You need a grappling dummy for an immersive and highly simulative training experience.
Practicing on a grappling dummy is not like using a heavy bag. You can perform more maneuvers, lock the opponent in place, and hone your fists to hit the right weak spots.
With the overwhelming number of dummies on the market, it’s impossible to tell which one is the best. This is why we’ve prepared this guide to help you pick out the best and most valuable grappling dummies.
Here are the top 5 best grappling dummies reviewed.
Best Grappling Dummies on the Market Reviewed
For life-like wrestling and MMA practice, the Title MMA Grappling Dummy is a suitable pick. This dummy is shaped like a lean human opponent with its arm out in self-defense. Use this product for MMA practice, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and ground-and-pound.
The top features a loop for you to hang your dummy from. It stands at just the perfect height to grapple the dummy, and you can hang it higher in case you’re going up against a taller competitor. There is a removable 18-inch long chain included with the dummy which ensures security when grappling.
This bag is covered all around in 3 layers of heavy-duty leather. For reference, most heavy bags only have one or at most two layers. The bag comes pre-filled, which is a rarity in many training dummies.
However, this dummy isn’t very flexible. The arms jut out at shoulder level to mimic an opponent holding up their fists in self-defense.
But the arms can’t be bent or pushed out of the way in case you don’t need them. Even the other extremities have limited flexibility, and they don’t hold their position when moved.
This dummy for MMA doesn’t have feet that means you can’t stand it up straight on some pedestal. This limits the use of the dummy as a speedbag. You can only hang it or grapple it with your hands.
- Can be used as a heavy bag.
- 3 layers of leather.
- Highly versatile application.
- Great for kickboxing and grappling.
- Can be used for ground-and-pound.
- Extremities aren’t very flexible.
If you want a truly flexible BJJ grappling dummy, then try the Ring to Cage Deluxe Dummy 3.0. This heavy bag is made from 22 ounces of vinyl-coated in polyester. The extremities are designed to move and hold the position.
Flexibility is a huge advantage in grappling dummies. You get to choose how your opponent sits, training you for a variety of scenarios.
Furthermore, this grappling dummy has both hands and feet. The feet will help you attach it to a pedestal. You can prop it up in a sitting position too. This means the dummy can be used for almost all types of chokes and pounding techniques.
Take note of the polyester-coated vinyl construction. Leather is not suitable for outdoor use. Vinyl, however, can withstand harsh sunlight and humidity. And the polyester coating only adds to the waterproofing of the heavy bag.
You can order the dummy either filled or unfilled. Beware, filing the dummy yourself is quite the challenge. This is because there are more parts to stuff, such as the hands, feet, and forearms. It’s better to just get the filled version, which can weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds.
This bag is highly recommended for Jiu-Jitsu practice and grappling. You can’t hang it, so it’s not good for use as a regular heavy bag. It’s still a good choice for takedowns and groundwork.
- The sitting position is great for grappling.
- Arms and legs are more flexible.
- Includes feet and hands.
- Great for outdoor use.
- Can be bought unfilled too.
- Hard to fill manually.
For people looking for a youth grappling dummy, the Celebrita is an excellent choice. You get this dummy in two sizes, one for kids and teenagers, and the other for adults. This dummy follows a similar trend in other dummies where it sits instead of stands.
The sitting posture helps mimic an opponent on the ground. It also makes ground and pounds a whole lot easier.
The dummy comes unfilled. Filling it up is quite easy. You can fill it up to 100 pounds with textiles, cotton, or sand. The hands outstretched and the legs folded down under the dummy. You can’t rotate or bend the hands much.
A soft and durable leather cover used for the bag. Leather is a good product but eventually won’t stick up to humidity and sunlight. So don’t use it in the basement or outdoors. Also note that leather will initially start to smell, which is completely normal.
Use the Celebrita MMA dummy for grappling, Jiu-Jitsu, catching, and MMA practice. You can’t hang it from the ceiling, so it’s not for tossing.
You may initially struggle with stuffing it. The hands and feet can be hard to reach. And there isn’t a pre-filled version, so you must stuff it by hand, which is quite the burden.
