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Edward’s Training Dummy

Like many young men in their twenties, Edward likes martial arts. He learned all about Taekwondo from a young age but it was the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun that really captured his imagination.

Wing Chun is a form of self-defence and promotes awareness of the body. Students are encouraged to practise with a wooden training dummy to improve their form.

Edward has Cerebral Palsy and as a result has limited use of his legs. He uses a walking frame for support to stand and a wheelchair to get around. Edward needed a training dummy which could be accessed from both his wheelchair and standing frame. It also needed to fit into a corner of his bedroom.

TAD volunteer Owen Glover took up the challenge.

“To start with, I made models of the dummy with straws and PVC to see how it could work,” explains Owen.

Originally Owen thought of making the main body of the dummy from wood but as it was too expensive he used a pipe cut in half.

The arms of the dummy had to be able to move up and down depending on whether Edward was using his walking frame or wheelchair.

To allow for this, Owen added a counterweight and used a Teflon track to decrease the friction and make it easier to slide.

 “It was good to work with Edward and his family,” says Owen. “Everyone got involved. Edward’s mum Zenny sewed together the punching pads made from leather and foam.”

Owen has made the dummy easy to transport and dismantle so that it’s not in a fixed place.

For Edward it was just what he wanted. “I love martial arts and Bruce Lee is a real inspiration to me. It’s great to be able to practise – Owen’s done an amazing job.”

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Solve-TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.