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Thread: Wooden Dummies

  1. #1
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    Wooden Dummies

    Hello, this is my first post, but I have been reading these forums for a while and I don't think this has been covered, but please point me to the thread if it has.

    I'm curious of the origins of wooden dummies in Kung Fu training. I believe that the wing chun style dummy is also used in Choy Li Fut and White Eyebrow. I think I've seen references to it in other styles too, but I'm not clear. Is anyone an expert on this topic?

    I'm curious if it is southern tool/method exclusively or if it was just way more common across kung fu than I realized.

    I'm also aware that there are other type of pole/dummy structures, like the 3 or 4 trunk dummies that I've seen in some southern mantis videos and in certain less well known branches of wing chun.

    But, my interest in the history and pervasiveness of dummy training exceeds my knowledge about it and I thought I'd see what I could learn by asking the question.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    JRB

  2. #2
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    CLF dummy and WC dummy are opposite in design.
    It is bias to think that the art of war is just for killing people. It is not to kill people, it is to kill evil. It is a strategem to give life to many people by killing the evil of one person.
    - Yagyū Munenori

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    Smile

    Well, this is a huge topic. One can easily write an entire book on it. According to legend, the Wooden Dummy training as found in the Southern arts originated with the Southern Shaolin Temple. It is said that there were 108 designs of the wooden "men". In a way, it more like rudimentary robotics designs. But then this is only a legend.

    Another theory claims that the Wooden Men is actually the center pole found within the plum flower pole formation of 108 poles. However, there is a small scale plum flower pole formation that consists of only 11 poles. 9 tall poles are arranged in the 9 palace formation with 2 short poles planted in front of the center pole in the manner of the Wing Chun kicking poles design. This design of plum flower pole contains 3 different levels of training - Haven, Earth and Man. Man training is hitting of the center pole which has now evolved into Wooden dummy training. So in essence, plum flower pole and wooden dummy training are not mutually exclusive, which means they likely have the same origin.

    Hope this helps.

    Mantis108
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  4. #4
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    training devices that imitate the height, weight and resitance of an opponent are a logical development for combat training in virtually all cultures.

    Europeans had all sorts of interesting weapons dummies, wooden men, armoured sword dummies, swinging arm dummies that would hit you if you didn't move etc etc.

    One device in particular was the Pell.

    About being "on the pell" (I will bold the salient points )
    A pell offers a sturdy, resistant target that a fighter can use to hit with his weapon and slam his shield into. He can also place his shield against it while the sword passes forward to simultaneously execute a combination attack. Cuts, thrusts, slices, and hilt strikes can all be practiced with strength. The shield in particular can hit and smack out at the pell in a manner that would be unsafe in a live two-person drill. These actions along with shield blocking are the primary movements performed in training against a pell. As a stationary target, a pell has limitations after all and it obviously never hits backóbut then, it never complains youíve hit too hard either. Today, the pell is popular among many historical fencing students and Medieval combat reenactors where itís once more being used to exercise and teach beginners targeting and strength in striking as well as attack combinations. Interestingly, even Medieval fighting enthusiasts entirely unfamiliar with the fact that pells were historically used have been known to construct their own stick fighting targets out of old tires, punching bags, and rolled up old carpet.
    so, it is a device that aids in training use of strength and force against resistance and without bringing harm to a training partner.

    The side effect with wooden men is that you will toughen up with the use of them over time.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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    Anyone have some comparison pics of these 'dummies'? And no I'm not asking for someone to post up my pic....

    Dave do you have any pictures or links to some of the European ones? I'm a bit curious.
    "if its ok for shaolin wuseng to break his vow then its ok for me to sneak behind your house at 3 in the morning and bang your dog if buddha is in your heart then its ok"-Bawang

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hebrew Hammer View Post
    Anyone have some comparison pics of these 'dummies'? And no I'm not asking for someone to post up my pic....

    Dave do you have any pictures or links to some of the European ones? I'm a bit curious.
    yep, here's some pics:


    Pell training (with a bust on top!)


    an enthusiasts modern version


    another enthusiasts modern version of a pell


    13th-14th century


    carried forward in time


    15th century


    It is worthy of note that the skills of a battle knight were abandoned in the west with the advent of better technologies. These types of training are for preservation of historical art forms and knowledge of ancient military.

    Nowadays, a stack of tires is great for blade training.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  7. #7
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    Like Dave said, wooden training "dummies" are older than the hills on Granny's chest and twice as dusty.
    Pretty much every system of armed combat had them, I think would may have made the "kung fu" ones unique is that they were used for unarmed combat.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

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    Thanks for the responses, guys. I knew some, but certainly not all of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis108 View Post
    Well, this is a huge topic. One can easily write an entire book on it. According to legend, the Wooden Dummy training as found in the Southern arts originated with the Southern Shaolin Temple. It is said that there were 108 designs of the wooden "men". In a way, it more like rudimentary robotics designs. But then this is only a legend.

    Another theory claims that the Wooden Men is actually the center pole found within the plum flower pole formation of 108 poles. However, there is a small scale plum flower pole formation that consists of only 11 poles. 9 tall poles are arranged in the 9 palace formation with 2 short poles planted in front of the center pole in the manner of the Wing Chun kicking poles design. This design of plum flower pole contains 3 different levels of training - Haven, Earth and Man. Man training is hitting of the center pole which has now evolved into Wooden dummy training. So in essence, plum flower pole and wooden dummy training are not mutually exclusive, which means they likely have the same origin.

    Hope this helps.

    Mantis108


    Probably one of the most relevant posts I've read on this forum about the origins of the mook jong, or as I know it mui faa jong.

    Legend, folklore or not, it's nice to see others who have heard of similar stories as myself for once!
    Ti Fei
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    Wing Chun dummy


    Choy Lee Fut dummy


    Bak Mei wooden Dummy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Mc1Kv1mGY
    (this guy is one of my original students)

    Hung Kuen wooden dummy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sADTe...1&feature=fvwp
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  11. #11
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    Nice clips, but your man there looks like he will do himself some damage if he trains with a posture like that for too long

    I found the Hung Kuen clip quite interesting, but again the guy will only get injured striking wood with such postures and attempted power generation imho.

    Actually, you might find this interesting. One of the best evolutions of chigerk I have seen to date. Kind of!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBDAprhIjAo
    Last edited by LoneTiger108; 02-11-2011 at 05:32 AM.
    Ti Fei
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  12. #12
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    Nice clips, but your man there looks like he will do himself some damage if he trains with a posture like that for too long
    well, in CLF we have a more straight posture, what you see him doing is how bak mei does it.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hskwarrior View Post
    Bak Mei wooden Dummy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Mc1Kv1mGY
    (this guy is one of my original students)
    That clip looks like it was done in his school. The floors and mirrors are the same.
    I've seen this Sifu's DVDs. What's his name?
    Last edited by Phil Redmond; 02-11-2011 at 06:30 PM.
    Sifu Phillip Redmond
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    WCKwoon
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  14. #14
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    I found his name. Zhong Luo
    Sifu Phillip Redmond
    Traditional Wing Chun Academy NYC/L.A.
    菲利普雷德蒙師傅
    傳統詠春拳學院紐約市

    WCKwoon
    wck
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  15. #15
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    it his studio.....my old student trains with HIM now.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

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