- Great for groundwork.
- Can be used for Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.
- Legs can be unfolded to a certain degree.
- Comes in youth sizes as well.
- Not for use in basements and attics.
- No pre-filled version is available.
This grappling dummy from Daan MMA is a highly versatile heavy bag for kickboxing and wrestling. It’s made from a highly durable leather material that can withstand immense pressure and rapid punching.
Choose this dummy if you want a more versatile experience. Use it for arm chokes, drills, and ground-and-pound techniques. It can be set up in many positions, such as full mount, half guard, X guard, and the ankle hook position. This bag is available in multiple sizes, with the largest one weighing 88 pounds.
Unfortunately, the design is slightly different compared to traditional grappling dummies. The shoulders are too broad, and the arms arch out at a 90 degrees angle. The arms are quite short and don’t simulate a real-life opponent.
There is also a significant gap in the armpits, allowing for you to slide your hands in for a decent lock. But your opponent won’t always have their arms wide open. This dummy is for beginners to intermediate MMA enthusiasts.
Due to the leather construction, this isn’t useful for use outdoors. You also shouldn’t use it in basements and attics or areas with high humidity.
The legs can bend at either a 90 degrees angle (for tucking under the dummy) or a 45-degree angle (for groundwork). The legs don’t completely straighten out, which would have been useful for hanging and full-body grappling. It’s still a decent choice for BJJ and arm choking.
- Heavy-duty leather construction.
- Foldable legs.
- Great for Jiu-Jitsu and arm chokes.
- For beginners and intermediate trainees.
- Used in half and X-guard positions.
- Cannot survive high humidity.
- Design is a bit unrealistic.
If you’re the type of person who likes to go all out when training, then you’ll love the Century Grappling Dummy. This dummy weighs 120 pounds, making it the ideal training partner for heavy-built trainees.
This is a vinyl bag. Shaped like a real human opponent. It’s a hanging bag, making it ideal for throws and takedowns. Use this as a wrestling buddy for submissions and locking techniques.
Each seam reinforced and lace-stitched to prevent the filling from spilling out. So even the heaviest of punches won’t break the surface. Vinyl is one of the best choices of material.
So if you want to use the Century Grappling Dummy outside in the sun or your basement, then go for it.
The arms are 100% posable. It means that you can change the positioning of the arms. So they’re not always jutting right into your face. Instead, you can position them for locking your opponent and choking them with your forearms.
Use the Century Grappling Dummy for sparring, takedowns, and submissions. It’s not the best for BJJ as the dummy isn’t in sitting position. However, it is one of the best for ground and pound training.
This is because the arms have been sewn into the chest rather than the extreme left and right. Because of this, you may not get to perform some techniques that require a realistic simulation of body width.
- Hands can be repositioned.
- Great for takedowns and sparring.
- Resistant to water and UV damage.
- Can take on more hits than other bags.
- Comes pre-filled.
- Not wide enough.
How to Choose the Best Grappling Dummy?
The first thing you should consider is what materials the grappling dummy made from. Most grappling dummies use a few layers of leather, mostly 1 or 2. Leather is a great choice as it resists damage and doesn’t tear very easily.
However, leather doesn’t hold up against moisture and humidity well. So if you use your bag in the attic or in places with high humidity, consider a different material. Leather is also not the best for use in the outdoors.
The alternatives to that are polyester and vinyl. Both polyester and vinyl are great at surviving humidity. Vinyl isn’t particularly waterproof, but it can survive a few splashes. And it can resist UV damage quite well. Polyester is also waterproof and resists humidity and sweat.
Grappling dummies can either come pre-filled or unfilled. Before you buy an unfilled dummy, be wary of the fact that filling up grappling dummies is not easy. The arms and legs bent at harsh angles and the filling will take time reaching the crevices.
Factory-filled grappling dummies are the best. These usually come with either a recycled textile filling or a sand filling. Textile fillings are harder to do on your own due to the cramped design of the bags. Sand fillings are easier as the sand just falls into the hands and feet.
