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Old 06-23-2003, 04:35 PM   #1
ShawnS
Dojo: Snake River Aikido
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6
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Dojo Construction

Our group is considering constructing our own dojo. We have land available on which to construct. However, we thought we would ask a few questions of the group:

1) We would like to put our mats up on a raised floor that provides extra springiness. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this or could point us to some plans. We have analyzed Boulder Aikikai's pictures but cannot quite see what they are doing in them.

2) Does anyone have any plans for an existing dojo or know where we might be able to get our hands on some? We are considering a Steel building to reduce costs, however, we thought it might be fun to try and build a more traditional looking dojo.

Again, this is purely a preliminary investigation. But we will keep you updated .

Thanks,
Shawn
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:45 PM   #2
TheFallGuy
Dojo: Jyushinkan - Logan, Utah
Location: Logan, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 39
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Hi Shawn!

I'm not sure this will be of any help, but we're in the process of remodelling, and we are looking for mat covers for our mats to help protect them and make them last. Are you doing anything similar? (if so, what type of material are you using, and who is your supplier?)

How much 'spring' are you looking for? I've been a couple places that have a nice springy feeling in the floor. Down at Weber State University in Ogden, where they meet for Kendo/Iaido their floor has a great feel to it. Nice and bouncy, firm but with enough give in it to make striking fun. It's located in their HPER building. You might try contacting someone down there. (Sorry don't know who.)

PS Do you know a Patrick and Lacy Wheeler?

I came
I caused
I seized
----Chaos
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:49 PM   #3
ShawnS
Dojo: Snake River Aikido
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6
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Yes I sure do know them! I just Irimi Nage'd Laci this past Saturday morning! I'll let them know you said hi! I'm practicing with Laci tonight.

We are going to purchase some Zebra Mats and hadn't given covering much thought.

We were looking for just a comfortable "give" in our flooring, rather than our typical "Wrestling Mats on Concrete" feel.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:01 PM   #4
TheFallGuy
Dojo: Jyushinkan - Logan, Utah
Location: Logan, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 39
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SWEEEET!!!!

Give Laci a nice Shihonage for me!!

(I'm a cousin!!)

Yeah I know the "Wrestling mats on concrete" feeling. We have a class up on campus that has an _old_ wrestling mat that's more tape than mat and a newer wrestling mat that has just a tad bit more give in it.

I'll talk to a couple engineers down here and see what they think!

Happy Throwing!

I came
I caused
I seized
----Chaos
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:13 PM   #5
Dave Miller
 
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Dojo: UCO Budo Society
Location: Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 204
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Quote:
Frank Olson (TheFallGuy) wrote:
Yeah I know the "Wrestling mats on concrete" feeling.
That's exactly what we work out on. They say it makes you tough but I'm not always sure I wanna be tough all that badly.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:20 PM   #6
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
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Sounds like you want a [color="green"]spring loaded floor[/color]. Not normally used for those serious Aikido types, but fun and prevalent in Judo.

You can find plans here.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:56 PM   #7
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,021
Japan
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Although banned due to fire regulations - one of the best setups I've practiced on was plywood overlaying used tires (as if you would use new ones). On top of that was laid tatame. You might want to check out your local fire regulations.

If you use tatame you might also want to consider an edge bar (I am sure there is a technical carpentry term) which is adjustable. Beleive it or not old tatame shrink and I hate gaps.

Now the most beautiful dojo built in the wilds of Canada is here

http://www.desruisseaux.com/aikido/

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:08 PM   #8
kironin
 
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Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,032
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Re: Dojo Construction

Quote:
Shawn Schultz (ShawnS) wrote:
Our group is considering constructing our own dojo. We have land available on which to construct. However, we thought we would ask a few questions of the group:

1) We would like to put our mats up on a raised floor that provides extra springiness. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this or could point us to some plans. We have analyzed Boulder Aikikai's pictures but cannot quite see what they are doing in them.
in reference to question 1, check out this article which includes instructions and drawings on building a raised sprung floor.

