms and fists.
To summarize, there are many ways to set up a fake attacker, and the martial artist is limited only by his imagination. Watch movies, read training manuals, and start inspecting the materials available to you. Guaranteed, a wing chun wooden dummy will go a long way in your martial arts training.
I’ve been involved in Martial Art’s since I was 9 years old. My little sister was very sick with Cistic Fibrosis and I had to occupy myself with something. Living then in Montreal across Parc Jarry I was always outside and that’s when Bruce Lee was getting popular back in 1969.
I started with JUDO and met “Master Gigoro Kano”, I think, correct me if I’m wrong in a YMCA in Montreal 1969.
Then moved in HAWKESBURY Ontario, in 1970, started High School in 1971 and keep doing Judo, my Sensei then was Bernard Carre, a great man and sensei.
I keep going on from Judo to Jui-Juitsu and started Kick-Boxing, this is from 1971 to 1975.
And I whent on and on everywhere I whent I did something, Jui-Juitsu to kick-boxing to Aikido to Karate Kyokushinkai all this from 1975 to 2003 at 45 years young and was getting my daughters to try it also.
So that is why I love Martial Arts and try to read or practice it and it’s Eastern phylosophy.
Thank’s in advance,
Your’s truly, Andre L. Arcand
What you can also do is take a small stool, with three or four legs, tie some rope on it and hang it from a nail on the wall, with the legs sticking out, and about at shoulder height. Then you can move around it and practice moving your arms in between the legs, to practice “flowing through like water”. You cannot hit the legs of course, the stool will fall, or you have to attach it more thoroughly. It’s a pretty useful exercise for practicing finding gaps in an opponent’s defence. Put a wooden chair under it with the back against the wall, and simultaniously you can practice kicking to the opponent’s knees and shins, by kicking the edge of the seat of the chair, and the legs of the chair, from left, right and in front. So you also get the CBM exercise in, yes, learned it from Master Case 🙂
I am interested in the martial arts and would love anything to do with them, so please let me learn a lot about these arts that I don’t already know