Benefits of Tatami Mats for Martial Arts
Tatami refers to a style of textured mat often used in martial arts dojos and training spaces. Tatami mats have countless benefits for martial arts, including superior grip and stability. This makes them useful for both grappling arts, as well as standing and striking arts where their texture can aid in balance. Plus, they’re durable and long-lasting – traits you want for any surface that gets as much use as a martial arts floor!
Tatami mats are a popular flooring choice for numerous martial arts, judo, taekwondo, kickboxing, krav maga, karate, kung fu and more. However, these mats are most commonly associated with Brazilian jiu-jitsu and are the most prevalent within this sport.
Think this style of mat could be right for your training space? Here’s what you need to know about tatami mats.
What are Tatami Mats?
Tatami mats are a type of flooring that first originated in Japan almost 2,000 years ago. The first tatami mats were made with woven rice straw and rush grass.
In Japan, people use tatami mats for floor seating, sleeping, tea ceremonies, and even play areas for children. Traditionally these mats were a symbol of wealth. But today, most Japanese households have at least one or multiple rooms with tatami flooring. The mats are an integral part of the Japanese identity.
People also use tatami mats as flooring for martial arts dojos and gyms. Tatami mats’ firmness, shock absorption, and high-grip textured surface make them the ideal surface for pivoting, kicking, grappling, and other standing work.
Today, you’ll still find traditional tatami mats in Japan – but less so in dojos. Because of the high foot traffic a martial arts school experiences, many school owners prefer to use the tougher modern materials available. These mats can be made from a variety of materials, including polymers, vinyl, or even compressed wood chips. No matter the material, however, these mats all recreate the unique textured surface of a traditional tatami.
Benefits of Tatami Mats for Martial Arts
Tatami mats have many benefits, from their superior traction to their role in helping prevent injuries during training sessions.
Increases Traction and Stability
Tatami mats are unrivaled in their grip and stability. The textured surface ensures secure footing for kicks, spins, and strikes. Similarly, the surface provides additional grip between the floor and mats, increasing stability and preventing unexpected movement during heavy impacts.
This feature is no less important in grappling. Even though you may not be standing and pivoting on the balls of your feet in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you still need traction. The texture of the tatami compensates for the slipperiness of a sweaty mat.
Reduces Risk of Injury
Practicing martial arts always carries a risk of injury caused by sparring or accidental falls. The stable textured surface of tatami mats helps prevent unnecessary slips and stumbles during training, reducing the risk of major fall-based injuries.
Provides Shock Absorption
Tatami mats offer a firm, stable surface for effective and safe martial arts training. They also provide a good level of shock absorption for throws, falls, and grappling arts. At Century, our tatami mats come in various thicknesses and textures, all offering different levels of cushioning depending on your discipline.
Reasons to Invest in Quality Tatami Mats
Not all tatami mats were created equal! Cheap and low-quality mats won’t offer the same benefits as quality tatami mats, and your gym floor isn’t a good area to scrimp on. High-quality mats are vital for creating a safe and comfortable training space for yourself or patrons. Tatami mats are also aesthetically pleasing. Remember, you only get one chance at a first impression – whether that’s the first time someone sees your mats, or the first time they’re thrown into one!
Durable and High Resilience
Quality tatami mats are far more durable and will last significantly longer than cheaply made mats. By investing in quality mats now, you’ll save yourself time and money down the line. Pro-tip: Cleaning your tatami mats regularly will not only keep your floors sanitary (and your students healthier), but will help them last much longer!
Protects Floors and Equipment
By investing in premium mats from the outset, you’ll save money on replacing your flooring and equipment as regularly. Poor quality mats offer less shock absorption and protection, damaging the underlying base.
Reduced Risk of Mat Burns
Traditional tatami mats have a reputation for causing friction burns on the skin during rapid movements or falls. And these burns can still happen if you opt for low-quality training mats. But most top-quality tatami mats, such as our tatami mats at Century, are specially designed to reduce mat burns, even with their heavily textured surface. You won’t be forced to choose between mat burn or slipping and falling!
The better the mats, the better your training space will look. Investing in customizable, high-quality tatami mats will make your dojo or gym a place you feel proud of, and one where people want to spend time.
If you really want to ramp up the look and feel of your gym, consider adding your logo, school name, or art of your choice to your mats! Century’s digital printing capabilities mean that when it comes to creating the perfect look for your school or dojo, your imagination is the limit.
Elevates Practice and Experience
Quality tatami mats are not only safer, but they’re also more comfortable and will provide a better all-around training experience. When you can rely on your mats to provide a stable and safe surface, you can fully commit to your practice.
Additionally, most martial arts competitions are held on this type of mat. Training on the same kind of surface will help your students be better prepared when it comes time to compete. Give your students every possible edge you can!
Although high-quality mats are less likely to break or wear out quickly, accidents can still happen. Luckily, when you invest in quality tatami mats, they come with comprehensive warranty periods. Century tatami mats come with a 10-year limited warranty. It’s unlikely you’ll get this with low-end or second-hand mats.
Get Quality Tatami Mats at Century
At Century, our tatami surface offers superior grip and internal stability with extra give to cushion a slip, fall, or takedown. The tatami surface is available for various mat styles, from small puzzle mats to larger roll-out mats.