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives...aint_1099.html

we built a canvas covered floor a few years ago based on the instructions and it worked out pretty well. It's a very forgiving floor for beginners while be reasonably firm. The use of overlapping 3/4" plywood seemed overkill to us, so we used 5/8" plywood. That works pretty well though after a few years wear perhaps some of the boards could be a little more even under the mat. A friend who is a carpenter came up with a nifty way of threading the canvas (eyelets every 6") onto the boarder frame to make tightening much easier. I'd have to find what I did with the diagrams. When it came to stapling the velcro, we found that the velcro was stronger than the staples if you had to separate boards if a mistake was made. It cannot be emphasized enough that you need lots of ventilation when gluing the minicell foam feet to the bottom boards! Organize volunteers well and it takes a couple of weekends. Glue is the same used to glue on formica countertops. The solvent is something like toluene. Setups quickly. A 50ft long roll of 4in wide velcro can be found on the internet from a supplier in Florida for less than $50. The minicell foam we use is a little too thick for me (about 1.5 ") given the false floor.

It's a good fast canvas&foam covered false floor but if I had to do it over again, I think would just lay zebra mats in the frame. If I had the money the zebra mats would be on top of an inch of ethafoam to take the edge off for beginners.

good luck,

Craig
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:27 PM   #9
fullerfury
Dojo: Aikido Suimei
Location: Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 72
United_States
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Hi. I just finished building a new dojo from the ground up. Although I did not put in a "springy" mat system, the tatami laid on plywood seems to work fine. There is a basement under the structure so there is not a "concrete" feeling underneath the flooring.

The dojo has a cathedral ceiling(plenty of room for weapons training) and multiple ceiling fans and plenty of windows for ambience. I have photos on the site detailing most of the construction, although I still haven't gotten around to getting the "finished" shots up...Should be doing that soon. I do recommend as someone else mentioned to use 2X3's or something to contain the tatami. This works very nicely.

Photos can be found on the site. http://aikidosuimei.com

-Garrett

Last edited by fullerfury : 06-23-2003 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:25 PM   #10
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
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What type of ukemi is normal in your dojo? One of the places I train has a tire based floor like the one Ted posted the link to. It works great for the judo guys but for us it's a bit of overkill. If you do a lot of big breakfalls then you may want to give that a try. The place I started had old Swain mats on carpet padding on concrete. That was a little hard. Personally I'd like a 2x4 & plywood subfloor under carpet padding with Swain or Zebra mats over the whole thing.

My sensei's dojo has gymnastics/cheerleading floor mats like the blue roll pictured at
U.S. Gym Mats. They are firm enough to provide good footing but soft enough to have good cushioning. The mat is on carpet pad on top of a wood subfloor. The big advantage is that there are no gaps as it comes with velcro to cover the seams. The disadvantage is that it's carpet so you have to be really carefull about the rug burn and cleaning is a bit more of a hassle.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:40 AM   #11
ShawnS
Dojo: Snake River Aikido
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6
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Excellent suggestions and sites to examine! This information will be invaluable. I will let you know if this takes off and I will document the process for others.

Thanks again,

Shawn
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Old 06-24-2003, 01:28 PM   #12
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
United_States
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If you want real spring, there are springs used by the tumbling people to put under the plywood. I have also seen shredded tires used (little balls) under a cover as well. The only problem is the tend to settle in frequently used areas making dips.

Good luck on your project.
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Old 06-24-2003, 04:55 PM   #13
stoker
Dojo: Dallas Judo & Jiu Jitsu
Location: Southlake, Texas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 31
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http://www.judoamerica.com/helpforclubs/springmat/ is a good example of a car tired based flooring system. I've know people who have used truck springs. And I've even seen the big air bags used for heavy truck suspension that was plumbed together so that the floor could be adjusted for ambient air pressure changes or days when you need more 'bounce'.

dave stokes
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:09 PM   #14
C. Emerson
Dojo: Emerson's Martial Arts
Location: Denver, Co
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 97
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A gymnists floor. Ive trained on those and they feel nice. I don't know what the make up is, but I liked them.

Chad
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:59 PM   #15
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 159
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I built my own dojo. Take a look at the web page www.shoshindojo.com and look at the mutimedia - I think there are a number of pictures. I believe I still have engineered drawings and they are all current code compliant. It measures 24' x 32' and will easily accomodate 30 students. I believe I constructed it for about $6,000.00 with mostly my own labor (and my wife's). Let's see... water, electric, fans, lights, screens, and awnings were all afterthoughts and could have been done at the time cheaper and easier.

If you are intersted I can send you a copy of the the as-builts.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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