Can You Practice Judo With a Dummy? [Reddit Advice]

Judo, the ancient Japanese martial art, is renowned for its dynamic throws and effective grappling techniques. It’s a martial art that demands precision, balance, and timing. But what if you don’t always have a training partner available? Can you still practice and improve your judo skills on your own? The answer is yes, thanks to the advent of Judo Throwing Dummies.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of Judo Throwing Dummies and how they can become your invaluable training partner. We’ll delve into their benefits, how to make one, Reddit’s judo community opinions, and much more.

Can You Learn Judo With a Dummy?

One of the first questions that comes to mind is whether you can genuinely learn judo with a dummy.

The short answer is – yes, you can. While it’s true that practicing with a live partner is ideal for judo, a Judo throwing dummy can be an excellent supplement to your training routine. It allows you to work on your technique, grips, and throws even when you don’t have a partner at hand.

Benefits of Training With a Judo Dummy

1. Improved Technique

Training with a judo throwing dummy enables you to perfect your throws and groundwork techniques. You can repeat moves multiple times, focusing on precision and form.

2. Convenient Practice

Sometimes, you can’t find a training partner when you need one. A judo dummy is always ready to help you practice, 24/7.

3. Solo Drills

Solo drills are essential for judo improvement. A dummy allows you to practice without the need for a partner’s cooperation.

4. Build Strength and Endurance

Working with a judo dummy can help you build strength and endurance, as you perform throws and transitions repetitively.

5. Perfect Your Grips

Proper gripping technique is crucial in judo. A dummy lets you work on your grips, helping you develop a strong and controlled hold.

Are Grappling Dummies Worth It for Judo?

Now that we’ve established the benefits of training with a Judo throwing dummy, the next question is whether investing in one is worth it. The answer largely depends on your commitment to judo and your training goals.

  • If you’re a dedicated judoka looking to enhance your skills and practice regularly, a judo dummy is a valuable investment.
  • For beginners, it’s a cost-effective way to get started with judo before committing to a full-time training program.
  • Coaches and instructors can also benefit from dummies when teaching and demonstrating techniques to their students.

Can You Practice Judo With a Dummy for Beginners?


Judo beginners can significantly benefit from training with a dummy. It provides a safe and controlled environment for learning the basics of judo, such as proper stance, balance, and initial throws.

As a beginner, you can use a judo dummy to build confidence and familiarity with judo movements before progressing to live partner training.

Judo Grappling Dummy Reddit Opinions

To get a sense of how the judo community views the use of dummies, let’s turn to Reddit. Reddit, with its diverse user base and discussion forums, is an excellent source for candid opinions and experiences.

Main Points
Recommends resistance bands, practice, or alternative exercises over dummies for judo practice.
Emphasizes the importance of HIITs with complex, compound movements for judo improvement, recommends macebells for training.
Mentions limited usefulness but suggests dummies for specific techniques like Ura Nage and mount to armbar transitions.
Recommends dummies for practicing known techniques but not for improving energy variation and efficiency.
Believes dummies are not really useful for judo, especially for standing techniques.
Believes dummies can help improve form and balance for certain techniques.
Suggests using a 100lb heavy bag if practicing tossing is needed.
Recommends using a gi on the grappling dummy for judo practice.
Found dummies helpful for practicing certain techniques and throws but less useful as skills progress.
Believes white belts can find dummies useful.
Uses a dummy for osoto gari practice but acknowledges being a white belt.
Uses dummies for practicing various techniques and found them helpful for improving.
Used a dummy for newaza training during quarantine but not much else.
Uses a resistance band on a punching bag for throwing practice.
Believes conditioning is possible with dummies, but technique improvement is limited.
Extensively discusses the benefits of dummies, including technique refinement, speed drills, and conditioning.
Believes dummies are good for conditioning but not for technique improvement.
Recommends resistance bands over dummies, especially for practicing throws, and mentions the importance of resistance in uchikomi.
Uses a dummy for newaza practice.
Recommends using bands instead of dummies for practicing technique.
Finds dummies expensive and suggests using bands for technique practice.
Believes picking up the dummy between throws is time-consuming and prefers uchi komi for practice.
Jokes that white belts are like grappling dummies.

How Heavy Should a Judo Dummy Be?

The weight of a judo dummy is a crucial factor to consider. It should mimic the weight of an actual person to provide a realistic training experience.

Generally, a judo dummy should weigh between 50 to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kilograms). This weight range ensures that you can practice throws and techniques effectively without straining yourself.

judo with dummy

How Do You Make a Judo Throwing Dummy?

Creating your own judo dummy can be a cost-effective alternative to buying one. Here’s a basic guide on how to make a simple judo throwing dummy:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • A sturdy canvas or nylon fabric for the outer shell.
  • Old clothes or fabric scraps for stuffing.
  • Strong thread and a sewing machine or needle and thread.
  • A zipper or Velcro for closing the dummy.


  1. Cut the Fabric: Begin by cutting two identical human-shaped pieces from the fabric. These will be the front and back of your dummy.
  2. Sew the Edges: Sew the edges of the two fabric pieces together, leaving an opening at the top.
  3. Stuff the Dummy: Fill the dummy with old clothes or fabric scraps until it reaches the desired weight. You can adjust the weight by adding or removing stuffing.
  4. Close the Dummy: Once you’ve filled it to your satisfaction, close the opening with a zipper or Velcro.
  5. Add Features (Optional): You can sew on features like a head, arms, and legs if you prefer a more realistic look.

