Mats for home training

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by lavender, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. lavender

    lavender Yellow Belt

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    Hi,

    So I'm thinking of clearing a bigger space for training. I don't think it's healthy to spend too much time on cold, hard tile barefoot, and I prefer not to practice in shoes, so I'm thinking about getting some kind of mats. I don't want to break the bank or anything and it does need to be something I can take up and store if I need to. I was thinking puzzle mats, but I don't know much about selecting them.

    Here are two options I found:
    Home Sport and Play, $7.56 per 2'x2' square http://www.greatmats.com/products/home-sport-play.php
    Home MMA Mats, $9.16 per 2'x2' square http://www.greatmats.com/products/home-grappling-mats.php

    For a 4'x8'space, that's 8 pieces. With shipping it would be about $100 total. Hmm, so that means I gotta save up first if I go that route.

    Is there a cheaper option for something to put down? Or does it look like these products might not as nice as they sound?
     
  2. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Go to a thrift store and look for some small carpets. You aren't looking for a falling mat, just something to keep your feet from getting cold.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    You can also find remnant carpets for dirt cheap. Brand new carpet that just isn't large enough for the store to install in a room.
     
  4. mango.man

    mango.man 2nd Black Belt

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    If you are in the Southern California or Southern Nevada areas, I have 15 top quality 1M x 1M red/blue reversible mats that I will give up for cheap. I bought them ($25 each) new several years ago and converted a room in our house for my daughter to train but now her time is done in TKD so they have just been sitting unused for a couple of years.

    Send me a private message if you are interested.
     
  5. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Home Depot, Lowes, I think it's 4 pieces, for under 20 bucks of puzzle mats. No shipping involved.
    They look to be about the size and thickness as what I have seen in dojangs.
    you can go black or the more cheerful assorted color route.
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Toys r us ... seriously

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Mats aren't just for falling, they also lessen the impact on your knees and back, especially when barefoot.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Metal

    Metal Green Belt

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    Make sure the mats aren't too soft!

    The hardness you're looking for should be 55°. There's softer Yoga mats out there and mats for grappling and Judo are softer as well. Those may make it harder to execute techniques and stances plus they may have a negative effect on your joints over time.

    Also I'd go for standard 1mx1m (approx 3' 3 1/2" x 3' 3 1/2") Taekwondo mats instead of going for smaller ones. Smaller mats will mean more points where matts are sticked together.


    Anyway, sorry for hijacking this thread, but I've been thinking about buying some mats for training at home as well. ;-)


    What do people here think about training on mats vs. training on a hard surfaces?



    Walking barefoot is good and healthy and in general it is recommended to walk barefoot in order to strengthen the muscles in the feet. Nevertheless our feet weren't designed to walk on flat and hard surfaces. Plus I've read that people who have some issues like flat feet/splayfeet should avoid walking barefoot on flat and hard surfaces.

    Yet somebody told me that he thinks that Taekwondo training on matts will have negative effects on the joints. Like when doing turning kicks the supporting leg/foot will stick on the matt and the knee will suffer from this over time.

    So far I have trained on hard/flat surfaces most of the time and only trained on mats occasionally.


    My experience so far:

    After more than 4 hours of training on hard surfaces my feet start to hurt. I did a longer seminar on mats and had no issues at all.


    I have splayfeet + Hallux valgus on both feet. Fortunately it doesn't get worse (keep my fingers crossed) and training/walking barefoot has definitely strengthened my feet. While I had flaat feet as a kid, my arches for example are fine today. I still wear orthotics in my regular and running shoes though.


    Anyway, I think I will benefit from training on a softer surface.
     
  9. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    we trained on mats. the average puzzle variety.

    when we did demos for the schools we were the whole morning on the gym floor - glorified concrete (should be outlawed for gyms, IMO...)
    at the end of the day I needed a handful of Ibuprofen to calm my aching knees...
     
  10. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    I've trained on wooden floors, concrete, carpet, and mats and my favorite surface has been wood. The best type of floor is a sprung wooden floor like dance studios have. If you have a wooden floor mats really aren't necessary.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  11. sopraisso

    sopraisso Blue Belt

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    Thank you for the info!
    Ive been thinking about that lately as well, and wanted to know people's experiences on this.

    As for what kind of mats to choose, I agree with the ones who said we shouldn't use excessively soft ones. I've trained on judo mats and it certainly felt less stable to feet and joints than the regular taekwondo type. I also have a friend who came to the point of injuring his knee because of such lack of stability while practising taekwondo in soft mats.
     
  12. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    If you want puzzle mats, try looking on Craigslist. I look at the sporting goods section a lot, and it seems like every other week there's somebody selling their old puzzle mats. For the 1x1-meter kind you see at a martial arts school, $10-15/each is a good price, depending on how worn they are. (To give you a ballpark, we paid about $20/each new last year, including shipping. But you'd pay more if you wanted to only buy a few.)123
     

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