Every martial artist understands the importance of having sharp reflexes, constantly practicing his moves and being ready for any type of fighting situation. A grappling dummy can help with all of this and also replace a sparring opponent. For this reason, we decided to test the different types out in order to find the best ones.
Our 3 best grappling dummy picks
Ring To Cage Deluxe Grappling Dummy 3.0
Celebrita MMA Unfilled Grappling Judo Dummy In Sitting Position
Ring To Cage Unfilled Grappling Dummy
1. Ring To Cage Deluxe Grappling Dummy 3.0
Our #1 pick is definitely not a cheap grappling dummy. It’s suitable for combat sports such as boxing, MMA, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu.
The Ring to Cage grappling dummy is made of polyester coated vinyl, has a tight fill and comes in a red and black color scheme. 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 70 pounds, you’ll feel like you’re sparring with a real person because it has hands and feet which give it an even more lifelike look and feel. With this in mind, you can position it to your liking, because it’s pretty flexible and suitable for practicing different submissions and mostly ground work. Its reinforced base that keeps it in place, so you can even make it sit or stretch. We recommend it for Judo or wrestling.
The Ring to Cage grappling dummy also comes as a kids’ version. You can choose whether you want it filled or unfilled, too. But for the best results, we recommend getting a filled grappling dummy over an unfilled one – it’s less of a hassle.
2. Celebrita MMA Unfilled Grappling Judo Dummy In Sitting Position
This dummy comes unfilled but you can fill it yourself. If you decide to, the filled grappling dummy has a 100-pound holding capacity. You can also choose different sizes ranging from 47, 59 and 70 inches.
Due to its sitting and hands-front position, we consider this a great Judo dummy. Sparring with it lets you practice more ground-based fighting techniques and different submissions. You can also slightly straighten the legs to practice knee bars. As opposed to practicing with a standard striking dummy, this one’s legs curve inwards at a 90-degree angle.
We do have to advise you to handle it with care as it rips easily.
3. Ring To Cage Unfilled Grappling Dummy
The Ring to Cage grappling dummy comes unfilled and you should be able to select yours within the following weight range: 30 to 140 pounds. We recommend filling it with a light material such as fabric. It’s suitable for wrestling, MMA or Jiu Jitsu and a great replacement for an opponent.
The Ring to Cage grappling dummy’s position is upright. This enables you to practice multiple types of common combat moves such as strikes, punches, kicks, submissions, grappling, etc. We also consider it a great throwing dummy.
Given the fact that it’s made from polyester coated vinyl, we found it to be highly durable and sturdy. We were also surprised that it didn’t leave any odor behind.
4. Celebrita MMA Unfilled Judo Dummy In Fighting Position
This grappling dummy has a similar design to our #2 pick, except it’s in a fighting position. It’s sold unfilled, but you can use shredding, textile cuttings or cotton to fill it as stated. While there are adult-sized versions from 59 to 70 inches to choose from, you might also find this grappling dummy as a kids’ version (ranging from 40 to 47 inches).
We recommend it to any MMA/Judo fighter who wants to work on his ground skills, such as take-downs, submissions, etc. as well as regular punches, kicks or throws. Made from high-quality leather, the dummy is durable and doesn’t produce odor, which is a common issue with most grappling dummies.
5. Century Junior Throwing Buddy
Our last pick goes out to the smallest fighters.
Children can use the Century grappling dummy to practice all their favorite submissions and tackles without anyone getting hurt. Weighing approximately 20 pounds, it’s made from 200 Denier nylon and has a fiber fill. If your children practice MMA, karate, Jiu Jitsu or any other combat sport that requires an opponent, this is a great substitute.
Century’s grappling dummy is especially suitable for throwing and because of this, we consider it one of the best wrestling dummies on the market.
What are grappling dummies?
Grappling dummies are human-like fighting objects which some martial artists use to practice sparring. You might not always be able to engage in sparring with a real partner, which is why these are so convenient. Another reason why grappling dummies are so popular is because they’re a safer way to step up and practice combat moves. Because of this, they come in different sizes and designs, as well as filled and unfilled. What sets them apart is their purpose – using different types can lead you to more effectively master submissions, throws and other types of moves, whether standing or on the ground.
What should I look for in a grappling dummy?
Durability and flexibility are two of the most important factors to keep an eye out for. Since you’ll be tossing your grappling dummy around, it needs to be able to sustain damage. The best cover material is leather, but even synthetic leather will do. Vinyl is also a good option if you can’t afford leather. Your grappling dummy has to be flexible. If it isn’t adjustable, you won’t be able to practice standing or ground-based moves with it. We recommend getting wrestling dummies with stretchy arms and legs. Flexibility helps you practice different moves and makes the overall workout a lot easier.
Should I get a filled or unfilled grappling dummy?
Even though some come unfilled, always choose a filled grappling dummy. The tighter its filling, the more it can endure. This also affects its shape – if it’s empty, it might lose shape over time. Having to open up a dummy and stuff it is a time-consuming task not everybody has time for.
Types of grappling dummies
Since they’re made from different materials, grappling dummies can be used for different fighting aspects. Based on this, there are two types: striking dummies and grappling/wrestling dummies.
Striking dummies help with practicing punches and kicks. Their downfall is that they usually aren’t flexible. Because of this, you can’t throw them around or practice submissions with them. Since they’re often used for strength training, they’re heavier and firmer than wrestling dummies.
On the other hand, wrestling dummies are the best for practicing submissions. They’re highly flexible, because it’s to be expected that you’ll throw them around. Unlike striking dummies, they’re made of more high-quality materials which feel light and aren’t as prone to damage.
Are grappling dummies worth it?
To answer this question, it’s important to know the general advantages of using one. If you use a striking dummy, you’ll get a good cardio workout in while improving your aim and speed. With a striking dummy, it’s convenient to practice risky jabs and kicks, because you can’t practice them with a real person.
When it comes to wrestling dummies, mastering various submissions can be a quick process, because they’re flexible. The same goes for throws and take downs, they’re simply much easier to conduct with a non-living opponent. Therefore, almost any type of martial artist can improve his fighting skills and benefit from grappling dummies, especially MMA fighters.
Grappling dummies can be quite expensive and due to the nature of your workouts, most of them damage easily. Even though they can’t fully replace a living, breathing human opponent, they definitely have a lot of benefits to offer and are a lot safer. So if your main concern is safety, the answer is yes, they’re worth the money.
However, when you compare the price of a standard grappling dummy to the price of a regular punching bag, they’re quite similar. If you can get a high-quality punching bag for the same price as a grappling dummy, choose it instead because bags are much more durable than dummies.