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  1. #1
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default DIY wrestling dummy takes care of nostalgia and cardio!

    From previous posts I've kind of figured out that we don't have a lot of nostalgic wrestlers actively posting, and you've all probably figured out that I love wrestling and that it has shaped my views on physical culture.

    I just had to express my excitement, tomorrow I'm making a grappling dummy so that I can do wrestling escapes, reversals, and pins for reps as my cardio.

    I used to have the heavy bag type grappling bag, it was next to useless. This one has arms, legs, and a head that are bendable and you can hook bungees to if you want to provide resistance!

    Wrestling is extremely rich in movement patterns and dummy wrestling makes workouts fun, while at the same time taking care of nagging nostalgia without the injuries that come from joining a wrestling club.

    Anyway, sorry to go on like this, I'm just really excited and my wife wasn't interested.

    Also a plus... the dummy is cheap to make
    Last edited by Ace83; 01-11-2014 at 09:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    Sounds cool. Are you going to post instructions or a video link on how to do it? Also- can make if with a G.I. duffel bag?

  3. #3
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    Sounds cool. Are you going to post instructions or a video link on how to do it? Also- can make if with a G.I. duffel bag?
    Sure, this one is 1.0 for me. I figure I'll make an upgraded model in the future using some of the ideas I read (spring joints, spinal joint, bungee loops, thick electrical wire skeleton, etc...). I pretty much followed the instructions in the video as written. I started getting nervous about the bungee loops (common on most dummies but not in the video) because of the lack of mobility in the joints. Also, for the muscles, I couldn't get the pool foam tubes because its January. Instead I covered paper towel rolls with duct tape and attached them. I'll see how he works out over time, and make changes based on the defects.

    This is the instructional video I ended up following.

    Roscoe the grappling dummy instructions

    Some guys playing with Roscoe

    About the duffel bag, I've seen people make temporary punching bags out of them. If someone was going to go that route they would be better off sewing up an old carhart suit, stuffing it tight with old clothes, and using bungee loops to set its position. At least that's what I would do.
    Last edited by Ace83; 01-12-2014 at 05:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Wolf eye, after playing with him for a while his joints loosened up. Also, I went ahead and bought 16' of thick copper cable (it cost me $36). When the joints on his arms or legs eventually break, im going to replace the coat hanger bundles with the cable. Its more expensive but I wish I had gone with this in the first place.

    By the way, this thing is awesome. Definitely glad I have it!

  5. #5
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    Damn, that's a whole project! Certainly good practice for improvising training gear.

    I'd be careful about your expectations, though. While this might be good for exertion, it's not going to develop skills as much. Just like with a punching bag- the reactions are part of it (was watching a Systema DVD & Vladimir had mentioned that). You don't get the same situation with a bag/dummy/board that you do with a training partner.

    Not trying to be overly critical, just something to keep in mind.

  6. #6
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Wolfeye, I agree totally that its not the same.

    But personally I've always found drilling to be very beneficial to my performance.

    Back when I boxed I would spend 45 minutes everyday going over the same combo on the double ended striking bag (slipping the bag and moving around it of course). My reaction times went through the roof. I would be slipping a punch and firing of a counter strike before I knew what happened.

    I had a similar (though not as great) experience in jujitsu from shadow and grappling bag drilling.

    I need a lot of practice going over a move until its automatic and refined to feel comfortable with it. I've seen some people learn something and by the end of practice they throw the move like it's second nature. I hesitate, unless I'm thoroughly familiar with the move.

    Now, since I only wrestle occasionally now, and that only recreationally, I concede to your point that I may get used to a partner that doesn't fight back, and get owned when I go to put my practice into use. (That would be embarrassing! If I got worse from my practice )
    I would still do it for the fun of wrestling every day though.

    I've always wanted to ask you about your systema practice, I see you post about it from time to time. You don't use bags or dummies in Systema? What do your training sessions look like? How long have you been practicing? What strength and conditioning program has helped you most in your sport (I see you posting about CC)? What is your opinion on mma?

    If you don't mind talking about it, I would love to hear about your experience and how Systema has shaped your views.
    Last edited by Ace83; 01-15-2014 at 05:47 PM.

  7. #7
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    No I don't mind talking about it. Keep in mind: it's a little bit of a long story, though.

    I got into fights all the time (boys do, anyway- but I also was the new kid a few times, grew up with the army brats, and I was never really built like a titan). This helped with numerous things (one of them is thinking compositionally). A situation is what it consists of, so if a woman can pick someone up & slam on the ground that's what the situation is (same with being stronger than you look, winning fights that people didn't even believe happened, people trying to undermine your ability without announcing it- like when somoene basically makes it out to be wrong to hit back or they give you bad information). This, in itself, built up abilities & how-to information (actually, when I was about 7 years old there was a story, on the news- I think, about the spetsnaz & rolling with/absorbing strikes. This, of course, got integrated by a lot of people very quickly. Other things were developed the same way. I'll post more about that on the next post (got to get off the computer soon).

