Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wing Chun Dummies

Traditional Techniques

Non-traditional MMA Wooden Dummy Workout

Bob over at "Striking Thoughts" and I have been trading ideas about the Wing Chun Dummy. The link to Striking Thoughts shows Bob giving his wall-mounted dummy a good thrashing. I really want to build one of these things, but it will be made of a log from my woods. I am thinking about mounting it on a car or truck coil spring embeded in concrete. This would give it just a little bit of movement to keep it lively. My training partner Corey has been to Ron Ogi's personal training room in his house in Hawaii. Ogi inherited some Dummies from James DeMile, a few of which were used by Bruce Lee. There was a variety of machines, custom built. Some had mechanical arms that you "broke" and then re-set. Some were very stiff, others moved like clown toys. All of them had a specific purpose, to train a specific technique or body part.
The first video above is a traditional use of the Dummy. The second is of a MMA fighter adapting the Dummy for his style of training. He is really working on leg conditioning. I think it would be great to just go nuts on one of these things!
There's a Blog out there, "woodendummycentral" by a guy in England. He hasn't posted since December, so I don't know if he called it quits. He does have a few good posts and links if you want to check it out.
UPDATE: The link above for woodendummycentral may no longer be active--D.R.


Bob Patterson said...

These days I use mine just to go over what I remember of the form. I used to free style but don't have the time. In any of our tko self-defense that requires a stick and a grab I notice I pick it up real quick. I credit the mook jong for this. If you can free-stand yours I'd recommend it. Having it mounted to the frame of the garage means I have to restrain myself. The MMA video is a good example of free-style and updating a traditional training method. Again: many of my tko self-defense steps can be practiced on the mook jong, alone. I bet it's the same for many martial arts.

After I posted that video someone e-mailed me and suggested that if I cannot find a sifu in the area, to get a video and learn the full form. Problem is I learned an "Americanized" version which teaches fists to body and palms to face. Perhaps someday. Right now I consider it a good supplement.

Maybe if I get time I'll e-mail you a few snaps and some measurements.


Hand2Hand said...

My mook yan jong is my most prized piece of training gear. Not only do I use it for the Wing Chun dummy forms, but freestyle, Jun Fan trapping and Filipino Tribal Arts, with and without weapons.

DR, I mounted my dummy on some oversized rocking horse springs. For more information on how I made my dummy, check out "The Complete Guide to Martial Arts Training," compiled by Curtis Wong.

If you need any suggestions or want to bounce something off me on dummy construction, let me know.

Dojo Rat said...

Thanks guys,
I have to wrap up some summer construction projects, so I will probably get to the Mook in Fall or winter. Morticing the arms through the body seems like the only complex feature. I think if I weld a big metal tab to the top and bottom of a coil spring, one end will be set in concrete and the other through-bolted into the bottom of the body.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey Bob,

I don't know that the "fists to the body and palms to the face" is necessarily an American innovation.

I've heard more than a few classical Chinese stylists, including Wing Chun practitioners, advocate that method. As Chen Taiji sifu (who also taught me the three empty-hand WC sets) used to say, "You hit hard (fists) to soft (body) and hit soft (palms) to hard (skull)."

And there are so many versions of the dummy form even among Wing Chun students. I have Yip Chun on tape saying that his father made changes to the dummy set, notably removing some phoenix-eye fists. Yip Man felt they were too lethal.

As I said before, Wing Chun people will argue over how Yip Man would have screwed in a lightbulb.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey DR,

I didn't get to watch those videos until this past weekend because my computer was down at home.

Anyway, I liked the modern dummy training drill. It looks like something I'll incorporate into my workouts.

I don't know if I'll get my kicks as high as that guy's, but I think it's something to work toward.


Wooden Dummy Central said...

Hi Dojo Rat!

I saw your link to me and that spurred me into action. mmm your link didnt work but I am still here:

Good too see there are like minded dummy fans out there.

I will work out how to put a link to your site to mine and hopefully we can get some question and answer / ideas sharing stuff going. I need a stimulus.