The Wing Chun wooden dummy is a fantastic training device. It toughens the arms for blocking, it toughens the palms for striking, and it is an opponent that never quits, but always loses. Unfortunately, it costs a bit much, so here are a couple of alternatives to help the Wing Chun aficionado.
The Wing Chun 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. Other Martial arts, however, 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 martial artist 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 quick striking pole by taping a towel around a broomstick, and then having people come at him with it. This rapidly turned into an advanced form of free fighting, where the block had to be accomplished, and the distance to the attacker covered. It is a hard task to move three or four feet in a split second to close the distance the to the pole.
From there one might consider mounting a pole on a pivot. Simply bury a two by four in the earth, then place a moveable pole atop it. On can block the pole, and block it again when it swings around, and even get into ducking and blocking.
Eventually, one will want to get a large piece of wood-a log-drill holes through it, and set up some arms and even legs. One can then dance back and forth, palm the wooden limbs, and pretend that one is fighting a real opponent. What is really nifty is to put some large springs on the limbs so that there is a certain amount of give and take.
The cost of wood being considerable, or perhaps the difficulty of procuring a log when you live in in a city, one might think about different materials. A length of PVC might suffice, if one can find thick enough material that won’t break, or perhaps even some sort of light metal. This type of dummy and limbs would require some sort of wrapping to protect the hands and feet.
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 Wing Chun wooden dummy will provide you with many hours of happy martial arts training.