    After I saw a few Systema instructionals (which had new information, as well overlap), I decided to get more. I'll admit that I don't have any formal practice in the art, but some of it was what I had been doing already (and a bunch of the new information just to that previous information further). I'm still trying to get to classes, at the moment. The things I understand, I convey.

    When talking to one of the instructors (Sonny Puzikas) to see about taking some classes, we discussed exercise & his advice has worked. CC is close to the only thing I've seen (from the West, anyway) that has similar trends. The things about strengthening the connective tissues, slow & full ranges of motion, staying at a new level for about a week so your tendons can catch up & you don't get injuries were all mentioned. Learned that thing about swimming that I often mention from him, too.

    The training varies quite a bit, but the theme of trying to work a lot of things at once (strength, coordination, sensitivoty, skill of using something, etc...) comes up a lot. Something that a lot of people don't get is doing drills slowly to build a feel for them (there are full-speed demonstrations). Another thing is the focus on concepts (ex: doesn't matter how you bend someone's arm back, so long as it goes that way). This was something that came up in fights all the time & I've heard lefties tend toward doing that a lot to begin with, but it really helps with improvising & making situational decisions (because conditions can vary greatly & fluxuate, as well). Attention to detail is a big one, as well.

    I've got to sign off now, but I'll post more about these things on my next post.

  8. #8
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    I've got to sign off now, but I'll post more about these things on my next post.
    Wolfeye, I'm still awaiting part 2 of this post. Just wanted to keep it near the top until you get back to it.

  9. #9
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    Sorry about that, Ace83. Here it is:

    With fighting, there are a lot of things that are taught somewhat backwardly. One thing is teaching specific moves & answers to problems, instead of concepts. If you teach in concepts, it's conveys more information faster & easier. This leaves more times to spar & do drills, as well as being able to incorporate this into an actual fight (you don't tend to remember all those specific techniques in a fight, in the first place). Another major thing is that it allows you to do things situationally. This is a big one, because even if you do remember how to do whatever move, you might not have the right conditions to use it (being at weird angles like in a car or on the stairs, being tired, being injured, etc...).

    When I was younger, innovations happened all the time. Whether this was from thinking about it while not fighting, figuring it out in the middle of the fight, or deducing (quickly) what someone else was trying to do to you- it really didn't matter. Also, people would discuss these things & sometimes you learned or developed a trick from that. A lot of kids were from military families & usually fighting in that situation is a bit more severe. Marital arts were common (and even if they weren't taught anything that serious, their brothers & cousins or their friends brothers & cousins were- kids do tend to eavesdrop, I know I did it all the time haha!)

    Some things just came from general life. Ever drop a knife off the counter? You know how you just size the situation up & jolt your feet back? There's no articulation, it's just assessed. A lot of arts mention doing things without thinking, but there's a difference between not mentally articulating something (like if you where to explain things to someone or they were to explain it to you) and no mental activity. You kind of wordlessly deduce something. You can't very well go after arteries you don't know about, but that's where learning comes into play.

    As for workouts, the stuff that works the connective tissues & the "makeshift muscles," as I call them, is what I'd suggest shooting for. By-the-way, "makeshift muscles" are those muscles that come into play at weird angles- like when you're doing makeshift things. These are very important for improvisation (maybe "improvisation muscles" is a more clear term, but "makeshift" comes more immediately to mind for me). If you're using a weapon with a bad grip (large, slippery, non-ergonomic handle, etc...), landing on uneven ground, carrying something with an unbalanced weight, having weight that's already on you now gain moment from being knocked down, etc... . Some of the MMA training that I've seen looks pretty good. The stuff that looks more like what was in Rocky is what I'd aim at.

    Climbing is like this, too. You might have a marginal grip (like if there's only a small ledge sticking out or a vertical pipe), maybe you're trying to "chimney" yourself up (when you jam against surfaces & slide your way up), you could be supporting yourself while directing your movement at a weird angle (like threading a needle, but with climbing).

    If you watch The Forge by Sonny Puzikas, you'll see exactly what I mean (the trailer on Youtube is fairly good, too). Covers a lot, but there's supposed to be more DVDs coming out on that & also a book at some point. The easiest description is like weighted yoga. There's a lot of old-school calisthenics style to things- even when the exercises aren't exactly the same, the themes of how to go about doing them are (full ranges of motion, using less & less support, supporting weight on more minor muscles groups, letting your strength "soak in," etc...). Good stuff, but hard to describe.

    If you were to get a few DVD in order to familiarize yourself with the art a bit more, I'd suggest the Escapes from Holds, the Hand to Hand (basic introduction), and the Car Fighting (although Defense in Confined Space & Strikes were both interesting, as well). Sonny has a few (on using the AK, so far- but it seems there might be more coming out) & so does Martin Wheeler (his seems to get more into the art, itself- Sonny's more incorporates it into firearms usage).

  10. #10
    Ace83 is offline Senior Member
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    Wolf eye, I'll have to check out that trailer on the forge, I've heard you mention it before. Sounds interesting.

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