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About GLC


Building Wooden Dummies
Master Thornton launched his career in wooden dummy construction by building a Wing Chun dummy for his own personal use while studying as a student at the Francis Fong Academy in 1987. Within a short period of time, other practitioners began contacting him about constructing dummies for them. As the word spread, the number of orders increased, and thus began a career that now spans over 25 years.
In 1988, as the demand for quality jongs increased, Master Thornton established The Great Lion Company, a proprietary business devoted exclusively to the construction of wooden dummies. Master Thornton set up shop in a 12 x 16 storage space, converted into a small shop, in the backyard of his home. With few tools, little money, but a great deal of enthusiasm and determination, he launched a singular business which rapidly grew as the demand for muk jongs steadily increased.
In the beginning the jongs were constructed and then shipped via the Continental Trailways Bus System (which spanned the country) who, at that time, employed a cargo system within their transportation routes. The cargo bay/baggage space, located beneath the bus, occupied the same area. The driver loaded baggage and jongs (packed in protective tubing and boxes) together for the journey. Customers picked up their orders at the bus station closest to their location. In order to improve sales, Great Lion Co. advertisements appeared in Inside Kung Fu for many years, one of the leading martial arts magazines in the country.
The 1990’s proved to be a decade of steady growth and inventory expansion. The Great Lion Company moved from the exclusive construction of Wing Chun dummies into other areas of dummy construction.
In 2000 Master Thornton formed the Great Lion Company, LLC and created his unique system of freestanding jongs. These jongs stand on their own adjustable legs and do not require the traditional permanent wall stand or portable stand to mount the dummy. He expanded his shop and hired part-time employees to help meet the increasing demand.
In 2009 Master Thornton discontinued the manufacture of wooden dummies utilizing tree trunks and now devotes his time exclusively to the construction of his new stacked wooden jongs and PVC dummies.
Many martial arts utilize wooden dummies in the training of their students: Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut, Jeet Kune Do, Mantis, and others. In the early days, in order to expand his knowledge of the arts (and his equipment inventory), Master Thornton actively sought other Masters in other arts for knowledge concerning their wooden dummy equipment. Today the his company produces a wide variety of unique jongs from a number of other martial arts systems.
Now, Master Thornton works in the thoughtful solitude of a small shop in the mountains of North Georgia. His unique stacked and PVC dummmies are still very much in demand. Although aging has greatly scaled back the amount of time he spends working, you may be certain that each piece of equipment is still carefully crafted by him, and only him, with an emphasis on quality and durability. 
To all of you who strive for excellence in the martial arts, Keep training! Keep trying! Keep true!