During the Covid lockdowns when contact sports was not allowed, we initially used teddy bears to practice some newaza. The teddy bears were okay for very basic newaza like hold-downs but when we wanted to do more complicated moves, it required the use of dummies.

The dummies weren't as good as a real live uke, of course, but they did make it possible for us to train. We could do almost all of the complex newaza moves we wanted to do.

After contact sports were allowed again, we had little use for the dummies but we sometimes still use them when there are not enough training partners around.

The other day, we had an uneven number of players on the mat during pre-class training. Two of them, Jamilla and Cedric, were preparing for competition so I had them do some gripping drills.

Ariane, a newbie to judo, was alone so I made use of the dummy to teach her kesa-gatame, kuzure-kesa-gatame and ushiro-kesa-gatame. It worked out pretty well.