Martial Arts Mats

It doesn’t matter if you are learning Judo, karate, MMA, Tae Kwon Do or any other martial art, using mats will help to keep you safe from injury as you take this exciting journey.

These mats will help to absorb the impact on your muscles and joints as you are learning the skills needed to master a variety of defensive tactics.

Becoming a skilled kick-boxer requires countless hours practicing and when you are using the right mats, you will be able to get the most of your journey.

Martial arts have been around for thousands of years now. They are a system of activities, mostly fighting activities that people practice for a variety of reasons. 

With all the benefits attributed to this sport, it is no surprise that the popularity of this art has increased over the years to include more people who are seeking to gain these benefits. Like a tumble on a mat, there are a number of reasons why people practice martial arts. Self-defense, spiritual reasons, keeping fit and healthy are among them. 

Whatever your reason is for practicing them and whatever your choice is, you want to ensure that when you are practicing or learning new moves, you do so in a safe environment and that you don’t place unnecessary stress on your body while doing so. 

This is the major reason why you need to make sure that you get the best mat in the market that suits your needs and can offer you the best kind of cushioning. Acquiring an ideal mat may be a daunting task when you do not know what to consider. However, equipped with the right knowledge it should be an easier task.

Top 5 Martial Arts Mats (summary)

 IncStores Foam Tiles for Martial Arts Training (Check out on Amazon) – Our Pick
 Martial Arts Interlocking EVA Foam Flooring (Check out on Amazon)
 We Sell Mats Anti-Fatigue Martial Arts Training Mats (Check out on Amazon)
 We Sell Mats Martial Arts Training Floor Mat (Check out on Amazon)
 Get Rung Martial Art Interlocking Floor Mats (Check out on Amazon)

What are Martial Arts Mats

Martial arts mats are padding of the floor that allow a person to practice different maneuvers safely without adding any unnecessary stress to the body.

To become an expert in karate for example, you must master simple moves over and over again. These falls you take will have a toll on the body if you are landing on the wrong type of flooring.

What are Martial Arts Mats

There are countless reviews of wrestling mats that will help give you an idea what is needed to give your body the support it needs to continue learning with less pain. When you discover the best mats, you have the ability to transform your training space.

As already highlighted, martial arts are very physically involving and require practicing the different maneuvers a lot of times before one can perfect the moves. This involves a lot of tumbling on a mat and getting back up repeatedly. 

Martial arts mats are usually floor paddings that cushion the falls and ensure that you practice safely and confidently without the burden of worrying about injuries. There are numerous varieties of mats to choose from and although this sport is usually challenging endeavors, deciding on the best mat should be easy if you’re armed with the right knowledge. 

There are a number of factors that you will need to consider when buying a mat like portability, storage space and durability. Basically, an ideal mat should be one that is safe to land on and whose material is good enough to absorb the shock of the falls and the landings. 

Martial art paddings also can include mats used on playgrounds to make playing safe and fun for kids. Whether you own a gym, a dojo or you just want to construct a personalized home gym, these mats are central to any kind of training. Without them the risk of injury from the impact of the many falls and landings is high. 

Just like practice on a ballet barre can be challenging, martial arts can be a physically tasking exercise too, risky to some extent for beginners especially if the necessary precautions are not taken. 

Benefits of Using Martial Arts Floor Mats

The martial arts mats are key to the success of anyone trying to advance in their particular training.

Without them, the heavy impact on the feet, ankles and knees will lead to severe injury that will persist and hinder your ability to progress through the comprehensive training needed to excel in your craft.

Choosing the right floor mat is key because early on in this journey you will be falling often. When you are tossed to the floor by an opponent or instructor, you may hit with your legs, arms, back or shoulders. The right mats provide maximum shock absorption.

These high-quality paddings are designed to last for years and take countless hours of abuse.

Benefits of Using Martial Arts Floor Mats

The newer-style ones use the latest in athletic foam technology and will never harden or shrink. These mats are able to support maximum performance throughout their life.

The floor mats connect seamlessly together and will provide adequate practice space in a home gym or workout facility.

They can be installed wall-to-wall or in the center of the room if only a smaller areas to practice is required.

Tiles are available to be purchased individually so you have the ability to create the safe space needed to hone your skills. Martial arts floor mats that come in tiles can easily be transported from the home gym to events.

If you or a child has to practice before that upcoming event, the tiles can be placed on the floor in a hotel room or the local park, providing that mobile training station that will help to keep you in peak shape, similar to portable dance floors.

To make this journey easier, you will require proper matting of the floor. Here are a few benefits of using a good mat:

Safety

When practicing martial arts, there is a lot of tumbling and landing that can inflict injuries on the body. Mats are installed to ensure that these falls and landings are safe. They reduce significantly the trauma that would be caused to the joints if there were no mats.

