Re: Questions on Starting a New Dojo
I think the $4k for mats is too much outlay to get started.
I trained with a group at a health club in Park City, UT. They just have 2" thick foam that they put out each class and cover the whole deal with a thin canvas tarp that has fitted-sheet kind of pockets on each corner. It wasn't the Ritz, but it was sufficient and seemed like a good way to get started.
If you eventually have a space that you can have a semi-permanent mat in, there are much less expensive ways to get started than the Swain or Zebra. Our mat is 18'x42' and the whole deal cost me about $1,200.