Call it a Mook Jong, Muk Jong, Muk Yan Jong, or just a wooden dummy, it’s an essential training tool of various martial arts, especially Wing Chun. I don’t study Wing Chun, but I do study a relative art, Jeet Kune Do. Furthermore, with my Filipino Martial Arts study, such a tool is handy.
You see, much of the empty hand martial arts study I do involves hands: using my hands, defending against my opponent’s hands. I may need to block, grab, strike, counter-attack, trap, move around their hands and body. This sort of work and practice is easy to do when you have a partner, but when I practice I home I don’t have such a luxury. Sure Wife and Kids humor me and are my uke now and again, but on the whole it’s not a tenable solution. I have longed for a way to have arms available when I practice (even back in my Kuk Sool days).
I do have a Century Wavemaster XXL. Great training tool. I wondered what I could do with it to make arms.
I found something called an Attach-mate, which straps onto the Wavemaster and provides the 3 arms of the mook jong. I’ve heard it’s pretty good, but it can break if struck too hard. Plus it’s expensive.
If you want to buy a proper wood mook jong, look at spending $1000 or more, and then you need a way to mount it and have the space for it.
There are some people making mook jong’s out of big PVC pipe, which is a lot less expensive than wooden ones but still costly and the space issue remains.
Then there’s stuff like this Hitman. Not sure how durable it is, but it’s pretty cool. And expensive.
But upon seeing The Hillbilly Mook Jong, I got inspired.
I present to you, my DIY mook jong:
As you can see, it’s nothing special. I had a bamboo pole, which I cut in half to make 2 3-foot lengths. I used a little rope to attach the poles to the side of the Wavemaster, and viola. Low-cost mook jong. 🙂 I was actually looking for wiffle ball bats, but they’re amazingly difficult to find for some reason. I had the bamboo pole so eh, use that. I can’t say this is “no cost” since I did have to buy the Wavemaster and the rope, but certainly this didn’t incur the expense of any of the above mentioned options. If the bamboo breaks, no big deal to replace it. I tried some basic sinawali and gunting drills, some basic trapping and footwork. Worked like a charm. Sure it’s not a proper mook jong, but for my purposes it gives me what I need.
One trouble is the bamboo is hard and only gives so much. The back of my hand was getting sore after a lot of striking (yes, this is a good conditioning opportunity). Solution of course is a bit of padding. Keeping in the spirit of not wanting to spend any money:
I had an almost empty roll of Shop Towels, which fit over the bamboo and provides just enough padding so the back of my hand doesn’t get banged up yet there’s still some felt impact. I did have a new roll of towels that was of course very cushy, but was way too much padding. Plus the weight hung on the bamboo and caused too much shifting.
So yeah, it’s cheap, it’s far from sexy. But it works. It allows me to train. It cost me nothing out of pocket. Easy to use, easy to remove, easy to put back. If it breaks, easy to fix or replace. I can also whack the Wavemaster as I work. I can adjust lengths, heights, positioning. There’s just a lot I can do here.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go practice. 🙂