Confidence

Practicing martial arts with the fear of injury in the back of one’s mind can greatly hinder anyone’s performance capabilities and advancement. Just as confidence is important in keeping a balance on a beam practicing moves that involve a lot of falling requires confidence too. 

Installing mats gives you the confidence to execute your moves knowing that any falls that may result from it will be cushioned by the mat.

Comfort

Training on the bare hard floor can be uncomfortable even for experienced martial artists. Whereas the bare hard floor may train one to avoid falling, it may hinder the advancement and realization of the full potential of the trainee.

Mats make training comfortable especially for beginners who may not be used to the stress martial arts place on the body. 

Types of Martial Arts Mats

There are a variety of martial art mats that one can get in the market. They are all different with different advantages and disadvantages. 

The kind of martial arts you intend to use the mat for to some extent should also guide you into acquiring the best one.

Interlocking Foam Tiles

These mats are made small and square shaped with ends that are designed to interlock with each other and enable you to connect as many as the space you need covered allows. Because they can easily be disassembled to allow air to circulate underneath, they are said to be the world’s best outdoor rubber mats

You can trim them at the end of the tiles to get the perfect fit for your area. They offer perfect cushioning and absorb the impact of the falls. As they come in parts, they can easily be dismantled and kept away after practice if you don’t want to leave them lying around.

They don’t take up a lot of space and are very portable. If, for some reason, you need to increase the practice area, all you need to do is get some more tiles and if you needed to reduce the area, you can take away some tiles making this mat option very flexible. You can also get different colors of the tiles to mix up things and make the floor appealing.

The biggest advantage of interlocking mats over the other types is that one can easily replace damaged tiles without having to replace the whole mat because a section is damaged.

Pros

  • Easy to Assemble: Perfect for someone who doesn’t have a permanent practice area as they can be easily disassembled and kept away after practice.
  • Portability: Make it easy to go wherever you want to go with your mat as they are light and will not need a big transporting space as well.
  • Durability: If you need a mat that will stand the test of time this is an option for you. They are easy to repair as well as all you need to do is replace the spoilt or worn out tiles.
  • Waterproof: Mats that absorb water can get soggy after the cleaning which means they take time to dry and may still be dump afterward and attract mold. With the interlocking tiles, you don’t have to deal with that issue. 
  • Shock absorbent: The purpose of any great mat is majorly to absorb shock during practice and this type does that perfectly.
  • Customized look: Interlocking foam tiles come in different colors and textures which make it possible for you to choose a look that is perfect for you. 

Cons

  • Avoid sharp objects: Sharp objects like needles and thorns can be stuck in the mat and injure someone during practice. Avoid bringing sharp objects into the mat area.
  • Not great for wrestling: Tiles can separate during some of the boxing exercises which makes them not ideal as boxing or wrestling mats.

Roll Out Mats

Roll Out Martial Arts Mats

These types of mats are the best for you if you need a quick set up of the practice area. All you need to do is roll out the mat and you are set to begin practice. Their smooth top will protect you from the uncomfortable and painful burns.

They are perfect if you don’t have a permanent practice area as they can easily be rolled up and kept away when not in use. They take a small space when rolled up and you can just lean them on some corner to avoid cluttering the area. 

The rollout mats have a vinyl top that is non-porous making them water resistant and therefore easy to clean and hygienic. They’re are ideal for boxing as well as other arts like karate. In comparison to interlocking mats, they’re easy to install.

Pros

  • Shock absorbent: Like any ideal mat you may picture, these ones are great shock absorbers making them perfect products that take away the concerns of injuries allowing you to concentrate on perfecting your skills.
  • Easy to set up: All you need to do is roll the mat out and you are set to go, unlike the interlocking tiles that may take more time to connect.
  • Portability: They are easy to transport from one area to the next as they are not bulky and don’t take a large transport area as well.
  • Storage: These mats are easy to roll up after practice and can be kept away to reduce clutter when not in use. They don’t take up a lot of space either, which means they are a great option for you if you don’t have a big storage area.
  • Flexibility: They can be connected with more mats using tape to enlarge the practice area when it is needed.
  • Sanitation: Don’t absorb water which makes them easy to clean and take care of. Ideal for a variety of martial arts, these mats are perfect for a wide range of workouts including boxing which makes them popular among most people.
  • Durability: These mats will stick with you as you grow your skills.

Cons

  • Can be easily punctured: These mats can be easily punctured so beep away sharp objects.
  • Not for weight workouts: Not ideal for weights workouts as the weights can damage the mats.

Folding Mats

Folding mats are the ones that can be folded a few times and stored after practice. They are super easy to set up as all you need to do is lay them out and you are set to go. They come in a variety of colors and you can choose one that suits you best. 

