Choosing the Right Plans For Building Your Dummy
So you're thinking about making your own wing chun wooden dummy? Well I hope that this will help you make the best informed decision possible, so read on!
Your Wooden Dummy - Don't be a Dummy!
There are a number of reasons you might choose to make your own dummy, such as to save money (they can be expensive to buy and ship), so that you can have the best dummy possible (without costing an arm and a leg), or simply because you want something you can be proud of (think blood, sweat and tears, just like your training!). You most likely already know a bit about wooden dummies, and that's why you're here - but when it comes to making your own there are many important things to consider, for example:
- Plans, plans, plans!
- Level of difficulty
- Sourcing of suitable timber (or PVC)
- The tools you have available
- Finding someone else to make a dummy for you
- Wooden dummy frame designs
Lets take a closer look at a few of the considerations listed above.
Plans, plans plans!
Wooden dummy plans - the instruction set to create your masterpiece, your life-long training partner, the tool which will enable you to develop your wing chun immensely. These blueprints are one of the two critical key factors in successfully building your own quality wooden dummy. Do not make a mistake in choosing your plans! You are about to invest a significant amount of time and energy building your own dummy, and you expect it to last. In fact, you can expect it to last your lifetime, as long as you put the correct information to use when you build it.
As you most likely know, the wing chun system utilizes movements with extreme precision. The wooden dummy will teach you a degree of precision which will ignite your power, precision, structure and more... if you have the correct wooden dummy dimensions! Don't make the mistake of choosing the wrong plans, do it once and do it right, you will not be disappointed.
There are quite a number of plans available on the internet, free and paid. To quickly see what is available out there for free, do an image search for "wooden dummy plans" (and put those quotation marks on each end too). You will see a number of wooden dummy plan images, but they are typically of quite low quality, not just in appearance, but also in dimensional data, which leaves a lot open to interpretation (which is fine if you have access to another correctly dimensioned dummy to refer to). However, if you don't have a good reference to use as a supplement to these free plans, take care - would you learn wing chun from someone who teaches sloppy positions? Not likely, so you wouldn't want to learn sloppy positions from a dimensionally incorrect wooden dummy either!
What other options do you have? You can revisit the possibility of purchasing a pre-made dummy, or look at somewhere like www.prowoodendummyplans.com where you can get some superb high quality wooden dummy plans, or another option is Mook Jong Construction Manual you can find at Amazon.com.
"I want it now!" Trust me, take your time with your dummy, especially in the planning stage - it will be worth the wait! It's difficult to put a time on the construction of a wooden dummy as there are a lot of variables such as how fast you can work, the material you've chosen to work with, the tools you have access to, etc etc.
Finding someone else to make a dummy for you
Sometimes, we can't do things ourselves, but there's no reason that we can't have another competent person do it for us! Perhaps you have a friend or family member who's good at this sort of thing, or maybe you can find a local professional. Just make sure you have those super good plans with you, especially if the person making it doesn't know a kwun-sau from a gaan-sau!
Wooden dummy frame designs
A good wooden dummy with a bad support frame is like having good wing chun hands with a bad stance - sure, you might be able to do so much, but you will be severely limited. Don't ruin your dummy experience and potential for improvement by building a sub-standard support frame.
Some things you'll need to think about are how much space you have to work with, does it need to be free-standing, positioned in a corner, or fixed to a wall, and just as importantly, how to make it sturdy enough to withstand the power you will develop through your wooden dummy training.
Get the best plans you can find, take your time planning (finding the right timber, tools, and person to make it if it's not you), and most of all, enjoy!