5 Techniques You Can Practice With a Grappling Dummy

5 Techniques You Can Practice With a Grappling Dummy

5 Techniques You Can Practice With a Grappling Dummy

Knowing how to use a grappling dummy is crucial for effective training. We;ll discuss the main 5 techniques you can use.

What Is Grappling?

What Is Grappling?

Grappling is a martial arts discipline that focuses on controlling an opponent through various techniques in close-contact combat such as clinching, takedowns, throws, joint locks, and submission holds, and without the use of strikes. Martial arts that utilise grappling include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Sambo, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), among others.

In grappling, practitioners aim to gain positional dominance over their opponent by achieving advantageous positions such as mount, back control, or side control. From these positions, they can apply submission holds to force their opponent to submit or control them to score points in a competitive setting. Grappling is also taught in self-defence classes as the movements can help people get out of situations where they seem to be dominated by an attacker.

Grappling emphasises leverage, technique, and strategy over sheer strength, making it accessible to practitioners of all sizes and physical abilities, and extremely useful in sudden violent scenarios. It is widely practised for self-defence, sport competition, and physical fitness, offering practitioners a comprehensive approach to unarmed combat and personal development.

5 Techniques You Can Practise With a Grappling Dummy

Grappling with a grappling dummy allows you to develop muscle memory, refine your movements, and improve your overall grappling skills even when you don’t have a training partner available. So while you shouldn’t use a dummy to learn grappling as this may be unsafe, you can practise the skills you learn in an MMA or self-defence class at home with a grappling dummy to enhance your abilities.

Here are five of the main techniques you can practise with a grappling dummy:

1: Takedowns


With a full-size grappling dummy, you can practise various takedown techniques such as single-leg takedowns, double-leg takedowns, and hip throws. Work on getting proper grips, footwork, and driving through the dummy without risking hurting a training partner.

2: Ground Transitions

Using full-size dummies or those with just a torso and arms, you can practise transitioning between different positions on the ground, such as moving from side control to mount, or from mount to back control. Focus on maintaining control and fluid movement.

Repeating these movements over and over in a drill can help enforce muscle memory.

3: Submissions

Training with a real partner is the best way to learn in most parts of combat sports, but grappling dummies can be really useful for practising submissions without risking injury to anyone. With a grappling dummy, you can practise applying submissions such as armbars, chokes, and joint locks from various positions, without hurting your partner. Work on getting the proper angles, grips, and leverage to execute the submission effectively, but keep in mind how much pressure to use so that you can safely use these chokes and submissions on your real partner.

4: Guard Passing

You can also practise passing the guard on a full-size grappling dummy, moving its legs like your opponent’s. Work on techniques like the knee cut pass, stack pass, and toreando pass (bullfighter’s pass) to improve your guard passing skills.

5: Escape Techniques

Escape techniques are also possible with a grappling dummy but you may need a heavier one than you would use for some of the other techniques. Investing in a grappling dummy that you can alter the filling of is ideal so you can change the weight accordingly. Practise escaping from inferior positions such as side control, mount, and back control, working on techniques like shrimping, bridging, and hip escapes to regain a more favourable position.

Don’t make your dummy as heavy as your real training partners though as the dead weight of the dummy makes a big difference to its movability.

How Punching Bags Can Help Improve Your Fighting Technique

How Punching Bags Can Help Improve Your Fighting Technique

While punching bag training may not directly simulate the dynamics of other martial arts that focus more on grappling, the skills and attributes it develops can complement and enhance your performance in BJJ and your overall fighting and defensive techniques. Incorporating punching bag workouts into your training regimen can help you become a more well-rounded and versatile fighter, with improved striking accuracy, power, speed, timing, endurance, and technique refinement.

Practising punches, kicks, and strikes on a punching bag helps improve your striking accuracy and precision as you can focus on targeting specific areas of the bag to simulate striking specific points on an opponent’s body. They also allow you to develop power and striking force as the resistance provided by the bag helps condition your muscles and increase your striking power over time.

Training with a punching bag improves your speed and timing as you work on combinations, footwork, and movement patterns. These are useful skills in many sports, making punching bags a versatile training tool.  You can practise transitioning between strikes and evasive manoeuvres to develop fluidity and timing in your movements.

Punching bags also provide an excellent cardiovascular workout and help build muscular endurance as training with a bag increases your stamina and allows you to maintain high-intensity output for longer periods during fights or sparring sessions.

Using a punching bag allows you to refine your punching, kicking, and striking techniques, so if you’re training in MMA or want to know how to protect yourself in a street fight, punching bags and grappling training provide the perfect combination of skills. You can experiment with different angles, distances, and strikes to find what works best for you. Regular practice on the bag will help reinforce proper technique and form.

Which Punch Bag Is Best for Use at Home?

The best punch bag for home use depends on various factors such as space availability, budget, training goals, and personal preferences. Here are some popular options:

  • Heavy hanging bags
  • Free-standing bags
  • Double-end bags
  • Wrecking bags
  • Speed bags

Heavy bags are versatile and suitable for a wide range of striking techniques including punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. They come in various sizes and weights, typically weighing around 25 to 70 kg or even more. For most home users, a heavy bag in the 30 to 50 kg range is suitable for general training purposes, as punching bags should be around half your body weight.

It’s also essential to invest in quality mounts to ensure safety and stability during training sessions.

Free-standing bags are convenient for home use as they don’t require hanging from a ceiling or wall and they’re easy to move and reposition. They typically feature a flexible base filled with sand or water to provide stability when being struck. Free-standing bags are great for boxing, and the longer ones are great for kickboxing too.

Double-end bags and wrecking bags are the least practical for home use as they’re more niche, and meant for specific training routines. Heavy bags and free-standing bags are more versatile and great for getting into shape, so make an ideal addition to a home gym. Likewise, speed bags are for speed, rhythm and accuracy in boxing-specific drills, but they still provide cardio and are small enough that they may be easier to install permanently in homes.

Are Punching Bags Good for Kids?

Are Punching Bags Good for Kids?

Punching bags can offer numerous benefits for kids, promoting physical fitness, stress relief, self-confidence, discipline, and focus. Regular training sessions can help children stay active, improve cardiovascular health, build strength, and enhance coordination.

Engaging in punching bag workouts provides a constructive outlet for releasing pent-up energy and frustration, contributing to overall emotional well-being and stress reduction. However, intense use every day will increase the chances of burnout and potential injuries, so you should monitor their use and ensure they’re using the proper technique.

Choosing the right punching bag weight is essential to minimise the risk of strain or injury, so children should never use adult bags or those over 30 kg for their safety.

When hanging a punching bag for children, it’s vital to securely mount it to a sturdy support structure at the right height for them for safe and effective training.

Like adults, children should always use the right boxing gloves for punching bags, not settling for the thinner MMA or Muay Thai gloves that don’t offer enough protection.

Buy the Best Equipment – Maxx Pro Boxing

Maxx Pro Boxing has a range of low-cost high quality punching bags for all martial arts enthusiasts. Browse our online shop today.

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