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Selecting the Right Training Mats for Martial Arts

Martial artists training on mat

Training in martial arts puts your body through a lot. And like any physical activity, the risk of injury is real if you don’t take proper precautions. Mats can help protect your body while you train.

Mats are made from shock-absorbing materials that help create a safe and comfortable space for you to train or host matches and tournaments. They greatly reduce the risk of injury and offer a stable, anti-slip surface to help boost performance.

But with so many types of training mats on the market, choosing the right ones can be overwhelming. Thickness, density, material, and surface texture all affect the function of the mats. Different disciplines also have varying requirements. This post explains what you need to know about selecting the right mats for martial arts.

Key Factors for Selecting Martial Arts Training Mats

Choosing the perfect martial arts training mats for your gym or dojo is vital to creating an effective training space. There are factors to consider when selecting your mats. These things can help you choose the ideal flooring for your needs.

Intended Use

The primary purpose of all mats is to provide support and cushioning for training. But the exact type of mats you need depends on the specific purpose. Different fighting styles require varying levels of padding and shock absorbency.

Thinner and firmer mats offer light cushioning and a stable surface for standing and striking martial arts, including Taekwondo, Karate, and kickboxing. While for grappling arts such as Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, MMA, and wrestling, thicker mats (1.5”+) are better. Crash pads may also be necessary to soften the impact of takedowns, throws, and falls.

Surface Texture

Surface texture is also important for martial arts training. Mat surfaces range from smooth to heavily textured. Smooth mats provide a comfortable surface for barefoot training and allow for quick movements during sequences. They also reduce the risk of mat burns in throwing and grappling arts. More textured mats, like those with a traditional tatami surface, provide a better grip for practicing kicks and strikes.

Water Resistance and Ease of Cleaning

Dirt, grime, and sweat are challenging to avoid when regularly using your mats. They can lead to germs, mold, and unpleasant smells in your training space. That’s why it’s vital to pick water-resistant and easy-to-clean mats. At Century, many of our mats are treated with an antimicrobial coating for ultimate cleanliness.


Martial arts mats need to endure regular use and repetitive impact. They undergo a lot of stress over a lifespan. You want something that can withstand the test of time. If your mats start to wear out, it may put users at risk of injury. Closed-cell foam, open-cell foam, and vinyl are all highly durable materials to look for in mats.


Mats are an investment that should last you for years to come. Regularly replacing cheap, poor-quality mats will cost you more in the long term than investing in sturdy, durable mats. We’re not saying you need to pay a fortune for your mats. But the safety of your training space isn’t something you want to skimp on.

Types of Training Mats for Martial Arts

There are many different types of mats, with options for every martial arts style, available space, and budget. Below are some of the most common mats for martial arts.


puzzle mats

Puzzle Mats

Puzzle mats are foam pieces that interlock to cover all, or certain areas, of your training space. These mats are simple to install, and you can cut them down to fit small or oddly-shaped rooms. They’re easy to pick up and store or transport to tournaments. Available in various thicknesses, textures, and colors, puzzle mats are extremely versatile and suitable for most martial arts. They’re the most economical option for outfitting your space on a budget.


rollout mats

Rollout Mats

Rollout mats are lightweight mats that (as the name implies) roll out and offer a wide training surface for various martial arts. This type of mat functions well as a temporary flooring solution. There are also options for a permanent connection, as well.They’re easy to unroll onto any surface, then roll back up again and store away when not in use. You may only need one rollout mat for a smaller home dojo, or you can connect several mats with mat tape to fit a larger gym. 


tile mats

Tile Mats

Tile mats are simple rectangular mats that can be configured to fit almost any space. They offer a stable and sturdy surface for standing arts while still providing cushioning for falls and floorwork. Tile mats come in different sizes and thicknesses, so they’re great for customizing your space. It is ideal to use a wood frame kit to border your mats and prevent movement. But they are heavier and less portable than other mats, meaning they’re not as easy to store away or transport.


carpet-bonded foam

Carpet-Bonded Foam

For covering large areas quickly and easily, carpet bonded foam is another good choice. Consisting of cushioned foam topped by heavy-duty carpet, this style of mat rolls out to your desired length to cover part or all of your gym floor. Carpet-bonded foam is extremely durable and provides a large, safe all-around training space. Although, the carpeted surface isn’t the most comfortable for grappling disciplines. 


crash pads

Crash Pads

At four to eight inches thick, crash pads provide the most cushioning and shock absorbency of any mats. They help prevent serious injuries when practicing takedowns, throws, falls, and advanced martial arts moves that may land you on the floor. This style of mat is popular for arts, including Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling and MMA. Crash Pads (landing mats) are also commonly used in gymnastics, rock climbing, parkour or any other sport where falls or hard landings are common. With a quality crash mat, you can fully commit to training without fear of falling and hurting yourself.

Benefits of Using Training Mats for Martial Arts

There are many benefits of using training mats in your martial arts gym, from injury prevention to improved performance.


When training in martial arts, accidents and injuries can happen. But using mats greatly reduces the risk of anything serious. Mats provide extra padding between your body and the floor during grappling, throws, or falls. The shock absorbency also cushions muscles and joints, reducing fatigue and long-term damage, while the textured anti-slip surface helps prevent slips and falls.

Improves Performance

Mats provide a safe, stable, and comfortable surface for martial arts training. You can push yourself to your limits with better shock absorption, traction, and reduced injury risk.

Low Maintenance

Owning a gym is hard work. There are countless things to stay on top of. Fortunately, mats won’t add much extra hassle to your life. Mats are generally easy to clean and maintain. Vinyl tops mean all you have to do is give them a quick wipe down and disinfect with sanitizer. Quality mats also last a long time, so you won’t have to replace them regularly.


Some mats are a lightweight, portable flooring option for permanent and nonpermanent training spaces. You can easily pick them up and store them away when not in use. You can also pack them up and transport them to training sessions or tournaments when needed.


Martial arts mats are extremely versatile. You can use them for many training and fighting styles. You can also use your mats for other activities and workouts, including yoga, gymnastics, high-intensity exercises, and weight training. Mats are a great all-around investment for your gym.

Century Can Help You Choose the Right Training Mats for Your Space

At Century, we know how critical quality training mats are to the safety and comfort of your martial arts training space. And our mats are some of the best in the industry.


We offer a free consultation to help find you the right mats for your gym or dojo. We’ll work with you to fit your training style, available space, and budget. Contact Blake Wientge at or visit Century Mat Solutions today to find out more, TODAY!



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