All of our dummies are hand crafted in the United States. Ten years ago when studying Jeet Kune Do, I sought to buy a Wing Chun Dummy. I was surprised to learn how much they cost, anywhere from $900-$1200 for a dummy with a stand, and they were basically a pole with arms. For more information how are dummies are constructed buy our nine board laminating process. click on CONTACT US link.
My name is James Biggica owner of Warrior Martial Art Supply. My martial art training started when I was about 10 years old in Goju Karate . I had lost interest after a few years but met a Tae Kwon Do 2nd degree black belt Steven Fisco in high School who I started training with heavily for a few years.
I read a lot of books by Bruce Lee and and joined a Jeet Kune Do school in Brooklyn New York called N.I.M.A. Living in a small garden apartment I decided to make myself a wooden dummy on my outdoor balcony which took me a week to construct with minimum tools. The surrounding tenants must have thought I was crazy, there were wood chips flying everywhere and when I was done they had the pleasure of hearing the clanking and thumping of the wooden dummy arms for hours at a time. I am always very focused and dedicated when I put my mind to something.
From the many books I read by Bruce Lee, it seemed to me that Wing Chun was his heaviest influence in creating JKD. In my opinion, the simplicity and directness of what Wing Chun had to offer was the key element. In my opinion Bruce Lee took this a step further and instead of limiting that element to just Chinese martial arts he incorporated it to every form of combat on a global scale and this is where my Wing Chun journey began.
I started my research on Wing Chun and purchased the gold covered 116 WING TSUN DUMMY TECHNIQUES book demonstrated by grandmaster Yip Man. I taught myself the dummy form from his book and to my surprise had about 70% of it correct however it's hard to see the transitions from each move through a book, but did the best that I could.
For approximately two years my Wing Chun training was self-taught. In October of 2002 I moved to the Pocono’s in Pennsylvania. A shoulder injury at work put me out of commission for a while. With a lot of time on my hands I decided to make another wooden dummy which I tried selling on eBay. I had no idea what the dimensions were so I scaled everything from Yip Mans wooden dummy in his book I was using to learn the dummy form.
I researched other websites selling wooden dummies and at the time the Great Lion company was the biggest manufacturers of wooden dummies. I noticed on their website they had a disclaimer stating that all wooden dummies are prone to cracking. Looking at his images I could visibly see cracks in the dummy and this is the way they were selling them brand new to customers. I couldn't imagine buying a dummy that already had cracks in it and this was the norm for dummy manufacturing.
I acquired all of my woodworking skills from my father Donald Biggica who is a master craftsman cabinetmaker and woodworker most of his life. Having an understanding of the limitations of wood grain and how to manipulate it, is where I came up with our nine board laminating process we use today for all wooden dummy trunks.
Most manufacturers use one solid air dried log cut from the forest and air dried for approximately 7 to 12 months. The log was then shaped and mortise holes are cut in to make their dummy trunk. The problem with that is you have many layers of wood in that log. A nine inch diameter log will start drying from the outer layers first which starts to shrink while the inner core stays swollen with a higher moisture content. This is what causes a solid dummy trunk that is not laminated with multiple boards to crack after you bring it into your home and keep it at the stable warm temperature within six months to one year 85% of them will crack or split.
What we do at Warrior Martial Art Supply is take that same log and it ts sawn into 2 inch thick boards at the mill. All of the boards are dried in a kill down to 6% moisture for 40 days. Then we glue it back together and turn it into a cylinder on our wood lathe, in doing this the center core of our dummy as well as the outer layers contains the same 6% moisture rate so you do not have the problem of the outer layer shrinking faster than the inner therefore no cracks.
Now that I had an effective system I decided to bring our wooden dummies to market on eBay and all of my dummies had hand-painted Wing Chun logos on the face like we do today except then we did not engrave them. My artistic Skills came from my mother Carol Biggica who was an artist herself and taught me to draw at a young age. So I incorporated skills learned from both of my parents with my martial arts background and create some of the most beautiful hand crafted dummies on the market today.
My dummies caught the eye of Sifu Alan Goldberg from Brooklyn New York who had invited me and sponsored my dummies at the Action Martial Art trade show in Atlantic City New Jersey in January of 2006. At the trade show Bruce Paul owner of Immortal USA Martial Art Supply took an interest in selling my products and became my first distributor. I would say it was this trade show that launched my hobby into a full-time business and really put us on the map in the Wing Chun world.
In 2011, I had the Pleasure of attending a seminar conducted by Sifu Randy Williams from CRCA Wing Chun. We became friends and I became a CRCA member and have been training in CRCA for last 3 years. For a long time, Sifu Randy had an idea for a 8 limb wooden dummy he would go on to call Bot Jau Yue, translated “The Octopus”. I was able to engineer how to make this long time idea, which was no easy task.
I attribute our survival in business for 17 plus years to our unique product designs and awesome customer service. Products such as our Rice Bag Trainer, Recoil Reaction wooden dummy stand and our nine board laminating process as well as our custom hand carved and airbrushed dummy trunks have attributed to our success.
In 2011 we were sought out by The DYI network show Man Caves to make them a Recoil Reaction Wooden Dummy and a Rice Bag Trainer for their Dojo episode. We have also made two dummies for Robert Downey Junior to train on for his Sherlock Holmes movies, as well as a custom Octopus Wooden Dummy made for Zoltan Bathory from Five Finger Death Punch who is also a CRCA barn member.
I would say the two products I am most proud of is the Recoil Reaction stand and the Rice Bag Trainer. I really feel that both of those products add pressure and action to training devise which to me makes for more realistic training. When you make contact with an attacker's arm you will either move it or it will try to move you. Both of these devices emulate those elements.
Every product that I have designed and manufactured was created out of necessity. I was self taught for many years and not having a partner to do drills with is where I came up with the Rice Bag Training Station. It provided me with a padded spring arm which can be moved in all directions and always snaps back to the center line. All the drills you do from the bridge position in Wing Chun such as Pok Da, and Lop Sau cycle can now be effectively trained without a partner.
I would want the Wing Chun community to know that all of the Wooden Dummies are manufactured to the higher standard and are uniquely designed to benefit all practitioners from the highest level to novice.
We just released our 12th year anniversary edition Tiger engraved wooden dummy. This dummy like all of our dummies is available and interchangeable on all six of our dummy stands. The Cherry Blossom wooden dummy is on a Mahogany colored dummy It's simply a gorgeous piece of artwork and an effective training tool.
We have a few new product designs we plan on releasing sometime this year. Not to give too much of the idea away but it will be a single longer upper arm wooden dummy. The arm will have a groove representing the elbow and will represent the length of a full arm. This arm is going to have a unique function which I cannot disclose at this time and will definitely have action to it similar to most of our products.
I would like to express my gratitude to all the Wing Chun community, my customers and everyone that have supported Warrior Martial Art Supply through the years. It has been a pleasure to serve the Wing Chun community. It has been a pleasure to serve you all and I have never met a better class of people then in the Wing Chun community.
Thank You and TRAIN HARD!!!
James Biggica , owner of Warrior Martial Art Supply