In this Wing Chun article, we’ll discuss how to build a wooden dummy. We’ll answer some of the most common DIY dummy construction questions asked when making a wooden dummy and we’ll provide a number of the best Wing Chun wooden dummy plans and blueprints (in images and PDFs) from different Wing Chun lineages.
The Wing Chun wooden dummy is one of the best ways to train to make yourself get good at Wing Chun. Although you can practice Wing Chun without a dummy, the Mook Yan Jong—wooden dummy—is the best solo training partner in Wing Chun. Having a dummy to train Wing Chun at home is an easy way to really help you progress. However, it can be very expensive to buy one, have one custom made for you or ship one from China—upwards of $2,500 in some instances!
So how do you make a homemade Wing Chun dummy?
Therefore, if you want to learn how to make your own Wing Chun dummy at home, you want to make sure that your wooden dummy plans are easy to follow. There are a number of DIY construction options on how to make a homeade dummy, but here’s the thing about the dummy. There really is no BEST Wing Chun dummy, only YOUR best Wing Chun dummy. This is because you want to make the best wooden dummy for YOU!
Now, this is a how to make your own Wing Chun dummy DIY construction article, so bear in mind that building results will vary, depending on your creation approach.
Wooden Dummy Plans / Wing Chun Dummy Blueprints
Below are several construction options for wooden dummy plans to choose from…
Wing Chun Dummy Blueprint Specifications (6 Parts – General)
Wing Chun Specifications (Sifu Kenneth Chung)
Wing Chun Specifications (Sifu Randy Williams)
Building a Wooden Dummy: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Wing Chun Dummy Used For?
Many beginners ask, “what is the wooden dummy for?” The short version is that a Wing Chun wooden dummy is best used to create within you a feeling of good position, structure, footwork and how to make your way around pressure from an opponent.
The longer version: The wooden dummy is, as stated above, the best training partner in Wing Chun when it comes to solo training. Learning how Wing Chun techniques on the wooden dummy can prepare you for an actual person is one of the most intriguing parts of Wing Chun dummy training. The dummy is built to prepare you through creating a feedback development — all of your answers are constructed through reflecting on your training, rather than the answer being easily given to you on a platter.
What is a Wing Chun Dummy NOT Used For?
First off, you should never be hacking or wailing on your Wing Chun dummy. That’s not what it was built for. What did the dummy ever do to you? Other than try to create within you good Wing Chun? Go easy on the dummy. If you are trying to break the arms of a wooden dummy, you are practicing wrong. Some newer practitioners may not understand the concepts of position and structure that the dummy is helping you develop. And because of that, they cause some damage to the arms and/or leg. Bear in mind that replacing an wooden dummy arm or leg costs money. Beginners to the wing chun dummy should go easy and build good Wing Chun position as they practice. The dummy should make you better at Wing Chun, not worse.
How to Make a Wing Chun Dummy DIY
With any sort of DIY project such as this, the old saying of “measure twice, cut once”. This saying is VERY important if you plan to make a Wing Chun dummy yourself. Here you’ll find a number of DIY wooden dummy plans that we’ve assembled. When it comes to DIY dummy construction materials, do not be afraid to look beyond building with wood, as it could easier and cheaper for making a dummy at home on a budget. If you want to build the best Wing Chun dummy yourself, the Mook Yan Jong is traditionally made of teak wood, however, keep in mind that teak is VERY expensive and becoming increasingly not easy to get ahold of. For other DIY dummy construction materials on a budget, we recommend building with PVC pipes or cheaper, more readily available woods. One challenging part when you make your own wooden dummy, is how to make squares into the wood part of the trunk for the arms to go into. For someone with no experience cutting squares in wood, this requires some extra construction, but it can be created using a drill, chisel and file.
Another thing that isn’t so easy to prepare for when making a wooden dummy is when you make the dummy arms. Constructing the arms for the wooden dummy usually requires a lathe for shaping. However you may be able to buy large round wooden dowels and filing them down to create a wooden dummy arm. This is easy to do. It just takes some extra time. Others have bought wooden table legs and filed them down to make arms.
Here’s a video that includes wooden dummy plans. It also doesn’t require drilling holes…
What to keep in mind when making a Wing Chun dummy yourself?
Above all, you want your dummy to be precise. You’re making your kung fu wooden dummy and you don’t want it to be subpar. With that being said, you want to choose a material that can withstand some punishment. If you decide to take on this project with wooden materials, go for a hardwood that is dry all the way through. Check what hardwood is native in your area, so you do not have to worry about climate being a factor when choosing your wood. Some woods from different climates can crack or warp. Another thing to remember, is that you absolutely do not want any wood that splinters.
There are two kinds of dummies that can be made. The one you will see the most, is a mook jong that is up against the wall. The second one, however, is a mook jong that is on a stand, held down by something like a couple of sandbags. For first timers, it is recommended that you make a dummy that goes against the wall.
