Posted on September 9, 2021
If you’re anything like us, it’s almost impossible to get the amount of training you really want in a week. Whether it’s your busy schedule or perhaps your gym shut down for one reason or another, you cannot afford to miss too many days and still get better at BJJ.
Enter the grappling dummy…
A grappling dummy is a sturdy stuffed human-sized and shaped ‘fake person’ that allows you to perform various BJJ drills without the need for an additional live partner.
Even just a few 30 minute sessions per week can speed up your BJJ progress, especially if normal class attendance is not possible.
In this article, we break down 8 excellent BJJ drills you can practice on your grappling dummy at home, these drills are great for both gi and no gi training. You you can put one of your BJJ gis on your grappling dummy so you can utilize collar and sleeve grips when applicable.
We’ve broken them down into a few categories for your convenience.
At the end, we’ll cover how to put together your own home BJJ grappling dummy workout.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Grappling dummies are great for practicing throws and takedowns especially when you cannot find a partner who wants to get slammed five hundred times.
You will need to stand your dummy upright to execute these drills
The shoulder throw is a great technique for practicing standup grappling on the dummy.
Drilling the double leg takedown is a good way to get some extra wrestling repetitions in. You will have to stand your dummy up, drop level, and shoot before the dummy falls over.
However, this is a good way to practice being explosive with your shots and develop proper timing.
To perform the double leg takedown on your grappling dummy:
The Kimura is an excellent move to drill on the grappling dummy. You can drill both the hand and drip setup as well as many of the various transitions available once you lock in the tight figure-4 grip on the grappling dummy’s arm.
This classic drill starts with the dummy having an underhook while you are on top side control.
This drill is the basic Kimura finish from side control.
Knee on belly transitions are great drills that work well with the grappling dummy. The more muscle memory you develop on these transitions, the more dynamic and effective your top pressure will be.
This is the basic knee on belly transition to switch to the opposite side knee on belly.
A savvy opponent expects the first transition and can likely trap your foot to begin recovering half guard.
To avoid this, you can drill the helicopter knee-on-belly switch for when your opponent shrimps into you.
To perform the helicopter drill:
The grappling dummy is a great way to get extra repetitions on your side control transitions.
The three major side control positions are standard side control, Judo side control/kesa gatame, and reverse or ‘twister’ side control where you face your opponent’s hips.
As you transition to the other side, the north south position is your checkpoint during the transition.
To practice a full side control flow with the dummy:
Drilling the back take off a solid side control is another excellent path you can do with the dummy.
To drill the back take off of side control:
To get a good grappling dummy solo training session, begin by doing a standard hip escape, forward/backward roll, and other BJJ warmups for a few minutes.
Then, pick three different drills and set your timer for 2 minutes.
Perform each drill for 2 minutes, then move to the next drill for 2 minutes, then the final drill for total of six minutes of work time.
Rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat for at least three rounds.
You can modify, add, or remove drills as needed to adjust the difficulty of your training.
You can also increase or decrease the speed of drilling to adjust your intensity – you should always aim for good technique and movement efficiency before adding speed.
Although training with real partners is needed for BJJ, there is no doubt that working an extra solo session or two each week with the grappling dummy goes a long way towards improving your BJJ over time – especially if you cannot make it to normal class during those times.
Truthfully, the only real limitation on grappling dummy training is your own imagination.
Ready to start training with your grappling dummy?
Sign up for exclusive deals and free technique videos every single week