Water and air fillings are the best for this case. But the outward pressure of the water and air may cause the limbs to straighten out. Also, not every bag can be filled this way. Usually, the dummy will have a bladder that’s designed to withstand heavy pressure and be extra flexible.
Aside from the filling, consider how the interior has been padded. Even a regular PU foam padding can ensure that your fists don’t feel as exhausted. Really soft paddings don’t simulate the hardness of the human skeleton well. But for beginners, softer bags are the go-to.
Next, take a look at the overall design of the dummy. Most dummies feature a similar design with only minor adjustments. For example, some dummies will have a lot of space in the underarms. This would make them ideal for grabbing the whole body and locking the opponent down.
Other dummies have a head with a profound jaw. These are the best for practicing uppercuts and face jabs.
Also, consider how the dummy stands and sits. Sitting dummies cannot straighten out fully. The legs can only bend at either a 45 degrees angle or a 90 degrees one. These are useful for practicing ground and pound and BJJ.
Hanging dummies are the ones that hang completely straight. These are great for sparring and kickboxing. You need a chain to hang the bag from the ceiling. Make sure the chain is adjustable so you can set the optimum height of your opponent.
Height and Weight
Height and weight are two important factors to consider when buying a grappling dummy. Ideally, it is recommended to go for a dummy that’s as tall as you. The height isn’t an issue with hanging dummies. But with sitting dummies, you need to consider how tall the opponent is.
As for weight, you should buy a dummy that’s about half your weight. This isn’t just for grappling dummies though. Every heavy bag should be bought with this rule in mind. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a great place to start from.
For kids, consider smaller sizes up to 5 feet in length and 30 to 40 pounds in weight. For adults, anything below 7 feet in height and 80 pounds in weight is ideal.
Finally, consider what the dummy’ intended use. Many dummies are versatile but to a limited extent. Hanging dummies, for an instant, are great for wrestling and tossing. They kept flat on the ground, making them the best for ground and pound.
Sitting dummies are best for Jiu-Jitsu and MMA training. Because in these martial arts the opponent is mostly seated. The bending of the legs is a great way to simulate a real opponent curling up to protect themselves.
Why Choose A Grappling Dummy Over A Heavy Bag?
Grappling dummies make your training more dynamic. The cylindrical shape of the heavy bag doesn’t mimic a real opponent in the ring. These dummies let you grapple your opponent down, letting you practice maneuvers like chokes and locks. You can’t practice these on a regular heavy bag.
If you have no interest in competitive training or self-defense, then you don’t need a grappling dummy. Regular heavy bags are excellent for burning fat and performing cardio.
See also: Best Punching Dummies
What Material Is Best For Grappling Dummies?
Vinyl or polyester (or a combination of the two) are the best choices. These are highly durable and can survive both UV and water damage. Leather isn’t as good a choice, but it’s great for spamming your punches on. Consider leather if you won’t be using your dummy in a humid or sunlit place.
Should I Buy A Sitting Or A Hanging Dummy?
It’s totally up to your preference. Hanging dummies are straighter and let you practice sparring, throwing, tossing, and ground-and-pound. But you require a ceiling or a wall mount for them. As opposed to that, a sitting dummy is better for Jiu-Jitsu and MMA training. They are also useful for groundwork.
Which Is The Best Dummy For BJJ?
For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), buy a sitting dummy with some space in the underarms and groin. Sitting dummies are the best for this as they simulate a real opponent sitting on the ground. The legs don’t bend more than 45 degrees, which is a more realistic pose than just making them straight.
Having a lot of space between the extremities means you get to practice takedowns and headlocks better.
Grappling dummies are a sure-fire way to boost your BJJ and MMA training. They provide a more true-to-life martial arts experience. And they are the best for practicing self-defense techniques.
If you want to buy the best grappling dummy, consider the Title MMA Grappling Dummy. This hanging dummy comes with an 18-inch chain.
But you might find that a sitting dummy suits you better. Look at our list of the top 5 best grappling dummies and pick out your favorite one now!