Grappling dummies (or training dummies) are a relatively new addition to the martial arts training regiment, and, even in the short time they’ve been around, have proved incredibly valuable to fighters looking to perfect their grappling techniques.
Rather than having to rely on a training partner to assist them, one that may not always be available, may be more interested in their own training, and may not provide the best training anyway since there is the risk of hurting them, fighters are now able to practice their techniques as often and with as much force as they like thanks to these revolutionary innovations.
Unfortunately, not all grappling dummies are created equal. In order to provide a realistic training experience, a grappling dummy has to maintain the proper flexibility, be stiff enough to keep its position, heavy enough to be accurate, and durable enough to take years of punishing abuse.
Though there are some great selections out there, far too many grappling dummies fall short in one or more of these areas. With that said, there are a small handful of grappling dummies that rise far above the rest.
In this Submission Master review, we’ll take a look at one of these few and analyze why it is quite possibly one of the best grappling dummies on the market today.
Pros of the Submission Master
To start, one of the primary advantages of the Submission Master is its durability. The outer material of the dummy is very high quality, and the inner material is plenty thick and hard enough to take a pounding.
On top of this, the amount of techniques that the Submission Master allows you to practice is unparalleled. Its unique posture and the perfect balance of stiffness to flexibility offer a very realistic and beneficial training experience.
Cons of the Submission Master
Although the material of the dummy is made to take a beating, it inadvertently gives one as well. The hard inner material and abrasive outer material makes it sometimes feel like you are grappling with a rock and can lead to some bruises if you practice for extended periods of time.
One of the most glaring advantages to the Submission Master is the fact that the dummy is as durable as it gets. The material covering the dummy is called Denier Cordura. On top of being highly resistant to frays and tears, this material is also water resistant, ensuring that no unwanted moisture seeps through into the interior fabric of the dummy. This is important to keep the dummy from swelling and gaining weight due to water intake and is a nice feature not found on many, cheaper grappling dummies.
For obvious reasons, the material’s resistance to tears is equally important, ensuring that the Submission Master will take countless sweeps, throws, and submissions without ripping.
To further enhance its durability, all of the seams on the Submission Master reinforced with multiple lines of machine stitching, helping make sure that the stress points of the dummy are well protected.
All combined, the durability of the Submission Master is top notch. While the thick outer fabric is a little stiff at first, it is quickly broken in and is most certainly an advantage to preserving the quality of the Submission Master through countless training sessions.
Training Advantages of the Submission Master
SM-nogiThe entire point of a grappling dummy is to provide a realistic training experience. Throwing around a rag doll is not going to provide this experience, and though it may seem rather straightforward to create a dummy that can simulate a training partner, there are actually several important (and sometimes difficult to get right) factors that go into this.
One of these factors is achieving the proper stiffness to flexibility ratio. Get the dummy too stiff and you won’t be able to twist and position it like you need to. Too limp and flexible and it goes back to being no better than tossing around a rag doll.
Fortunately, this is an area where the Submission Master really does excel. Unlike many training dummies, the Submission Master holds its position quite well. The legs and arms are both upright and stretched out, and, unless you are applying force to them, they stay in that position. This allows you to practice a large number of tactics that more limp dummies do not allow.
The Submission Master postures nicely on its knees and elbows, letting you practice both turtle position and sprawl position escapes and submissions. The posture of the Submission Master also kneels into your guard, allowing you to practice triangle chokes, armbars, guillotine chokes, omo-platas, and any number of other guard submissions.
The fact that the Submission Master keeps its legs up and outright also means that you can practice passing guard, stacking your opponent, and a variety of other defensive techniques.
While many straight postured grappling dummies are meant almost solely for practicing throws and are not really suited for submission practice, the Submission Master’s realistic posture allows for a much larger variety of techniques that can be practiced on it.
Durability aside, this is the primary reason someone would have for spending a little extra on the Submission Master. The amount of techniques it allows you to practice and the realistic manner in which it can be used to perform them is simply wonderful, and, in our opinion, sets this dummy apart from any we’ve had the chance to use.
Also pertaining to its flexibility is the fact that the limbs of the Submission Master return to their original position after they are released. This is great for eliminating the hassle of having to reposition them manually and means that you can get in more reps in the same amount of time with the Submission Master than you would on a dummy that requires constant readjusting.
The last thing to take into consideration regarding how accurate a training experience the Submission Master gives is its size and weight. While the dummy is hunkered in a kneeling position, if outstretched, the Submission Master would be approximately six foot long. Likewise, the dimensions of the limbs and torso have been made to the correct ratio of a man that height.
Concerning the weight of the Submission Master, the dummy weighs right at eighty pounds. At first thought, this may seem incredibly light seeing as the dummy is patterned after a six-foot man, but this reduction is done in order to take into account the factor of dead weight.
While a live partner will move and flow with you (even if they are struggling against you) a lifeless mass will feel much heavier than it actually is and will be harder to move than a live partner of the same weight would be. At eighty pounds of dead weight, the Submission Master is actually appropriately weighted to provide the most beneficial training.
In summary, the Submission Master is one of the most realistic and versatile grappling dummies for sale, setting it far above the competition in terms of the drills that it allows.
Durable, realistic, and versatile, the Submission Master is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to purchase a grappling dummy that will provide them with many years of beneficial training. While it is a touch pricier than many dummies and though the tough material can be unpleasant to roll with after long periods of training, the Submission Master is still one of the best grappling dummies for sale, earning it our recommendation.