How to Make a Grappling Dummy

Written by dan seitz
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How to Make a Grappling Dummy
Practice your martial art moves at home on a grappling dummy. (arts martiaux 3 image by Nathalie P from

Martial artists use grappling dummy training regimens. It allows the practice of holds, submissions, and other techniques. Grappling dummies an be expensive to buy; however, that shouldn't stop you from training. With some time and some patience, you can put together your own grappling dummy out of widely available materials, and practice to your heart's content every night.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 20 feet electrical cable
  • 5 feet 2 inches PVC pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill
  • Poly rope
  • Duct tape
  • Mop
  • 2 foam pillows
  • Foam rubber

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  1. 1

    Lay out the cable to create the torso, legs, and arms, laying them out in the way you want them arranged. Make the arms 5 to 6 feet long, the legs 7 to 8 feet long and the torso 3 feet long. Measure carefully and adjust as needed as this is the base for your dummy. Check to make sure that it will be the size you need it to be.

  2. 2

    Using the hacksaw, cut the PVC pipe into different lengths for the bone structure. Make the spine 1 1/2 to 2 feet, the neck 7 inches and the hips and shoulders 6 inches. Tape the hips and shoulders securely to the top and bottom of the spine piece. Drill a hole at the top of the spine piece and at the bottom of the neck piece. Insert the electrical cable into each piece, and secure the spine and neck together with the rope to give it flexibility. Tape the cable securely to each pipe.

  3. 3

    Cut off the mop head, leaving six inches of handle. Wrap the mop head in duct tape, doing so until the mop resembles a dummy head. Tape the head to the cable inside the neck. Then tape the foam pillows to the torso using the same method. Saw the cable halfway and flex for joints such as knees and ankles, and securely tape the joints to keep the wire from breaking. Tape the foam rubber over the exposed cable ends to keep it from jabbing you. Dress your dummy as you feel appropriate.

Tips and warnings

  • Feel free to be liberal with the duct tape, and be sure to layer on the duct tape in areas that will flex a lot on your dummy.

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