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Is A Grappling Dummy Right For Me? The Answer Is Maybe.
Ideas on incorporating a grappling dummy into training...
Certainly, it is better to train either at your school or at home with actual people. This is true for several reasons. First, they can provide feedback both verbally and physically. If you are messing up a move, while drilling, they will probably say something. If you are messing up a move while rolling, then you will probably be unsuccessful. Certainly, the test of our Jiu Jitsu is how we do on resisting opponents and a grappling dummy will never be a substitute for this.
However, I would argue there are several ways a grappling dummy may augment our training. Certainly the benefit of a grappling dummy is in helping you learn technique. In my experience, there are some techniques that you get right away. You can be shown the move one time and you are hitting it in live rolls. Some other techniques take extra repetitions. A grappling dummy provides additional time to either familiarize yourself with a technique or ingrain the technique into your muscle memory. For whatever reason, life gets in the way. You did not get the reps in at the gym and a grappling dummy at home may provide a method to get those extra reps. Another scenario that may benefit from a grappling dummy is learning an instructional video. A lot of videos are 8 plus hours long. That is an amazing thing. Like instruction in your gym, you may quickly assimilate some of it and some of it may require extra repetitions.
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A grappling dummy, like most home exercise equipment, it is neither inherently good nor bad. Yet like most exercise equipment, often it is used once or twice then collects dust. A key component to realize value from a grappling dummy is discipline and organization. Unlike gym time, no one else will schedule and structure training. You will need to do it. Also unlike gym time, a grappling dummy is not exciting. I look forward to the time I have to practicing murdering my friends at the gym. But it is hard to get amped up about throwing around a grappling dummy.
In Jiu Jitsu there is the old adage, drillers make killers. I believe that a grappling dummy is a good option to get extra time drilling if the practitioner has the discipline and organization to do so. Like everything else in Jiu Jitsu, a grappling dummy is not a magic pill to see overnight improvements. However, with discipline and time, a grappling dummy may augment your training and provide additional structure that will improve your Jiu Jitsu.