Ultimate Wing Chun Wooden Dummy Shopping Guide

Confused about what type of wooden dummy you should buy? You’re not alone. Our readers are constantly asking us about dummies on blog.  It is not an easy decision, but we are going to help you navigate though the process with this guide.

What will you learn from this Wooden Dummy guide??

Our goal for creating this guide was to create the BEST content on the internet to help you make a wise purchasing decision. Feel free to email us if you want something added or cleared up.

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For your viewing pleasure, we decide to add a table of contents to this article. Feel free to refer to the guide below to skip around and find the information you need.

  1. Five Important points before purchasing a Dummy
  2. Mount & Location
  3. Wall Mount vs Freestanding
  4. Parallel or Off-Set Arms
  5. Wood & Durability
  6. Alternative & Plastic Wing Chun Dummy
  7. JKD Style Dummies
  8. Discounts & Dummies for sale

Five Aspects to Consider When Purchasing A Mook Yan Jong

wing chun dummy

To further pursue and practice WC, not only does one need the correct training but also the correct equipment.

While practicing by oneself or with a partner is beneficial, Wing Chun requires another skill that takes time and patience to master.  That skill is proper technique and usage of this training tool.

How can a Wing Chun Wooden Dummy help you train?

While most studios have dummies available for their students, not every city and/or location has the proper equipment for an individual to further develop their skills.  They come in different forms and styles, but the purpose is always the same – improve.

wing chun wooden dummy

To truly improve your WC skills, one needs unlimited access to a personal wooden man.  While it is certainly an investment of sorts for some, the purchasing of a personal mook jong is a huge step for those who are serious about learning.

If you’re going to purchase your own, you should know a few things about the product before you decide to buy.

Here are five simple aspects to consider during your research:

  1.  Type of mount and location

Where would you want it?  In a studio?  Perhaps your garage?  In the corner of your Living Room? This question is important to consider when choosing the type you’ll need.

If you want a stationary, you’ll probably be looking for a wall mount.  Think you’d be moving it around frequently from home to training center or friends house?  Consider getting a free standing instead!

Wall mounted vs Free Standing

mounted-vs-free-standing-wooden-dummy

Wall mount is typically the more desired model, however not everyone has the space or budget for it.  Keep in mind, one isn’t necessarily better then the other. It really depends on BOTH your training needs and where you plan on putting it.

Wall mount pros:

  • Has a springy type feel. When you train with your mook jong, it will respond to your movement and move around accordingly. This feeling is preferred by many Sifu’s and lineages.
  • Again, often the most desired type, that most people want.

Wall Mount Cons:

  • Can be a bit of a hassle to install, if your not technically inclined, you may have to hire a carpenter. Once its installed, it can be moved, but isn’t necessarily the most fun process 🙂
  • Takes up more space than a free standing.

Free Standing Pros:

  • Can be put anywhere – Fits in the largest of homes and smallest of apartments.
  • Often more affordable than a mounted

Free Standing Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the “springy” type feel desired by many practitioners.

Planning on keeping it in the garage and (humidity****)?

Just a quick note about location and humidity. If you plan on keeping your wooden man in an environment where the humidity is NOT controlled and constantly changing (i.e your garage,) make sure you pick a type of wood that will support your location.

For instance, teak wood won’t shift or change as much as a lesser quality wood.  It would be a pity to spend a lot and have its angles and positions destroyed by its environment within a few short years.

Humidity is one of the main factors of the type of wood you’ll need. Remember to TELL your provider where you plan on putting it.

  2.  Type of Wood

It is constantly knocked around, hit, slapped and abused based on its nature.  In order to get the most out of your training, it’s important to know and research its type of wood.

The type of wood it is made out of is important to know because some wood fits individual techniques better than others.  While some wood can be visibly stimulating, don’t let a “good looking” mook yan jong sway your decision against stronger, longer lasting wood.

Before you buy a one, its not a bad idea to ask your provider what type of wood you should get.  If they are legit, they will ask you where you plan on storing it and how you train.

Parallel or Off-Set Arms?

Depending on what type of training you intend on doing, you should know if it has parallel or off-set arms.

It may depend on your training and Sifu’s advice, but understand the difference and know how the arms are set up on previous dummies you’ve trained on.

If you are not sure which one you need, its not a bad idea to run it by you Sifu or older Kung Fu brothers/sisters.

  4.  Durability

The durability is important to know because it can be a fairly sizable investment.

Make sure to do your research and read product reviews of products you are considering.  While a person of small stature might be suited well for a particular, a larger individual with greater force might shorten the dummies lifespan.

Again, run your needs by your provider.

  5.  Size

When looking at mook yan jong pictures online, it may be difficult to determine just how big or small it is in comparison to your stature and physical physique.

Make sure to read the fine print when it comes to exact measurements you would like to purchase – there are wooden dummies made for children and can look the same online!

Alternative types of  Mook Jong’s & kung fu wooden men

Not everyone can dish out the cash needed to buy the Mook Jong of their dreams or simply don’t have the space. While others train different lineages of Wing Chun or JKD.

Which is why we devoted this section of the article to different types that might better suit your training purposes.

What is a Mook Yan Jong?

Before we move forward, we should point out that the Wing Chun term mook jong is simply means “wooden man” in Cantonese. There is no difference between a mook jong and WC WD, they are one and the same thing.

 What is a Half sized?

Like its name suggets, this is half the size of its full sized counterpart. The difference being this style doesn’t have a “leg.”

Who should consider getting this type?

  • Someone who currently doesn’t have the funds or desire to invest in a full sized.
  • School owners who already have a full sized, but want to offer students more gear to train on.

