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Dajo251
06-17-2006, 07:03 PM
Ok we were discussing this in the Dojo a while ago, we are pretty soon going to finish laying down out mats permenantly and sensei wants to get a cover for it, thus making it one large mat, well I suggested a Canvas mat cover, the mats themselves are Vinyl gymnastics mats, great for falling on, but my feet tend to get stuck, before now I have always trained on a mat was a canvas cover, I like the feel of canvas better, I feel I can slip on it when necessary, also my knees stick to the Vinyl, quite a few other people have the same opinion but Sensei wants to get a Vinyl cover, for sanitation purposes, well I was wondering what everyone thought

Karen Wolek
06-17-2006, 08:50 PM
Canvas. 100%.

Neal Earhart
06-17-2006, 09:09 PM
Wrestling mats, gymnastic mats, and vinyl converings can be "sticky" under normal conditions and "slippery when wet" on hot and humid days.

Before the "remodeling", the NY Aikikai had a canvas mat cover. We now have the synthetic tatamis, which are fantastic.

I dread when I go to seminars and see a training surface that's not canvas or tatami. My knees tend to suffer.

Regarding the sanitary nature of canvas, as long as the dojo and the students are diligent in keeping the canvas clean, there should be no problem.

aikidoc
06-17-2006, 10:20 PM
Vinyl is easier to clean. After a while the dirt and sweat tend to grind into canvas and it starts to smell. You can't just wash it with disinfectant like you can with vinyl. The stickiness is a problem though.

Michael Hackett
06-18-2006, 12:36 AM
Vinyl is easier to clean and sanitize. The stickiness issue can be addressed by mixing a little Armor-all in the rinse water after washing the mat. The mixture we use is about one ounce to two gallons of water. It leaves the mat "fast" but not slick or sticky. Works for us - YMMV.

Jeremy Hulley
06-18-2006, 03:00 AM
If you keep on top of it canvas is easy to clean.....bleash solution and peroxide for spots and vacuum weekly....

Pauliina Lievonen
06-18-2006, 06:59 AM
Yeah I'd be for canvas, hands down. Cleaning it isn't too bad if you keep sure that people 1.keep their feet clean 2.use slippers on the way to the mat 3.vacuum regularly.

That said, we don't have a permanent mat but lay fake tatami every class, and that works ok, too.

kvaak
Pauliina

seank
06-18-2006, 08:03 AM
We train on an (ex) Olympic vinyl Judo mat. It is very easy to work on and is easy to clean.

Surface wise it is fine for just about every technique either tachi-waza or suwari-waza and shikko is very easy to do on the surface.

On the downside, it can get very slippery if a commercial floor cleaner is used as opposed to soap and water and the spring-rate is not as good as tatami. We find that moving from our mat to the state-headquarters for embu, special days of training, gradings, etc. that there is a huge difference and some people have difficutly adapting.

Other than that though its is a very good surface. One other plus we've found is that its darn near impossible to put the tip of a jo or bokken through the mat unlike many of the synthetic tatami (if you have people that lean on their jo).

connie brown
06-18-2006, 12:18 PM
We havea canvas mat that was painted over with white paint when it got too difficult to keep clean. Blood and dirt kept getting ground into its surface. The paint is as easy t o clean as vinyl, but it's not sticky. When it tears, Sensei patches it wit caulking.

aikispike
06-18-2006, 01:29 PM
I pretty much only like tatami, or fake tatami.

The idea of armour-all on vinyl is interesting... the only real problem i have with vinyl is the feet sticking - especially bad for yoshinkan people who have to slide the feet. Does it need to be used every time?

I would vote canvas if its the only choice. How do people get around the issue of bad smells building up in canvas?

Spike

Michael Hackett
06-18-2006, 01:42 PM
Mr. Kimeda,

Using the Armor-All is pretty much an everytime thing. Now and again, someone will put a little too much in the rinse water and things get quite slick. When that happens, we just mop the mat with with our soap/"varmintcide" and rinse with clear water.

Our mat is a woooden frame affair, with a foam laid down over plywood - I think the foam material is ensolite. Over that we have stretched 20 ounce vinyl which is held down with the wooden frame. The mat is dry-mopped after every class and spot cleaned as needed at that time. We mop it with the soap/sanitizer a couple of times a week; more often during the summer and less often during the winter months. Heavy use days, like seminars, result in daily mopping. Shoes are left at the dojo entrance and dojo sandals are required from the lobby to the mat to keep things clean.

My son has a BJJ dojo in the hot Southwestern desert community of El Centro, California and has a mat of the same construction. Due to the high heat and grappling art they do, their mat has to be cleaned thoroughly every training day. They seem to get a lot of mat rash and small cuts during their training and the vinyl seems to be the most sanitary surface for them.

If I were building a dojo from scratch, I probably would do mats like this although I vastly prefer the tatami mat feel. A trade off for costs and convenience.

cconstantine
06-19-2006, 08:05 AM
How do people get around the issue of bad smells building up in canvas?


Our canvas is 30x70, so it's like caring for a lawn...

After each class, we sweep it with relatively stiff bristled push brooms (which we use only for the canvas.) That tends to keep the canvas from wearing/packing smooth -- keeps the knap up a little and tends to keep all the stuff we won't discuss form being driven into the canvas. It also moves the "easy" dirt (like hair and such) off the mat immediatley. The canvas is vacuumed weekly.

Any sort of stain is cleaned up immediately (by whomever made it.) Seltzer water, a small, stiff scrub brush and paper towels are used to extract whatever it was before it dries. To minimize stains, we encourage people to use a little strategic athletic tape, or even white socks until they are used to the canvas.

