A Guide to Choosing Martial Arts Mats
Marital arts mats are necessities for any martial arts school, and owning one is a must for the personal use of serious martial arts students who want to reduce the risk of injury from throws and falls. Having a reliable martial arts mat allows you to focus on improving your technique and less on the fear of getting hurt. You can find plenty of affordable martial arts mats on eBay.+
Things to consider when purchasing a mat
While the style of martial arts mats available varies, it's always wise to pay attention to the thickness of the mat to determine if it’ll fit your needs. Available mats measure between 1 and 2 inches thick. When in doubt about a particular mat's dimensions, see the manufacturer site for details. The type of new or pre-owned martial arts mat that you need depends on the martial arts discipline that you practice. If you practice a strike or standing martial art that has few throws and light falls, then look for 1-inch mats that have added firmness for standing techniques and movement. The extra thickness of 2-inch mats works well for use with martial arts that involve heavy throwing or grappling, such as judo or jiu-jitsu. Once you determine the thickness that you need, you can then choose from puzzle tile, folding, roll up, one-piece landing, and inflatable air mats.
What types of mats are available?
You can select from the following types of mats:
- Folding mats – These mats come in several sections that fold together for easy travel. They can be unfolded and combined with other folding mats for extended floor coverage.
- Roll-up mats – Typically thinner than the other mats available, roll-up mats roll up, making them simple to store.
- Puzzle-tile mats – These mats come in multiple puzzle-like pieces that fit together and are sealed with a border piece. The number of pieces you can add is unlimited, allowing you to make your practice area as large or small as you’d like.
- Inflatable air mats – Air mats are inflated with an electric or hand pump, creating a nice cushion for students to practice throws on.
- One-piece landing mats – This type of mat is a solid, single piece, and it tends to be thicker than other kinds of mats.
What are martial arts mats made of?
Most mats will have either a vinyl outer cover with a foam filling or be made of Eva foam, the same substance that flip-flops are made of. Both materials are easy to wipe down and provide excellent support for martial arts movements and throws.
- Vinyl – Sturdy and flexible man-made material
- Polyethylene foam – Resilient and strong closed-cell foam
- Eva foam – Smooth and hefty closed-cell foam