A Karate wooden dummy is a great piece of martial arts equipment. It strengthens the arms and the fists, and even the legs, and it is an opponent that never quits but always loses. The cost of a wooden playmate is sometimes high, so here are a couple of alternatives to help the wooden dummy aficionado meet his opponent.
The Wooden Dummy is popular in many martial arts, but Wing Chun Ving Tsun) Gung Fu is the best known. This art has practiced with the wooden fellow for the longest amount of time, and even has a complete form for dominating it. There is no reason that karate can’t utilize the dummy, also.
This writer recalls watching the Kung Fu wooden dummy in Jackie Chan’s great kung fu flick Rumble in the Bronx. Watching the air become thick with dust when Jackie lays into it is a great moment. Possibly the best flick to show the wooden training Partner is the movie Ip Man, with Donny Yen.
In the beginning the Karateka will become competent at training on kicking bags and speed bags, and perhaps strengthening the mitts on the makiwara. It won’t be long, however, until the karateka or kung fu zealot puts a couple of rug samples on a pine tree and starts tougher hand conditioning exercises. A nice trick, however, is to get the wooden limb to move towards you so you can block it.
This writer made a simple striking tool by wrapping a towel around a pole, and then having people jab at him with it. This rapidly turned into an advanced form of freestyle, where the block had to be done, and the distance to the pole holder closed. It is quite challenging to dash three or four feet in a moment to negate the distance the pole offers.
The next step might be putting a pole on some sort of swivel device. Sink a four by four, then place a moveable pole atop it. On can block the limb, and block it again when it comes around, and even get into ducking and blocking.
Eventually, one will want to get a length of a log, drill a few holes, then arrange some arms and legs. One can then move around, block the wooden arms and legs, and pretend that one is defending against a real attacker. What is really nifty is to place some large springs on the arms and legs so that they become more realistic.
The cost of wood being what it is, or perhaps the difficulty of procuring a log in a city, one might consider alternative materials. PVC might work, if one could find thick enough plastic that won’t break, or perhaps even some sort of metal. This type of material would require towels or other material being wrapped around it to protect the arms and fists.
In closing, there are many ways to set up a false attacker, and the martial student is limited only by his imagination. Watch movies, read instruction manuals, and start inspecting the materials that you might use. Guaranteed, a karate wooden dummy will provide you with many hours of happy martial arts training.
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