Ninja Training on Martial Art Mats – Floor Setup Guide in Your Dojo

I have been teaching and training in the martial arts for over 20 years. Over this period, I have trained on almost every type of terrain or surface. As a Martial Science and Ninjitsu practitioner, it is key that we train in conditions closer to the real world. This is one of the reasons most of my classes and camps are taught outside or at a local park.

However, there are times when going indoors or training under a roof or on a mat is a great alternative. In the last 10 years, I have come to love one type of training surface or martial art mat as the primary martial art mat for my indoor training. These mats are called, “Puzzle mats” and often times, “Jigsaw mats.” After training with them so often, we now call them, “Martial Science Mats.” Just as it is important to have a good uniform, we have chosen these interlocking foam gym mats to be our main mat of choice.

The reason we like them so much, is mainly because of their versatility and proven practicality for all of our various training programs. We have tested these mats with full contact sparring, grappling, fitness kickboxing, self-defense and of course, our main system of martial arts – the Martial Science training which includes rolls, falls, kicks, punches and most areas of the martial arts.

Until I opened my first of two Dojo’s in Fresno, California, I had never heard of puzzle mats. I remember when the order of about 100 mats came in. I (and one of my long-term camp students from Holland) opened them up and began looking at them with curiosity. When you first open the boxes, you will notice that new mats have a distinctive rubbery smell. Much like the smell you get when you enter a tire shop or after you have painted a room. If you are sensitive to smells like this, best to let the mats air out before taking the time to piece them together. We decided to get the mats out of the boxes (there were only about 5 in each box) and open all the windows to let them air out.

The first school was about 1000 square feet with a solid concrete floor. We began piecing the mats together by laying the interlocking sections on top of each other and then from our hands and knees – pushed each piece into the next (later with experience we learned to do all of this standing). Each mat was a little over 3 feet width and length. Therefore, we had plenty of mats to cover the space we needed to cover.

After about 15 minutes, our floor space was now completely covered in mats in beautiful red mats. However, the width of the mats was about a foot longer than the width of our floor. Since we wanted wall-to-wall mats, we simply used a box cutter to cut the mats where they met the edge of the wall. These EVA Foam mats are very easy to cut. This gave us a perfect fit and some extra mat pieces we could use elsewhere. Since this first installation, I have been using these mats everywhere. I use the when traveling to demonstrations, setting up an outdoor training area or any location that needs a mat or area of protection.

To see more information on Puzzle Mats and Martial Arts Gear for your dojo, please visit the web site Pad-Up Martial Arts Equipment.

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