Training Mats for home practice

Discussion in 'Jujutsu / Judo' started by RoninWolf, May 30, 2002.

  1. RoninWolf

    RoninWolf Guest

    I've been thinking of getting some practice mats for home use. In my area the martial arts shops sell rubber jigsaw mats, about 20mm to 30 mm thick, and about 1 metre square. I've never trained on these before, but they seem like a hard landing to me.

    My dojo uses gym mats, about 50 mm thick. This might be a preferable option, though more expensive. If I go this way, I'm thinking of two mats 2 metre by 1 metre (roughly 6 foot by 3 foot). Its not a huge area, but I can lay them end to end for practicing rolls, and side by side for everything else.

    Any thoughts? Is a two by two metre square configuration appropriate? What size and configuration would others recommend.? What thickness, and what materials should it be made of? The ads I have bandy about options like foam and/or compressed rubberised foam, and I have no idea what the difference is in terms of landing on it.

    Any suggestions or tips gratefully received.
     
  2. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    I wouldn't go for the jigsaw solution. Maybe that's becuase I weigh 115 kg. I've tried landing on those mats, and it's better than nothing, but really hard. But no harder than org. tatemi. The old type of mats are preferred, unless your doing iaido or something like that.

    You could try to go to a MA dojo and ask if they have any old mats they whant to part with, either for free or for a dollar or two.

    /Yari
     
  3. RoninWolf

    RoninWolf Guest

    Yep, I'm pretty heavy too, and the jigsaw mats really did strike me as a fairly hard landing. I'm certainly going to go for the Gym mats now, 50mm hick, and I may stretch my budget and ry for a larger area.
     
  4. jeffbeish

    jeffbeish Blue Belt

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    You may want to check with a local packing company for some foam rubber packing material. I used them in several Judo dojos for years and they worked great. I bought 3-inch thick, 3x10-foot sheets of foam rubber packing material and used 2x2-inch wooden borders to keep them in place. Also, double sided tape helped to keep them stable. We had several other schemes using this material that worked very good.
     
  5. jeffbeish

    jeffbeish Blue Belt

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    The foam rubber mats we used at one club were 3 inches thick, 10-feet long and 3-feet wide. I put them in one of those temporary schoolroom buildings in 1974 and they were still in use as last as 1988. We used some 2”x 2” boards to shore up one side of the mats that was about two feet short of the floor width. Another club I made up some hinged side support boards because the dojo was in the school cafeteria and had to be moved to the side after class. Of course, 1974 prices were scary to 21st Century people – I think we paid something like $12 per sheet from a local packing and box company. At first I considered covering the mats with some terry cloth like material or something similar. However, the uncovered mats proved to be the cat’s meow so we left them as is.

    Back in the 1960’s I was an instructor at the Kittyhawk Judo Club near Wright-Paterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The mat was something like 75 pr 100 feet long by 30 feet wide (from foggy memory) and was framed with huge boards that sat on a lot of old auto or truck tires. The mat was covered with some kind of light canvas like material, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. However, that mat area was great and was as good as tatami to slide around on.

    Back in time whenever we had no mats we would gather up all the old GI mattresses and blankets, or anything else that was softer than the floor, and cover all that up with aircraft weather covers. The covers were like a light canvas material also.

    For a few years after I stopped teaching at my dojos around Miami, Florida I would hold classes in my back yard on the grass! It was a large backyard covered with thick Zoysiagrass, similar to the grass used on golf course greens. When cut to about three inches think it is like walking on an air cushion! My grass was ever bit as good as any mat I ever used! While out Judogis did get a bit green at times it washed out okay. Heck, I had 50 students out there at times. They even help me cut it occasionally
     
  6. jeffbeish

    jeffbeish Blue Belt

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    Hum, I remember back in my unabashed youth we would go out to the beach and play Judo all day long – in the Sun! The sand is great to fall on and also hones up your foot sweep skills like no other method could do. A dip in the ocean at the end of the day was also great. You don’t have to choose a populated beach either. Even nude beaches are great. :rofl: :erg:
     

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