What is a pvc & plastic?

plastic-and-pvc-wing-chun-dummy

PVC dummies are a good alternative for those who simply can’t afford a wooden model. Assuming you have a reliable vendor, the PVC used is typically very durable (and can take a beating,) but they don’t have the same feel as a wooden model.

Who should get a pvc wing chun dummy?

  • Those who lack the budget for a wooden model.
  • Schools who don’t have the budget for a second, but still want to offer students more gear to train with.

Flat board

Like its name suggests, this one is flat. Its limited amount of wood makes if very affordable and can fit just about ANYWHERE.

Who should get it?

  • Those with limited space
  • Those on a tight budget
  • Those who want to give their students more gear to train on.

Looking for a Chi Sao WD?

In recent years, technology has allowed us to develop a lot of different types. One of them being the “Chi Sau.”

It’s arms are typically spring loaded, giving it “chi sau’y” type feel and designed to train sensitivity.

  • Those who want to a training gear to specifically improve their Chi Sau

Need a JKD wooden dummy?

Bruce Lee designed a lot of cool training gear, one of them being Mook Jong for JKD.   This type is designed slightly differently than a traditional model. As someone who doesn’t regularly train JKD, I can’t speak to all its pros & cons, however its “neck” is designed very differently.

The neck has an indented area, which allows you to train grabs and other types of JKD style techniques.

Who need a JKD Style?

  • JKD practitioners
  • Practitioners who want to apply JKD principles to their training.

But you need one for Wing Tsun?

wing tsun dummy

Leung Ting, the founder of this linage, did learn from Ip Man.   From our understanding and conversions from dummy manufacturers, the size requirements are exactly the same as any other style derived from the Ip Man lineage.

That being said, its not a bad idea to run it by your Wing Tsun Sifu.

Other questions and concerns

Before you purchase anything to enhance your Wing Chun training, you might want to consult with your Sifu or Kung Fu instructor.  There are A LOT of different WC and related Kung Fu lineages out there. It would be a pity if you bought one and found out a few weeks later that YOURS does not reach your teachers or lineages specifications.

Although most Ip Man dummies are fairly standard, you should run it by your Sifu or older Kung Fu brothers/sisters before buying one.

If you buy from a reliable vendor, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Chances are they have sold to someone from your lineage and have tons of knowledge about what you need.

A quick point from the experts…

Aaron Cantrell from EverythingWingChun.com brought up a pretty good point.

Here is a tidbit from the conversation I had with him:

One common issue we run into, though, is a Sifu saying a measurement must be exactly XX cm or etc. We have had customers complain that the arm hole was 1mm too large and it messed up their training since their Sifu said it HAD to be XX mm.

This is typically a bad sign.  Yes, there are specifications Sifus like, but just keep in mind that it is supposed to be made to the characteristics of a person, not standardized into inches and cm for all people.  These type micro measurements should not matter. Not to mention the fact that it is impossible for people to get this exact structural positioning in a fight. A sifu can recommend general settings he wants you to get (such parallel arms or traditionally offset arms, a leg that touches the floor or one off the floor, a knee that is 45 degrees or 90, etc), but as soon as I hear someone insists on 21.5 cm separation between arms for someone 5’2″ as well as 6’3″, then in my mind something is off.

For example – the proper distance between the top 2 arms and middle arm is the length of your forearm (or the distance between belly button and collar bone/base of throat).  Same with the length of the arms. It always concerns me when people say the distance has to be 8 inches or 9 inches or whatever – those are attempts to standardize something that should be user specific. Standardization is needed to a degree in a classroom setting, but can be bad for a personal dummy if the specs are not ideal for your body.  Actually, I personally like working out on a variety of dummies as forces you to change your footwork, distance, and angles in order to achieve proper positioning and structure – just like in a real fight.

So don’t get bogged down by trying to have “exact” specifications unless you are getting a full custom made to your body type. At the same time you don’t want one with arms off at odd angles or arms too thick or thin or a leg that sticks out too far because these things CAN hamper your training.  I see this a lot with some low-cost products, homemade, made in a factory, or by someone that does not know the art well. There is definitely a good set of specifications that all WC people can use and will be good for almost anyone.

All of the dummies on EverythingWingChun.com have been pre-screened for good measurements.  Meaning any type on the site will work for 99% of the Wing Chun population. You won’t get Mook Jong with arms at odd angles, or a funky leg.  You will be able to use what you get for your training. We take this very seriously and this is one reason the dummy makers we work with are relatively few. We are practitioners and take our training seriously. We hope you do too.

Final thoughts on the best dummy for your needs

It is certainly a trademark of sorts for Wing Chun and Yip Man and it is an important asset to maximize your training.

While not everyone lives in an area with centers, a wooden dummy is in investment that, with the right amount of knowledge and research, can go a very long way in terms of overall WC improvement.

 Discounted & where to find a Wing Chun dummy for sale?

wing chun dummy for sale

Currently we do not keep a list of dummies, however we recommend checking out EveryWingChun.Com. The ONLY sell the highest quality dummies and all their products are personally vetted by its owner, Aaron Cantrell. Simply click on the banner above to get the best deals. 

 

Can you recommend any DVDs or Downloads to Watch?

To get a complete listing of the DVDs we recommend, we suggest you check out our Wing Chun DVDs Page.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Story of Ip Man’s Wooden Dummy | Kung Fu Tea - January 9, 2015

    […] have been shopping for a new wooden dummy (Mook Yan Jong).  Obviously Wing Chun has a long and fruitful association with the wooden dummy, […]

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