View Full Version : What are jigsaw mats like to train on?

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Jane H
08-31-2006, 02:16 AM
Anyone out there training on jigsaw mats? Can you give me a feel for what they are like, are they ok.

08-31-2006, 02:44 AM
They're quite good, never had any problems with the ones I used to train on (different dojo now). only thing is that its a good idea to lay the same side of the mat to face the ground every time, so that all the mats wear evenly.

08-31-2006, 03:11 AM
I trained on these:
for quite a while. (They're 'Kwon' mats, mainly intended for taekwondo.) They've since been replaced with some other (very similar) jigsaw mats.

They give you a lot of 'zip' compared to most pvc covered mats (old-fashioned G mats, etc.)
If they're on a very hard floor, like concrete, they may be a bit on the firm side - they're perfect on a wooden floor that yields just a tiny bit.

If you lay and lift them each session, you need to be a little careful about how you separate them - with some kinds its easy to accidentally tear off a 'tooth'. If you're used to using temporary G mats, you'll really like not having to worry about fissures opening up beneath your feet as you're practicing.


ps: When they start to get worn (those blue ones were absolutely knackered by the time we replaced them) - the colour comes out a bit. Members of our club were instantly recognisable elsewhere by the bluish colour of the knees of our gis. :)

Yann Golanski
08-31-2006, 06:08 AM
We train on some new ones. They are quiet good. Not the best ones I have trained on but not the worst ones either.

L. Camejo
08-31-2006, 10:02 AM
Sounds like these mats are popular with the Shodokan folk.

Until recently we trained with them on surfaces that ranged from an aerobics gym floor to a basketball court to concrete.

As said earlier, if placed on a wooden floor with some give they feel fine.

Right now we train on Judo style mats, which although much softer tend to not allow for the quickness of movement found on the jigsaw mats.

Personally I prefer the jigsaw mats because right away they let you know if your ukemi needs work also.:)


James Davis
08-31-2006, 10:13 AM
We like ours okay. They're definitely better than commercial carpeting alone! Also, you can chuck 'em in a pick-up if you're going somewhere to do an in-door demo. ;)

Yann Golanski
09-01-2006, 01:34 AM
So, the real question is who has trained on good old fashioned tatmi mats made of straw?....

09-01-2006, 03:45 AM
Me. think twice next time.
As for the jigsaws, bear in mind they come in different thickness and size.
1" should be more than adequate though... but if you have children and elderly, why not invest in 1.5".

Some are a bit slippery. If you train without AC on during summer and you expect some sweating going on, you may have to consider a layer of canvas over the jigsaws.

raul rodrigo
09-01-2006, 04:35 AM
So, the real question is who has trained on good old fashioned tatmi mats made of straw?....

We do all the time. All I can say is I'm glad I spent my fist 9 years working on my ukemi on foam mats with plywood backing before moving to actual tatami. Would hate to have undergone my white belt years on straw mats. I might not have made it this far.

09-01-2006, 05:56 AM
tatmi mats made of straw made of straw!! by 'eck you were lucky. In our day we made our own tatami by filling burlap sacks with local stone we'd quarried using our tantos, whilest in seiza mind you. We then covered the dojo with leather cured in our own blood from cows we'd personally killed using only a no-touch kokyo-nage - and we used to have to pay sensei for 't privilege...

sorry, couldn't resist as I can see a macho mats from hell developing

Jigsaws, seem fine, if a bit less forgiving than others and fully agree to watch out for them when taking them apart so the teeth don't go missing.

09-01-2006, 06:40 AM
So, the real question is who has trained on good old fashioned tatmi mats made of straw?....
...laid out on concrete?
Like Larry said, helpful for ukemi skills.

09-03-2006, 08:11 PM
I think they are fine when you take good falls, but can be ratehr unforgiving on bad falls. Class seems to be rougher on new people than with any other mats I used.

We share space with a Tae Kwon Do school. These mats serve them well and are probably more than they need.

Rolling is not a problem at all. Breakfalls, especially when working Judo, can be rough.

09-03-2006, 08:39 PM
I took about 80 breakfalls saturday on a foam covered with vinal on top of concreate mat, and on a wood box covered with jigsaw mats and then judo mats put on top of that.

I actually perfered the foam covered with vinal for the breakfalls as they didn't hurt near as much when I took a bad fall. (I was the test dummy for people learning new judo throws). My favorite mat though has always been a floating floor with judo mats on top. I find it firm, but forgiving to mistakes.

John Matsushima
09-07-2006, 10:43 AM
Not one of my favorites. In my experience, they all didn't wear evenly, leaving little rifts. As you know, in Aikido, there is a lot of slide-stepping, so this left me with a broken pinky toe once. I prefer canvas, tatami, or bubble wrap. :freaky:

As for the feel, they are quite firm. I always liked firm mats, though, because it makes for better ukemi.