Remember that this homemade dummy might not be as durable as a professionally made one, but it can be an excellent starting point for your training.

How Do You Fill a Judo Dummy?

Filling a judo dummy requires the right materials to ensure it has the appropriate weight and density. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clothing: Old clothes or fabric scraps work well as the primary filling material. Make sure they are clean and free from any hard objects.
  • Sand or Weight Bags: To add weight and stability to the dummy, you can use sandbags or weight bags. These can be placed inside the dummy’s core.
  • Cushioning: To provide a more realistic feel, consider adding cushioning materials such as foam or batting around the core.

Steps to Fill a Judo Dummy:

  1. Prepare the Core: Lay out the fabric shell of the dummy and prepare the core by placing sandbags or weight bags inside.
  2. Add Clothing: Start adding clothing or fabric scraps on top of the core. Fill the arms, legs, torso, and head separately to create a more human-like shape.
  3. Adjust Weight: Continuously check the weight as you fill the dummy. It should fall within the recommended range of 50 to 70 pounds.
  4. Add Cushioning (Optional): If desired, wrap foam or batting around the core and under the fabric shell to provide extra padding and a lifelike feel.
  5. Close the Dummy: Seal the opening securely, either with a zipper, Velcro, or by sewing it shut.

Your filled judo dummy is now ready for training.

What Do You Fill a Judo Dummy With?

As mentioned earlier, you can fill a judo dummy with a combination of materials to achieve the desired weight and feel. Here’s a breakdown of what you can use:

  • Clothing or Fabric Scraps: These form the bulk of the filling, providing volume and shape to the dummy.
  • Sand or Weight Bags: These add weight to the dummy’s core, making it more stable and realistic.
  • Cushioning Materials: Foam or batting can be used to wrap around the core, offering padding and comfort during practice.

By combining these materials strategically, you can create a judo dummy that suits your training needs.

Solo Judo Practice with a Dummy

Solo judo practice with a dummy involves a structured routine to maximize your training benefits. Here’s a sample solo practice session:

  1. Warm-Up: Begin with a brief warm-up to prepare your body. Focus on joint mobility exercises and stretching.
  2. Grip Training: Work on your gripping technique by practicing various grips on the dummy’s lapel and sleeve.
  3. Throws: Practice your throws by executing them on the dummy. Focus on proper technique, balance, and hip movement.
  4. Groundwork: Transition to groundwork techniques. Practice pins, escapes, and submissions on the dummy.
  5. Conditioning: Incorporate strength and conditioning exercises. Use the dummy for resistance training, such as lifting and carrying it.
  6. Cool Down: End your session with a cool-down period, including stretching and relaxation exercises.

Consistency is key to solo practice. Regularly incorporate solo sessions with your dummy into your training routine to see improvements in your judo skills.

Judo Dummy vs. Training with a Partner

While Judo Throwing Dummies offer several advantages, it’s essential to understand their limitations compared to training with a live partner.

Advantages of a Judo Dummy:

  • Availability: A judo dummy is always available for training, regardless of your partner’s schedule.
  • Repetition: You can repeat techniques as many times as needed to perfect them.
  • Solo Practice: Ideal for solo drills and conditioning exercises.

Advantages of Training with a Partner:

  • Realistic Resistance: A live partner provides dynamic and unpredictable resistance.
  • Adaptability: Partners can adjust their movements and intensity based on your skill level and goals.
  • Sparring: Partner training allows you to practice full-speed sparring and live randori.

Incorporating both judo dummy training and partner training into your regimen can yield the best results. Dummies are excellent for refining technique, while live partners offer the unpredictability and adaptability needed for real-world judo scenarios.

Judo Dummy Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your Judo throwing dummy, it’s essential to take good care of it. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean the dummy’s surface regularly to remove sweat and dirt buildup. Use a damp cloth and mild detergent.
  • Inspect for Damage: Check the seams and fabric for any signs of wear and tear. Repair any small tears promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, store the dummy in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving it in a damp or humid environment.
  • Rotate Filling: Over time, the filling may settle or become uneven. Periodically, redistribute the filling to maintain an even weight distribution.
  • Replace Worn Parts: If certain parts, like the zipper or Velcro, become damaged or worn out, replace them to keep the dummy functional.

By following these maintenance guidelines, you can extend the life of your judo dummy and continue to benefit from its training value.


How Can I Practice Judo By Myself?

Practicing judo by yourself is possible and beneficial with the use of a Judo throwing dummy. You can work on your technique, grips, throws, and groundwork without the need for a live training partner. Incorporate solo practice sessions into your training routine to improve your skills and build confidence in your judo abilities.


A Judo throwing dummy can be a valuable addition to your judo training arsenal. It offers a range of benefits, including improved technique, convenient solo practice, and the ability to practice at your own pace. While it’s not a replacement for partner training, it complements it well.

By following the maintenance tips and Reddit opinions we’ve explored in this guide, you can make the most of your judo dummy and elevate your judo skills to new heights. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced judoka, the judo dummy is a reliable training partner that will help you on your martial arts journey.

So, go ahead and start practicing your throws, perfecting your grips, and honing your judo skills with your trusted judo dummy by your side.

Enable registration in settings - general