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01-29-2007, 10:48 PM
I'm working with a neighborhood group in Berkeley, CA that works with kids who have been processed through and referred by the juvenile justice system, and I'm trying to help them set up a brand new aikido program (for all of the wonderful reasons aikido is helpful to people), but they don't have any mats.
Does anyone have suggestions of places that have cheaper mats, or dojos that have used mats they will sell at a discount? We're looking for the folding velcro-types that can be stored off to the side when the program isn't going on.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!
01-30-2007, 06:31 PM
There have been some advertisements here on aikiweb recently for dojos selling used tatami mats, which are a little different than what you have specified. There are manufacturers who also sell used products (Zebra, Swain, etc.). You may want to try local high schools, gymnastic schools, and other athletic centers for used mats. You can also try local civic organizations like the Lions Club or the Rotary Club for sponsorship for mats.
Good luck with your program, sounds great.
01-31-2007, 09:01 AM
Sorry, I don't have any used mats right now. I am in the process of looking for mats myself. Maybe some of the places I looked for for mats would help you:
After cheerleading tournaments, carpet bonded foam is sold at a discount. It's a roll and pretty easy to roll right out, even by one person with "flexi roll." They can be cut if you need to fit a different configuration.
Likewise, the zebra mats can be bought after tournaments. I'm not sure if I like them though for a non-permanent installation because they are really heavy! Sixty pounds each!
There are very few cheerleading competitions in Boston, and the used Zebra mats the company would sell me seemed too expensive. I decided to call every cheerleading school locally to find out if they had any used carpet bonded foam. I spoke to one person who had six or seven rolls she wanted to sell from a discontinued program, but I could not afford that amount. It would have been a good deal, saving shipping which can be very expensive for these rolls.
Next, I e-mailed every martial arts school in the area. I did get an e-mail from somone who knew someone at a school who were getting new mats. As it happend we met the Aikido instructor at the school who happend to have some used mats he could give us for free!
It was an exiting time actually loading the mats into my friend's van. He was just so happy to be able to help someone else get started forming a dojo. I had tears in my eyes as his students helped load the mats into the van.
The mats really were in pretty bad condition, but we have been using them as it gives us a way to practice. We are still looking to get some better mats. Right now I am thinking of a fund raiser as a way to raise some funds for mats. In your case, a fund raiser might work as well. It looks as though you are non-profit, and doing something for kids.
I hope any of these ideas might work for you. I've looked on Craigs List, but have not found anything as yet.
01-31-2007, 11:20 AM
Just a caution on the folding velcro mats. Most gymnastic programs only use mats with velcro on 2 sides (rather than spend the extra $4 for 4 sided velcro).
Also some manufacturers apply their velcro differently than others (male/female velcro application is opposite). I have founf AAI to do it their own way (male velcro face down - touching the floor) , most other manufacturers to do the opposite.
I did find a gymnastics used mats site, but will have to pull it off my PC at home. Contacting the local gyms or distributors of mats might uncover some used ones.
01-31-2007, 11:22 AM
Just another thought - can you relocate the program to a local school that may have mats for their PE program?
01-31-2007, 11:32 AM
Try 'US Gyms Classified ads' on Google. Doesn't look like nay available in Cali - you can check the rest of the US.
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