The Wooden Dummy is a traditional Wing Chun training aid designed to represent an opponent that you move around, creating favourable angles, to attack and defend. In general it is considered to be one of the most advanced Wing Chun forms and is typically taught after students have learnt the other 3 unarmed forms (Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze).
Originally the wooden dummy lived outdoors and was essentially stuck or staked into the ground which meant you could move a full 360 degrees around it. When Wing Chun was introduced to Hong Kong the wall mounted Wooden Dummy was created and is the type most commonly found in schools and clubs throughout the world.
Throughout the years there have been many modifications and addaptions to this famous training aid to try and improve versitilty and adapt it to modern training regimes – some more successful than others. Bruce Lee is the most famous of all Wing Chun students and was a keen advocate in creating new modifications to ever hone his combative skills.
Learning the Wooden Dummy is very different from any of the other forms as you have a fixed piece of equipment to use as a reference point, works you footwork and kicking techniques at close range and can be likened to an opponent who is much stronger so that you must more around them (rather than pushing or pulling them around you).