View Full Version : Is it possible to "make my own mat"?

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07-15-2006, 04:53 AM
Hi people!
My family built a huge wooden deck at our back yard, and to me it looks like a huge potential private dojo.

Problem is, I want to cover it with enough mats to be able to roll allot and bring friends over to practice, and mats tend to be either very expensive or very bad qualit (the sports outlet I went to only carried one type of mat, and it was way too soft).

I've looked in DIY sites for "how to make your own mat" unsuccesfuly, I don't even know what material to use.

Any ideas, leads or instructions would be most welcome!

07-15-2006, 07:00 AM
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Hi people!
My family built a huge wooden deck at our back yard, and to me it looks like a huge potential private dojo. !

Amelia Smith
07-15-2006, 07:56 AM
I remember a discussion on this topic, somewhere (perhaps in real life, rather than online). I think you can put together a mat with a bottom layer made of pulverized rubber tires, and a top layer of thin foam, or that stuff they put under carpets. Actually, several layers of the carpet liner, on its own, with a canvas cover, might work. I heard that the pulverized rubber tends to move around a bit too much over time. The basic idea is to have something squishy (but not too squishy) with a frame and a cover. I know there's an article on this out there somewhere.

You might look into getting used wrestling mats from a local gym or school, and using those temporarily.


07-15-2006, 10:38 AM
LOL David I guess I should've said "Ideas, leads, instructions and jokes are most welcome" :D

Amelia - Thanks for the ideas - I'll give the carpet liners a try.

07-15-2006, 10:43 AM
Rubbish mats with a descent cover works pretty good.

07-15-2006, 04:45 PM
Soft mats can be beneficial for practicing ukemi, the dojo I do most of my testing at used to have soft gushy mats. They were great for break falls, nice and slick for shiko. You can also compare soft mats to practicing in a giving material like sand.

Maybe try buying two sheets of canvas and stitching it up with sawdust inside. Or maybe a giant sheet of cork?

07-16-2006, 04:18 PM
This might be a bit out of your price range but you can get remnant wrestling mats Here (http://www.matsmatsmats.com/wrestling/home_mats_remnant.html) It's $255 for the 1" thick 5'x10' one.

07-16-2006, 07:16 PM
check out these on ebay. 10 square feet for 15$ and i'm sure you could find more of the same.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Martial-Mats-Aikido-Mats-Karate-mats-in-Tatami-Style_W0QQitemZ190006672030QQihZ009QQcategoryZ16044QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZ ViewItem

07-17-2006, 04:39 AM
Check out this link: http://www.aikidofaq.com/making/mats.html

Good luck...

07-17-2006, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the links everybody! I'll check out everything. maybe send a picture of the final dojo :cool:

Two other ideas I got at an Israeli martial arts forum was:
1) Use Cardboard boxes :) especially of refrigerators which are twice as thick.
2) an Israeli factory that produces foam surfaces. i wrote to ask if they sell to individuals. http://www.palziv.com/index.htm

Larry Feldman
07-17-2006, 03:00 PM
Foam may be your best bet. There are a variety of thicknesses and densities, go see them they should have samples you could roll around on!

07-17-2006, 04:43 PM
I visited a dojo which had scavenged four layers of Astroturf (from a sports stadium being remodelled, I believe) and stretched canvas over the top. It was okay, though not as springy as I would have liked. You could also try multiple layers of cheap carpet, again with canvas over the top.

I have four dog-eared salvage tatami in my basement. In their home dojo on a sprung wooden floor they were bearable, but on my concrete floor they feel a lot like...concrete. How bouncy is your deck currently? If it's rather rigid you will want a softer surface to compensate; if it has a nice spring, you can get away with a thinner mat.

Mary Kaye

08-04-2006, 02:24 PM
I think this is the website that was mentioned before

jason jordan
08-07-2006, 12:08 AM
Hey Roy, at our dojo in we use a really nice and inexpensive marine foam, covered with a very nice canvas.

It feels very soft yet not squishy which I like very much. I prefere a harder mat actually but it is great for students who are new, and for those who are practicing falls from techniques like Koshinage, or high falls. The down side for me is that the foam tends to keep odor and you really have to maintain, and the canvas gets really slippery at times. But other than that it is very inexpensive and easy to do!

Hope I helped a little.

08-17-2006, 09:17 AM
Yep, I just have to find out what marine foam is :D