Answers to Questions Submission Master Grappling Dummy

Jon left me this comment.  I’ll thought it merited a post as the questions he asks are excellent.


I hope you don’t mind me asking you a few questions about the Submission Master Grappling Dummy. First of all I have a lot of questions about this equipment. It would help if a sporting store carried one of these so I could go and physically try one out before I make a monetary investment of that size. I realize that it is only a tool and never would replace live sparring or training with actual resistance. I see it as only a tool to get 1000’s of reps of many techniques. This way I can commit movements to muscle memory and then try them on a resisting partner in class. That is essentially what a training partner does when we learn technique in class (they lie there "limp" with no resistance like the dummy). That being said, how life like is the dummy? Will i be able to practice from all positions- guard, mount, side control, turtle, passing the guard? Did you feel that learning technique and refining them on the dummy transitioned well to live partners? I will start with those first. Thank you for answering. Feel free to email if you like since I know I will have some more thoughts and questions.”  – Jon

  1. How life like is the dummy?
    • The dummy is fairly proportional to a human.  With one exception, I feel the arms are a little shorter then I would like.  This has not stopped me from doing arm bars.
    • The dummy is much harder then a human.  It is packed with cloth and doesn’t have a lot of give.  If I am in mount on a human the ribs give or the stomach.  The SM (Submission Master) doesn’t have that give.
    • It weighs 70lbs.  I weigh 220lbs.  It is a little lighter but still gives good feedback to your muscles.  I find my self sweating after moving it around for a while.
    • The nylon fabric the dummy is made of isn’t slick.  In fact if you are doing nogi you should wear a long sleeve rash guard.  If you don’t you will soon feel like you have gi burn.
  2. Will I be able to practice for all positions (guard, mount, side control, turtle, passing the guard)?
    • Guard – Works great!  I can do everything I think of, arm bars, Triangle, Omoplata, Kimura, sweeps, . . .
    • Turtle – Surprisingly good.  It holds itself up on all fours.  If you practice pivoting around the dummy it works better towards the hips as the arms aren’t stiff enough to hold you and it up.
    • Side Control – Great.  The legs do stay in the sitting position and that feels like the dummy is trying to ball up and turn inside like a real person.  The arms stay in a static position sticking straight up but that doesn’t bother me too much.
    • Mount – The dummy has a larger chest.  So if you are a bigger guy like me it fits just fine.  If you are medium to smaller you might not get your knees to the ground.  If you are used to going against larger opponents then this should be just what you are used to.
    • Passing the Guard – Poor.  It can’t hold you in guard.  It keeps its knees.  It gives you more of a space feeling in passing.  I wouldn’t use it if I only wanted it for practicing passing the guard.
  3. Did you feel that learning technique and refining them on the dummy transitioned well to live partners?
    • Absolutely!  My Triangle in particular improved dramatically when I could experiment around with it on the dummy.  I didn’t have to worry about my training partners discomfort.  I could tweak and tune to my hearts content.
    • I often see something now on YouTube or from one of my DVD’s and can go try it out immediately.  I get a good feel for the technique.  I work it on the dummy until I feel comfortable and then I spring it on some one at class during a roll. 

Life is Jiu-Jitsu and Jiu-Jitsu is Life