Wing Chun Wooden Dummy- An Introduction

If you have been watching Ip Man the movie in 2008 with Donnie Yen starring as Ip Man, chances are you might have seen Yip Man practising his Wing Chun on a wooden thing. Some might not even know what that is. If you are the ones who do not know, it is called a Wooden Dummy, in this case, a Wing Chun wooden dummy.

A Wing Chun wooden dummy is also called Muk Yan Jong, or some just refer it to Muk Jong in Cantonese. The Wooden dummy is widely used in Chinese Martial Arts training till this day. The Wing Chun wooden dummy however is still quite popular and it is still covered in Wing Chun training. If you are an avid fan of old Hong Kong Kung Fu flick and watch a lot of those Shaolin Themed movies, you might have already seen the wooden dummy.

A dummy, is an imitation or a copy of something, to be used as a substitute or a model. In a Wing Chun practitioner's case, a substitute for a partner in Wing Chun training. The Wing Chun wooden dummy resembles the basic human form, it consists of a big wooden slat, three arms and one leg. You can see an image below, Bruce Lee is practicing his Wing Chun on a wooden dummy.

The wooden dummy's history is not exactly clear but it is possible it has been around during the time of the Shaolin Temple. It is believed that a Shaolin Monk will have to fight his way through a lot of wooden dummies to leave Shaolin Temple and gain freedom. It is also rumored that after Shaolin Temple was burnt down, Ng Mui, said to be the creator of Wing Chun, designed a wooden dummy and created techniques to train with it. After years and years of refinement, we have the general design that works which is called the Wing Chun wooden dummy like the picture below.
The Wing Chun wooden dummy is mainly used to help develop or correct a Wing Chun practitioner's form. It is also known to be helpful in the progress of Sticky hands or Chi Sao in Cantonese, a practise that helps a Wing Chun practitioner in sensing an opponent's attack. The Wing Chun wooden dummy will also let you have more familiarity with the angle of approach when you want to strike an opponent and how to apply pressure. A practitioner will also learn the correct use of strength of all the strikes and this will enhance close combat effectiveness.

If you look at the image above, you will notice that the first two arms are not facing the center. It is because Wing Chun emphasize attacks from the centre line of one's body. So in order to do that when a practitioner is practising with the Wing Chun wooden dummy, he or she has to face the dummy's attack from their own centre line and will have to move effectively to engage the dummy.

Prolonged practise with the Wing Chun wooden dummy might also strengthens a person's arms due to the fact that the dummy is mainly made by hardwood.

There are many different designs of the Wing Chun wooden dummy these days. When there is a demand people will try to supply different Wing Chun wooden dummy for different practitioner.
The traditional dummy is actually fixed to the ground, like the one Ip Man is using in the movie and you can see it in the picture above. When master Yip Man moved to Hong Kong, it is said that he thought of an idea to mount the dummy to the wall to fit Hong Kong's lifestyle when living in an apartment with tight space. The old traditional Wing Chun wooden dummy was thought to be a "dead dummy" since it does not have the spring like feel of the dummy when mounted on to the thinner wooden slats. It feels more like an opponent moving and it can absorb impact thus it is called a "live" dummy instead.

Many newly designed Wing Chun wooden dummy can even rotate when you are practising with it. Different materials have also been used like PVC to save cost and minimize weight. Some are also easier to transport with removable parts. Steel has been used on the wooden dummy's leg to enforce it.

There are many manufacturers out there that supply wooden dummies. Usually a Wing Chun wooden dummy has to be the same height as the practitioner so some manufacturer will only start making the dummy after you gave them you height measurement. These Wing Chun wooden dummy manufacturer are mostly in Europe since the popularity of Wing Chun over there are pretty high.

Living in Malaysia I have not seen any Wing Chun wooden dummy manufacturer just yet. Many Wing Chun practitioner will have to ask around or get more information from their Wing Chun sifu. As for me the Kwoon I am in does not even have a Wing Chun wooden dummy yet. It might take a month or so to have one but I hope by the time I am ready to practise it on a dummy my Kwoon will have one ready.

I will update this post when I find more information about Wing Chun wooden dummy.

Welcome to Wing Chun Wooden Dummy

Here you will find the information I have gathered while I am on the search about Wing Chun Wooden Dummy.

For information about Wing Chun, visit Wing Chun Martial Arts.