We have hardwood floors which are cleaned after each class (with a push dust mop) and everyone wears zori off the mat, no street shoes in the dojo -- which keeps us from bringing any dirt onto the canvas.

MikeLogan
06-19-2006, 09:21 AM
Sounds good Craig, I love canvas, but we train on bare zebra mats. If and when our dojo moves, it would be interesting to consider a canvas covering. I hope this thread becomes a bellwether of sorts regarding canvas and other training surfaces.

Does anyone know a cheap way of procuring canvas in larger dimensions? I've considered going to local marina's to ask about old sails and such. I always thought it would be expensive.

michael.

Plus plenty of ventilation / windows can help too, regarding the afore-mentioned unmentionables

cconstantine
06-19-2006, 09:36 AM
Does anyone know a cheap way of procuring canvas in larger dimensions? I've considered going to local marina's to ask about old sails and such. I always thought it would be expensive.


You're limited to the width of the bolt from the weaver. Even canvas sails are assembled from panels. But canvas sails are by no means common these days. Even a marine store/shop which does "canvas" for boat tops won't have the material you want. Your local "sewing shop" would have to special order the material for you. (They'll have 12oz, or better yet 14oz "duck" or cotton, but not enough for you to make a mat.) Then you'd need a serious sewing machine to do a good job assembling it.

Our canvas comes from a commerical sewing shop in Reading Pennsylvania. They take the bolts of canvas and cut the pieces to length, then sew then together along their long sides to combine the panels to get the other dimension. Then they fold the perimeter edges over and put grommes in every foot or so. They have large rolling tables for moving all the material around, the right sewing machines etc. I belive Sensei said there was just "one little old lady" who assembled our whole mat. I think our final cost was a few dollars (maybe like $2.75?) per square foot.

I will ask my Sensei for the contact info. I'd recommend this place if you can drive to Reading. But you don't want to ship a big canvas mat -- ours filled the entire inside of a chevy blazer (seat folded) and took about 6 people trying to hyrneate themselves to move it into the dojo without dragging it all over the floors.

cconstantine
06-19-2006, 09:54 AM
I think our final cost was a few dollars (maybe like $2.75?) per square foot.


clarification; What I said is actually the approx price for the total project. The canvas mat itself was about 60 *cents* per square foot. The rest was foam, rope, hardware, 2x4s, stain-- the frame, tie downs, etc.

cconstantine
06-19-2006, 10:24 AM
Canvas mat supplier:

A W Brown & Son
443 Buttonwood St
Reading, PA
Phone: (610) 372-2908

Vastly less expensive than any other source we've found. You will have to discuss stitching options, fabric weight and grommet placement carefully to make sure you get exactly what you want. They don't make Aikido canvas as a primary business; But they can do it, and they can do a great job.

aikispike
06-20-2006, 10:08 PM
Mr. Hackett,

Thanks for the explanation. Vinyl mats done that way dont sound too bad.

I suppose there are just too many Michaels in this world...

Spike



Mr. Kimeda,

Using the Armor-All is pretty much an everytime thing. Now and again, someone will put a little too much in the rinse water and things get quite slick. When that happens, we just mop the mat with with our soap/"varmintcide" and rinse with clear water.

aikispike
06-20-2006, 10:11 PM
Mr. Logan,

hahaha. waaaay to many Mikes in this conversation

Do you slide your feet much in your dojo? Any time I have worked on canvas mats my feet got stuck a lot. Didn't enjoy them at all.

Spike

Sounds good Craig, I love canvas, but we train on bare zebra mats. If and when our dojo moves, it would be interesting to consider a canvas covering. I hope this thread becomes a bellwether of sorts regarding canvas and other training surfaces.

David Humm
06-20-2006, 11:37 PM
Canvas all the way.

Mine is over ten years old and apart from a few spots here and there its still as good as new.

The canvas needs to be cared for like any other floor surface, brushed and hovered on a regular basis and you have a training medium which will last for a long time.

Here's a pic of my dojo with canvas down

Dajo251
06-21-2006, 12:04 AM
wow that is a beautiful dojo

Sonja2012
06-21-2006, 01:50 AM
Canvas, canvas, canvas! :) When I practice on vinyl mats for too long I get bad knee swelling. I did a week´s camp with three practices a day once on vinyl mats and had to sit out one day in the middle due to that. I found that wearing tabi helps a lot then, though I don´t find them very comfortable.

Pauliina Lievonen
06-21-2006, 03:25 AM
Whether you slide your feet or not might be the crucial difference. We don't, and I much would prefer canvas.

kvaak
Pauliina

MikeLogan
06-21-2006, 07:48 AM
You can slide or step on both canvas and vinyl, you just have to accomodate for it.

If that doesn't make any sense, try some tai sabaki exercises in sneakers, shoes, or boots on wood, concrete, or carpet. A bad guy won't care about the surface they attack you on, though it's unlikely they'll enter your dojo to find an easy target.

Logan, Michael, S.

aikidoc
06-21-2006, 01:19 PM
Vinyl is easier to clean and sanitize. The stickiness issue can be addressed by mixing a little Armor-all in the rinse water after washing the mat. The mixture we use is about one ounce to two gallons of water. It leaves the mat "fast" but not slick or sticky. Works for us - YMMV.

Thanks Michael. One of my students and I have trained at your dojo (when we were with AAA). My student recently mentioned you guys did something like that and was going to e-mail Ken Sensei to find out what you did. You've answered the question in advance. Thanks, we'll try it.