How to train BJJ at home


If you’re looking to give your training an extra boost and are searching for an easy way to rapidly hone your grappling skills and train BJJ at home, you’ve come to the right place.


I found that using a grappling dummy offers a simple way to get in additional BJJ practice, even in the comfort of your own home.


How to train BJJ at home

In short, you should really consider using a grappling dummy.


There are a number of reasons why you’d want to incorporate a BJJ Grappling Dummy into your training routine.


To practice the drills you’ve learned at the dojo

During a training session, you may have been taught a particular technique.  Whilst mentally, you may have grasped the various steps involved in the movement, it takes thousands of repetitions for it to become part of your muscle memory.


In many ways, it’s like learning a language.  At first, your vocabulary will be limited and your verbal abilities slow, deliberate and very consciously performed.  In time, with sufficient practice, your repertoire will increase and begin to flow in a much more natural fashion.


It’s the same with BJJ.  After many years of training, you’ll be able to transition effortlessly from one move to another.  In fact, when two experienced players practice together, it can look like the movements flow seamlessly into one another.


With the BJJ grappling dummy, different moves and transitions can be practiced over and over again.  It’s this type of training that really embeds the movements deep into the subconscious mind and into the body’s muscle memory.


how to train with a grappling dummy.

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To practice in safety

BJJ is obviously a contact sport and like most physical sports of this nature, there is an element of risk involved.  Perhaps the greatest potential area of danger are from the arm locks.


The elbow is a very delicate joint and it doesn’t take a huge amount of force for it to be dislocated.  Beginners are renowned for using too much physical force and for applying incorrect technique.


A BJJ training dummy allows you to practice higher risk locks without the risk of damaging a ‘live’ opponent.  Indeed, realistically, however cooperative your fellow BJJ practitioner is, they’ll be a limit as to the number of times they’ll allow you to practice the same move on them.


To be able to train alone

The majority of BJJ practitioners attend a formal training session two to three times a week, with each session lasting approximately two hours.


Depending on your instructor, a number of different techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in each session.


It’s highly likely, that without the benefit of a training partner,  you’ll quickly forget the moves that you’ve been practicing in a relatively short space of time.  Fortunately, if you have a grappling dummy, you can go through the moves you’ve been taught in your own time; ideally, immediately after a training session, once you get home.


With a grappling dummy you can train whenever you have a spare moment and are not reliant on anyone fitting in with your schedule.


Indeed, by practicing at odd hours of the day – waiting for a bath to run, during commercial breaks on television etc – you can easily rack up a considerable amount of training time.


how to train with a grappling dummy.

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What to look for in a grappling dummy

Try to get a grappling dummy from a well known, reputable manufacturer that specializes in producing martial arts equipment.   These specialist manufacturers will be very aware of the demands that will be made of their equipment and as a result, their goods tend to be  very robust and well constructed.


Ensure that your dummy has limbs that can be moved into different positions as this will allow you to practice a wide range of different techniques.  Some BJJ dummies are have rigid, fixed ‘arns’ and ‘legs’ which severely restricts the types of move you can perform on them.


The dummy’s neck and limbs shouldn’t be too thick and bulky.   This will make training quite unrealistic as it will be difficult to hold the dummy in the correct way in order to execute the desired technique.


The dummy should be of a reasonable weight to provide a more realistic grappling experience.  Whilst nothing can replace the sensation of wrestling a live opponent, a weighted dummy would enhance your training session.  Lightweight, foam dummies are so flimsy as to be of little use.


Tips for using your BJJ Grappling Dummy

When training alone, you need to have the mental discipline to ensure that you actually complete your practice sessions.   To help with this, have a dedicated area in your house where you train with the dummy.   This might be a garage or a spare room, but when your in that space, that’s where you do your training.  After a short period, your brain will associated that room with your BJJ practice session.  You’ll find that just by entering that area, you’ll be far more likely to actually start training.


It may sound silly, but you may also benefit by ‘dressing’ the grappling dummy in a spare Gi.  This will make your training much more realistic and you’ll be able to practice your collar chokes and other moves that utilize the fabric of the Gi itself.

Here’s an example of how to train with a grappling dummy:


I particularly like the “Maddox” Grappling Dummy by Fairtex (you can see it here on


This grappling dummy is manufactured by Fairtex, a highly reputable company that specializes in producing high quality fighting gear at an affordable price.

The dummy is available in both filled and unfilled versions.  It’s 190cms in height with a neck of 42cms.  When filled, it weighs 30-32kgs;  this provides enough weight to provide a more realistic grappling experience.

The dummy is made from  a”Micro Fiber”, which is durable, odorless and flexible.  It can be purchased either filled (ready to use) or unfilled (empty).  I would suggest ordering the filled version as this will cut out the hassle of having to do the job yourself and you know that it will be done correctly.



The dummy’s ‘joints’ can be put configured to meet any position you want to practice: triangles, arm bars, chokes.  You can also train guard positions and different mounts.



Hopefully you’ll agree that training with a dummy is the surest way to accelerate your home training.

I personally, spend time picking up techniques on YouTube before practising them over and over again on the dummy.

I hope with article has given you some tips on how to train with a grappling dummy.

Keep training!

Related Articles:

What equipment do you need for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

My views on the best mouthguard for Jiu Jitsu (with pictures)

My views on the best BJJ Gi for beginners (with pictures)

The Best BJJ Sweeps List for Beginners


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