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Old 01-08-2002, 01:31 AM   #1
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 237
Offline
Different mats?

Hi!

I have a rather unusual question (I also have rather unusual spelling... )

What types of tatami (?) do you people use? It seems to me that most foregin (me beeing from Sweden) dojos have white mats of some sort. In Sweden, most dojos use regular judo mats.

Is there any differance, except what they look like? Are they (generally) more expensive than judo mats?

Here's a picture of what I'm tryíng to describe: http://www.eastbayaikido.com/doranmisogi07.jpg

It might not be an important question, but I've always wanted to know.

Regards,

Patrik Eng,
Sweden
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Old 01-08-2002, 02:54 AM   #2
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Thailand
Offline
Hello Patrik,

The picture is not clear but, if I'm not mistaken, this is a canvas floor cover. Underneath you can use regular judo tatami (expensive) or just the foam and rubber stuffing usually used inside tatamis (much cheaper). Our dojo uses the latter option. The canvas cover is great because you don't have to worry about the tatami moving and your toes getting stuck in between.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-08-2002, 08:44 AM   #3
Greg Jennings
Dojo: WPAFB JiuJitsu Group
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,105
United_States
Offline
Re: Different mats?

Quote:
Originally posted by Ta Kung
Hi!
Is there any differance, except what they look like? Are they (generally) more expensive than judo mats?

Here's a picture of what I'm tryíng to describe: http://www.eastbayaikido.com/doranmisogi07.jpg
The picture is of a canvas over padding mat.

Since I had to personally fund our dojo's mat, I put a lot of research into finding the most economical mats.

The Swain/Zebra tatami-style judo mats are over $5/sq ft. We built our mat for about $1.60/sq ft.

I used 1 3/8 inch foam. I wish I'd used 2 inch.

But, it would have cost $0.57 more per square foot and my wife almost divorced me as it was.

I have some pictures that detail the contstruction that I mean to put on our web site. If anyone is really interested in the details, the can either post here or e-mail me off-line.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-08-2002, 11:34 AM   #4
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Thailand
Offline
I am interested to know what you think about interlocking puzzle mats. I have practiced in a dojo using thin karate mats, and breakfalls were very painful. However, a manufacturer in Taiwan informed me that they produce special puzzle mats for Aikido dojos in Japan which are about 5-6 cm in thickness.

Does anyone practice on such mats? What do you think about them?

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-08-2002, 04:07 PM   #5
Greg Jennings
Dojo: WPAFB JiuJitsu Group
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,105
United_States
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I am interested to know what you think about interlocking puzzle mats. I have practiced in a dojo using thin karate mats, and breakfalls were very painful. However, a manufacturer in Taiwan informed me that they produce special puzzle mats for Aikido dojos in Japan which are about 5-6 cm in thickness.

Does anyone practice on such mats? What do you think about them?

Cheers,
Edward
Does the manufacturer have a web site? If I could get them for a reasonable price, I'd buy some just for seminars.

5cm is right at 2". Depending on the density of the foam, 2" should be very good. Our old mats were 2" of 2.2 lb density Ethafoam. They were great for cushion but eventually compressed around the edges resulting in a footing problem.

Our current mats are 1 3/8" of oletex foam. They are just a shade hard for some of the more awkward falls that we take.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:52 PM   #6
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I am interested to know what you think about interlocking puzzle mats. I have practiced in a dojo using thin karate mats, and breakfalls were very painful. However, a manufacturer in Taiwan informed me that they produce special puzzle mats for Aikido dojos in Japan which are about 5-6 cm in thickness.

Does anyone practice on such mats? What do you think about them?
Yes, the dojo I train at has 'Kwon' interlocking (jigsaw) mats. I think they're Korean, and actually designed for TKD. They're blue and red, each mat is about 1m square, and they're about 4cm thick. I really like them.

At our previous dojo we had a wooden floor, and the mats were laid directly on it. People visiting the dojo complained that they were too firm, but it really wasn't a problem, just a matter of getting used to it.

About eighteen months ago we moved to a new dojo which has concrete floors, and laid direct on concrete they were much too hard. It seems the old wooden floor had a lot of 'bounce' in it we were taking for granted. So now there is a 5cm layer of expanded polystyrene insulation (not our first choice, but money was short and its cheap), then a layer of hardboard to protect the polystyrene from getting dented, and then the Kwon TKD mats on top of that. Seems to work pretty well.

Sean
x

Last edited by deepsoup : 01-08-2002 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01-08-2002, 08:19 PM   #7
Mares
Location: Australia
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 89
Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I am interested to know what you think about interlocking puzzle mats. I have practiced in a dojo using thin karate mats, and breakfalls were very painful. However, a manufacturer in Taiwan informed me that they produce special puzzle mats for Aikido dojos in Japan which are about 5-6 cm in thickness.

Does anyone practice on such mats? What do you think about them?

Cheers,
Edward
We use those puzzle mats, I'm not sure who made them or where they are from but I can check. They are roughly 5cm thick and about 1m x 1m square.

In the dojo I train at the mats are laid directly onto a concrete floor. For forward rolls and sit falls I have no problems. But when I first started doing high falls (or breakfalls) it really hurt after about 5 or 6. But now I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me too much. Though it should be noted that the mats in the middle of the dojo are softer than the ones on the outside, i think due to regular pounding over the years.

At one of our branch dojo's where I help out every now and then, we use the same mats in an aerobics gym which already has some sort of cushioning in the floor. When I do high falls out there it is a really soft feeling. I have also used these mats on a wooden floor at a seminar and they feel softer than the ones at my dojo. The puzzle mats at the branch dojo are newer and probably a different brand to those at my dojo and they feel softer.

Having said all that I guess it is all relative. I'm used to doing high falls on what I consider to be fairly firm puzzle mats lain on a concrete floor. I've used them my entire aikido life and at first it was hard but now I'm ok with it, and they seem fine to me.

Regards,
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