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05-21-2004, 11:27 AM
After exhaustive internet searches I figured I should try the experts...that's ya'll.

I need to get 12-15 folding mats for a rec center program in Virginia. I think the standard mats are usually 4'x6'. I'm trying to accommodate 6-8 students.
Any info you can give me regarding styles and prices would be helpful? From what I have seen so far, 100 a mat is the norm.


05-21-2004, 12:25 PM
Hi Asim,

I too am in a Rec Center and we use folding mats from Mancino Manufacturing.


I use the 4'x8" Series 400 and they're great. My oldest set is going on 4 years old and they are holding up quite well.

Good luck ...

05-21-2004, 12:57 PM
I need to get 12-15 folding mats for a rec center program in Virginia. I think the standard mats are usually 4'x6'.

Mats! What kind of wimpy Aikido are you practicing?? :D

We got a good deal on some tiffin mats (http://www.tiffinmats.com/martial/takedown.html) a few years ago; I think they're 6' x 12'. We've been abusing them for about 4 years now, and they're still in good condition. However, they have stretched their shape a little here and there, and it takes some work to put them all together tightly. This can be very important, as gaps between the mats can easily result in sprained ankles and broken toes.

If you'll be taking the mats up after every practice, think about the storage space, and what will fit in there, too.

Are you training with Clyde Sensei regularly? If so, please say hello to one Jessica B at the dojo... can't miss her -- she's about 5' 4", with very red hair.


05-21-2004, 03:08 PM
I am very wimpy Jon. You know they love to do a lot of koshinage at Capital and that mat is hard as you know what! I train with Okimura Sensei but I try drop in every now and then at Capital. I'll relay the message next time I see her.

I trained at one dojo about a month ago and they had the vinyl type of tatami. The just laid it out on the floor before class - about 20 pieces and it held without any bordering. I was surprised. I figured if I could get a good price on those it might be a good investment for the future. They use the same one at B'more Aikido Academy, laid inside of a wooden border. I'll try to see where they purchased those from.

Thanks guys for the links. I have checked them both and I am still comparing.

05-21-2004, 03:13 PM
how many do you lay out and how many do they accomodate comfortably?

L. Camejo
05-21-2004, 03:22 PM
We use 36 x 1 metre square EVA foam puzzle mats and they have stood up pretty well for the past 9 years. This gives a 36 square metre area which is just enough for 8 folks practicing together where we train.

I've found that the puzzle mats at www.zebramats.com are very similar, although pretty hard at first, so its better if they were placed on a sprung floor to begin with if one is available. The good thing - they cost only 25.00 per mat.


L. Camejo
05-21-2004, 03:29 PM
I am very wimpy Jon. You know they love to do a lot of koshinage at Capital and that mat is hard as you know what!

Didn't read this b4 I posted.

Asim, I thought the mats at Capital were a bit soft to what I was accustomed to. I enjoyed them thoroughly.:)

If you honestly think those are hard however, then don't get the zebra puzzle mats, go for the grappling or combo ones, as the puzzle mats are much harder than the mats at Capital.


05-21-2004, 03:37 PM
We use 18 mats, 3 rows of 6. We have almost 1300 sq feet, I think. We've had upwards of 40 people on the mat at one time, though that's unusual, and you have to be careful how you throw when it's that crowded.

We're in a shared room with other groups before and after us, so it's important to figure the time it takes to put them out each time if you have to. I have the 1 * 2 meter swain mats at home, but they would take too long to put out a bunch of them, I think....

And, as I mentioned before, we've found that you have to be careful putting them together so there aren't any gaps, so you have to take a little time to teach people to do it correctly, not just quickly.
Does that help any?


05-23-2004, 11:30 PM
Yes that does help. Thx everyone.

Larry I'm not sure but I was at Capital 5 years ago. The past year I trained at the Ki Society and the mat there is very soft. So when I stepped on the mat at Capital recently I immediately felt the difference. I don't remember it being that hard before unless I was just used to it. It's also poss. they replaced the old one. Anyways I got used to it very quickly. Since I'm decrepid I get my feet down a lot quicker:-)

Thanks again everyone.

Lan Powers
05-24-2004, 12:27 AM
Swaimats.com has a cool special going on the 8' by 8' mats with velcro sides....Would they fit in your storage space? cost $224.00 ea. + shipping.
(I am waiting on two for here at home right now)

Lan Powers
05-24-2004, 12:28 AM
Four of them makes a 16' by 16' ft square for just over $1000.

05-26-2004, 01:18 PM
Thx Lan. I'm trying to finalize the mat situation by the end of this week.

Jack Simpson
05-26-2004, 04:04 PM
We use the zebra grappling mats that we got "used" after a seminar. We have 50 and it fills a little over 1000 sq.ft. I'm pretty sure the NY Aikikai 40th anniversary seminar in late July / August is going to be using these mats, and there may be some for sale afterwards if you can wait that long. They are great mats, although it does take a little time to put them down. We don't have a problem with them moving around even without a border.

Jack :ai:

05-28-2004, 09:17 AM
Thx Jack.

Lan Powers
06-19-2004, 11:41 PM
Asim, Just checking on your mat situation. You have any luck?

Found a gymnastics school here in Texas a while back, and scored some extra they had in storage.
Check with local folks in Tumbling and similar things.....unless you have already solved your problem.

06-20-2004, 08:52 AM
Thx for checking on me Lan.
I have to make a decision by the end of this week. Right now it looks like I'm going with the 6x12 folding mats. I looked at the gymnastic mats and they don't look like they have velcro on all sides although I can call and check on this. I'm pretty sure though I'll go with Swain.

06-21-2004, 10:13 PM
Yes Lan. I decided on getting 4 - 6x12 mats to start. That should accomodate 8 people comfortably. As we grow, I'll add.
Thanks for the help everyone. Your input made a difference.