DIY Grappling Dummy: How to Make a Good Training Partner?

Are you a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student or plan on learning this martial arts technique? Then, you might be wondering about grappling dummies. More specifically, DIY grappling dummies and how to make a good training partner yourself.

If you’ve wondered if making one of these dummies at home is possible, the answer is yes. Grappling dummies aren’t hard to make but require DIY elbow grease and a few specific items to achieve the perfect BJJ dummy.

Making a grappling dummy yourself has advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll cover in the article below. Indeed, we’ll also cover the steps it takes to make one of these dummies your BJJ training partner.

How to Build a DIY Grappling Dummy?

Making your own DIY grappling dummy is easy and shouldn’t take you too long. However, before you start your creation, you’ll want to ensure you have the right tools

These tools include: 

  • GI Top
  • Towels (two, to be exact)
  • 1 Pillow
  • 1 Hoodie (the zip-up kind)
  • 1 Stuffed Bear
  • 1 Belt

You’ll want to begin by opening the GI and the hoodie. Then, place the open hoodie over the GI and stuff the towels, rolled up, into the sleeves. The pillow and stuffed bear should be placed in the middle area of the hoodie.

At this point, you can close the hoodie and zip it up. Next, push the middle area of the towel, stuffed bear, and pillow into the GI. Finally, tie the belt. 

There you go, you’re very own grappling dummy!

Alternatively, you can use paper, shredded paper, blankets, clothes, and sand to fill your grappling dummy, should you not have a stuffed bear or spare pillows.

Alternative Way #1 to Build a DIY Grappling Dummy

Of course, there are several ways that you can create your grappling dummy. Let’s look at an alternative method here.

The tools needed for this second method include: 

  • 4 large towels
  • 2 rectangular pillows
  • GI
  • Pants
  • Belt

You’ll want to begin by rolling up the four towels to craft this dummy. But first, roll them up so that they are together both times. 

Stuff the rolled-up towels into the GI. They will be the arms and legs. Place the pillows underneath the towel arms, then put the pants onto the pillows below. 

Finally, tie a belt around your masterpiece to hold it all together. Then, Ta-da! You’ve got a new two-legged dummy friend with whom you can practice arm and leg techniques. 

Why Would You Want to Build Your Grappling Dummy?

These dummies will guide you in assisting with your BJJ classes. It will help you become more advanced in your skills and techniques.  

Making a DIY grappling dummy for those tight on money helps you train jiu-jitsu at home. Thus, it solves the problem of not having a training partner available

What Are the Advantages of a DIY Grappling Dummy?

The main advantage of making a DIY grappling dummy is that it’s more affordable than buying one from a store, and, like most DIY projects, it can be fun to make your own.

Plus, you’ll most likely have all the tools you need around your house and won’t have to spend extra to get them. Even if you have to pay extra, it won’t be near the cost of an actual grappling dummy. 

There are other advantages of making your homemade grappling dummy, too.

For example, if you can’t afford one but want to practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it can be beneficial to have one of these around.

In addition, it will also allow you to “test the waters” on a homemade dummy before purchasing a real one.

Dummies can help increase combat skills. They can help in practicing specific techniques that have to do with arm bars and triangle chokes

What Are the Disadvantages of a DIY Grappling Dummy?

Unfortunately, a few disadvantages exist when making BJJ dummies yourself.

Unlike real grappling dummies, the one you make at home may not have legs. Therefore, you cannot practice leg techniques on your new BJJ partner.

But, of course, this depends on how you make the dummy, so it’s not always the case.

However, no matter which method you choose, the quality will be much lower regardless, and the dummy may not last as long as a more expensive and real jiu-jitsu dummy. 

Aside from these disadvantages, there are more disadvantages when owning a grappling dummy, period.

For example, a grappling dummy will not benefit or enhance your skillset unless you attend regular BJJ classes. 

However, that disadvantage is more aimed toward the expensive grappling dummies in various sporting stores. Since making your own will require you to spend much less, you have nothing to lose. 

What If You Couldn’t Build a Grappling Dummy Yourself?


If you’re a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student, the benefits of having a grappling dummy are apparent as long as you attend your regular classes. Still, not everyone can afford such an expensive training item, so making your DIY grappling dummy is the next best thing.

Not only will you save yourself a few hundred bucks, but you’ll also still reap the benefits of owning and training with one of these dummies.

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