Homemade Kung Fu Dummy

by Jennifer Mullett
Practice different kung fu forms with your wooden dummy.

Practice different kung fu forms with your wooden dummy.

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Wooden dummies used for kung fu practice can be expensive to purchase. Cut down on costs and build your own "wing chun" using a plan you can purchase online. While it is common to practice wing chun kung fu with a wooden dummy, other forms of kung fu can be executed with a dummy. Having your own wing chun helps you take your latest kung fu forms from theory to practice.


Hard woods are an ideal option for building the dummy. The weight of a sturdy piece of teak or pine will mimic that of a human body, allowing you to practice moves as you would with a live partner. Either purchase a plan or design your own after studying what you like about other wing chuns. The log needs to be roughly nine inches in diameter and five feet long. Look to lumberyards for inexpensive cuts of rough wood for the body, but be aware you may need to sand it and fill any visible cracks to ensure a smooth body.


The arms should be made with the same type of wood used for the body. Softer woods when hit again and again will not hold their shape and stability well. Instead make the whole wing chun of the same wood for consistency. Traditional wing chuns have three arms, two of which are up high and the other around mid-waist. All of the arms should be the same length, roughly 11 inches with 8 inches between them at the tips. To create accurate angles for arm placement, refer to your chosen plan, as it can be difficult to recreate angles without a plan.


The single leg on the wing chun, made with the same wood as the other parts, faces forward and consists of two areas. The first area juts out of the wooden body and the second part bends down to resemble a knee joint flowing to an ankle joint. This part of the dummy can be tailored to your own body. Before placing the leg, extend your own leg out to see where your knee is and place the knee of the wooden leg parallel to where your own knee bends. The end of the leg should line up with the lower edge of the body. When making the dummy, it is advisable to make an extra replacement leg in case you need to replace it at some point.

Frame and Finish

The frame for the wooden dummy can be built with two parallel posts attached with cross pieces that intersect the body of the dummy. Reinforce the posts by attaching it to a wall, but make sure to leave enough wiggle room behind the dummy for some movement. Remember the wing chun (body and leg) needs to be suspended about 6 inches above the ground. While there is no need to finish the dummy with stain or paint, you can rub it down with oil such as linseed to produce a smooth surface.

About the Author

Jennifer Mullett started writing in 1998. She has published several short stories in Notebook Magazine, has ghostwritten news releases and articles for local companies and continues to write fiction. Mullett has a diploma in floral design from The Canadian Institute of Floral Design and a diploma in photographic studies from Lawrence College.

Photo Credits

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