Fred the Head was the name jokingly given to this training dummy Mike May built back in 1996/97. We've made others since, but the original (seen here) is still in use. Fred is a multipurpose training head, and can be strung up as a speed ball with human features or can be attached to a bag, post or dummy. You can also use this style head on the torso dummies shown HERE at the Karate Connection! The dummies they show are sturdy and you could build several for the price of one "Bob". Plus they have legs and you won't mind beating the heck out of them with weapons or whatever.
Fred is constructed out of simply plastic grocery bags (probably 100), duct tape, a piece of pipe, a tennis ball, and the two bunji cords. The paint job was done a few years ago by another friend who had enjoyed a few too many root-beers after training. The basic head shape is made by simply making a shell of 4-5 bags, placed one inside another, and stuffing it with the remaining bags which have been wadded up. Once you have stuffed in as many bags as you can, you want to compact it into shape as best you can, then stuff in more bags. Repeat until it is dense and roughly "head shaped" then duct tape the outside. As stupid as it sounds, the compacted plastic bags have really stood up over the years, and besides everywhere you go they give you your stuff in a plastic bag, so this is just recycling...you can feel good about it.
Tape the head shape (which as-is would still make a good striking target on a wall or whatever) to the pipe and tape the tennis ball to the pipe and head. Go crazy in fact - tape the shit out of everything. The bunji cords attach as shown. The one is along the pipe, the other through a thick top loop of folded tape. The nose and eye ridges were added with closed-cell foam and (you guessed it) more duct tape.
For outdoor training, we will attach Fred to the
post and then also tie on a striking shield to act as a torso. As the
student trains their basic strikes, a trainer on the other side of
the post will use two padded sticks to strike them, simulating Fred's
You can also put these heads on the end of a longer staff, and these are excellent for training eye jabs and head butts on, since the training partner holding them can more realistically pull them away if you telegraph your strike, and you can move well with them for more alive drills. If you pad out the shaft of the longer staves it can become another striking surface to use.