What Height Should My Wooden Dummy Be?
The best Wing Chun dummy is set to the YOUR height! In other words, it shouldn’t be too high or too low for you! If its too low you’ll hunch over and mess up your structure. If its too high your raise your shoulders and elbows too high and mess up your structure that way. Ideally, you want the wooden dummy arms to be at mid chest level. Dummies that are against a wall can be fitted with a pulley system, or a way to move the body up and down for height adjustment. Check out the above video to see how high to set your wooden dummy.
Where should I place my dummy?
You want to place your dummy where you plan to do your Wing Chun training—as with any martial art, it is a good idea to have a dedicated area to train in. If you plan to make your dummy stationary, you want to factor in the studs of your wall and hang your dummy on those studs. While you should by no means be going nuts on your dummy, chances are that you will be making noise, regardless when you are doing your Wing Chun dummy training, so if your training area is in a bedroom, consider placing the dummy on a wall NOT adjacent to another bedroom.
I want to put my Wooden Dummy outside. Can I do that?
While it CAN be done, it is rare for someone to put their dummy outside. If you wish to put your wooden dummy outside, you want to be absolutely sure that it has something overhead to cover it—like a canopy—from the weather. In addition to a canopy, having a tarp ready for any storms is also important. This is not only for dummies made of wood, but other Wing Chun dummies too. If you decide to make your dummy out of steel, you want to be especially sure that you take proper care to not let it rust. Ideally, you want the dummy to be inside, but if you still choose to place your dummy outside, do so at your own due diligence.
Is it possible to make my dummy mobile, so that I can take it on the road?
If you have a dummy on a stand, moving it around should be fairly simple. There are a few cases though, where someone with carpentry experience can make a sort of portable platform to attach a dummy to. In most cases like this, these sorts of dummies are meant to be used for a school demonstration.
Is there a “Best Wing Chun Dummy”?
There is no singular “BEST” dummy, there is only a dummy that is best for YOU. It is all a matter of preference—all Wing Chun practitioners have a different taste when it comes to their dummies. Some might prefer that the arms be have a bit of give to them—that is to say, that the arms move a bit in their sockets when any sort of pressure is applied—while other practitioners prefer the arms to be rigid and offer no give. Some practitioners prefer that their dummy is completely stationary on a wall mount, while others might like it to have their dummy slide on the wall mount.
How did the wooden dummy come to be? What is the history of the Wing Chun Dummy?
Popular legendary Wing Chun history says that Ng Mui made the first Wing Chun dummy, by creating 108 separate dummies into one, with efficiency and effectiveness being her reasoning. However, the modern dummy as we know it—the wall mounted dummy, or the Hong Kong dummy, either name works—was Ip Man’s design, to fit the needs of apartment living. The springiness that comes from having a wall-mounted dummy gives it a sort of sense of the dummy being “alive”. This sense of the dummy being “alive” is attributed to a human opponent’s involuntary reaction to energy being applied. As such, the older version of the dummy is considered a “dead” dummy since it does not have that springiness and simulated human reaction. However, despite the label of “alive” or “dead” its still a matter of preference when it comes to your choice of wooden dummy to train on.
Ip Man training on the wooden dummy (shot just before his death)
Wooden Dummy Plan PDFs
Here are a few PDFs of wooden dummy plans.
- Wooden Dummy Plans PDF – Tiger Claw
- Wooden Dummy Specifications & Notes – Kenneth Chung (Leung Sheung Lineage)
- Wooden Dummy Plans – Randy Williams
- Wooden Dummy Plans – Carlos Colorado (Ip Ching Lineage)
- Wooden Dummy Plans – Samuel Kwok (Not a PDF)
This article was written using the following websites as reference. A huge thank you to them!
The Joy of Hack’s Making a Kung Fu Wooden Dummy: https://aijaz.net/2012/07/15/making-a-kung-fu-wooden-dummy/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2N9NfKFgcSTx16Pu38XEwh_I1MtS9LqS3VdnxZCmMpi5OXvMq8ojLtjVU
How to Build a Wing Chun Wooden Dummy by Sifu Wahnish (you can get some plans from this website too) : http://www.wingchunonline.com/wooden-dummy/?fbclid=IwAR3dG8JPW7MgfKOa5R9RZ67pKQYzcmIallbvLfmJDqdgze0l8UQRTKaCtkQ
Using Wing Chun Dummy Plans to Build Your Own by SG Koenig: https://ezinearticles.com/?Using-Wing-Chun-Dummy-Plans-To-Build-Your-Own&id=6821471&fbclid=IwAR1llWTWNHWsbTKQBnfWyjEsA9Y8j9q2zviw8IRjSsSInJ0XQJoU0CG5O7Y