Saturday, May 28, 2011

Enter The Wooden Man

I've been becoming increasingly interested in martial arts every day. I used to practice Northern Praying Mantis in my youth and other than athletics and personal fitness it has not been too useful until I moved to Atlanta. Things are considerably more hostile and the ability to self-defense has become the aspect that keeps me from cowering in fear of the city.

Among the other styles I've seen, I've enjoyed Wing Chun. It is a southern style, that focuses on the speed from economic movements of blocking and attacking simultaneously.

I decided to try and construct a "wooden man" to help facilitate the practice of Wing Chun.
As the name suggests, these are usually made of wooden timbres with other protrusions for the legs and arms. They can be attached to the walls, or solidly implanted into the ground. As a student who travels frequently, I need my wooden man to work, but also be collapsible and light to transport around. Digging holes and hammering on my walls are unacceptable.

So here we go:

PVC body, wooden arms, and a weighted base of water similar to backyard basketball hoops. That way I can fill the base with water to add weight, and empty it between travels. The PVC construction is significantly lighter than a 9" diameter chunk of wood, but should offer enough rigidity to take impacts. Right now those are 4" PVC pipes, but I can add padding to thicken them, or use larger tube if i know they are available.

But the key features are present. The arms and legs are removable, and the base is separable into two parts to facilitate packing all the while being light.

A major determining factor will be the mating parts for the water base. I don't actually have one, so I need to first find one I can dismantle before finalizing the design.

This will be built when I return to Florida.

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