During my white and blue belt days, I built a bunch of different “dummies” in order to practice different moves on my own. I built a grappling dummy out of a trenchcoat, some old pillows and towels, and an old gi.
And since grappling dummies can be task-specific as well as ridiculously expensive, I built another for practicing open guard sweeps (the backside of a ladderback chair, some rope, another old gi), and another for practicing half guard/half butterfly/full butterfly transitions (padded legs of another weighted down ladderback chair with especially wide legs).
So the necessity of spending money on a grappling dummy has been well lost on me. At least until this weekend. Check out grappling HOFer Marcelo Garcia training with a Favuke.
At $130 for the synthetic leather version and another 10 months before I’m likely back on the mat, I’m thinking about putting this thing on my Xmas list.