These mats are great for home gyms, school gyms and martial arts centers. They are easy to set aside when not being used. When you need a larger practice area, you can combine more folding mats to extend the practice area to cover as much ground as you desire. 

They are ideal for a range of workouts. Different from roll-out mats, folding version may take up more storage space.

Pros

  • Durability: Folding mats can last long if they are well taken care of.
  • Easy to clean and take care of: They can easily be wiped off when they become dirty. A dump piece of clothing will do a great job and you are set to go.
  • Safety: The thin vinyl top ensures firm landing without slipping and falling and also protects against burns.
  • Easy to set up: All you need to do is lay out the mats when you need to set up the practice area. When you are done practicing, fold and store them away.
  • Portability: These mats are light and therefore easy to move from one place to another. Ideal for most of the workouts, they can be used for essentially any workout which enables you to shop for one mat that can serve almost if not all your needs.

Cons

  • Not resistant to punctures: Can be punctured so keep away sharp objects and animals away from the mat.

Landing Mats

Landing Martial Arts Mats

Landing mats offer the highest level of shock absorption of all the mats. This makes them ideal for advanced levels of training when you expect to fall more often. 

They will lift the concerns of getting bruised or injured off your shoulders so you can concentrate more on perfecting and polishing your skills.

Ideally, these mats between 8 and 12 inches of thickness are made with an inbuilt mesh that enables the mat to release air when you land on it giving it a very high level of shock absorption. 

Pros

  • Shock absorption: It has the maximum level of shock absorption making it ideal for advanced levels of martial arts, not to say beginners can’t use it. Due to its foam thickness, this kind of mat also greatly reduces the noise during practice.
  • Water resistant: Doesn’t absorb water which not only makes it easy to clean but also mold and mildew resistant.

Cons

  • Not resistant to punctures: It is susceptible to punctures. 

Martial Arts Mats Thickness and Sizing

Martial arts paddings come in different sizes and thicknesses. It is important to know that more thickness does not always make the mat ideal for your practice but rather the thickness of the mat should be determined by the discipline you practice in your facility. Different levels of thicknesses are suited for different disciplines. 

1-inch Mats

This level of thickness is best for striking and stand-up. This because a mat that is thicker than this will not be very stable for the athletes practicing arts that require these skills.

In as much as a thicker mat offers more cushioning and protection, in this case, firmness is key for movement and a thicker mat will have a destabilizing effect.

2-inch Mats

These are perfect for mixed arts and groundwork. Mixed arts are those that involve both striking as well as grappling. The 2-inch mats offer ideal cushioning for slamming your opponent on the ground without sustaining injuries. 

Arts like jiu-jitsu, judo and others that involve a lot of slamming and groundwork also need these kinds of mats.

What Makes a Great Martial Arts Mat

As we have already explained, there are varied disciplines that require a variety of skills as well. 

Soft and smooth tatami mats, for instance, are great for ground grappling and groundwork. In all of these arts, however, getting the proper mat for practice and training is key if there is going to be any advancement. 

Just like when getting equipment for kids gymnastics, there are a few factors you need to consider when looking for an ideal mat. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Durability

When looking for a mat, you basically want to acquire one that will stand the test of time. These workouts can put a lot of pressure on the mats and you want to ensure that the mat you get is one that can withstand the stress and therefore cannot wear out easily.

Shock Absorption

Every great mat should be made of a shock absorbent material that is strong enough to cushion against the impact of the falls when practicing.  You don’t want to be worrying about getting injured as you practice as this is going to interfere with the training and stand in the way of your advancement. 

Non-porous

An ideal mat should be covered in a non-porous material to ensure that it is water resistant and therefore prevent the mat from absorbing water or getting dump. This makes it easy to clean and sanitize the mats. 

A non-porous material also protects the inner parts of the mat that could be damaged by water.

Mold and Mildew Resistant

Mold and mildew are microbes that can discolor the mat, bring about an unpleasant smell and cause the degradation of the mat. 

When acquiring a mat, you want to ensure it is one that is resistant to these microbes to protect it from these harmful effects and ensure it lasts long.

Light and Portable

When you don’t have a permanent space for practice, you need to get a mat that will be easy to move around. You will need to ensure that it is one you can easily set up as well as store away. 

EVA Foam and Density

Martial arts flooring mats are required to be made of EVA foam material which is made up of ethylene and vinyl acetate that makes this material both soft and durable which are two required qualities for any padding material.

EVA foam material makes the mat easy to clean, durable, shock absorbent and comfortable for your practice. When getting a mat, you need to make sure it is made of the right material which is EVA foam material.

The density of the padding material which is mass per cubic volume unit is a big determinant of the quality of the mat one can get. Basically, you want to get the mat with just the right material density to cushion against the falls. A high-density material is able to counter the force exerted on it during the impact.

Soft Landing

Martial Arts Mats Soft Landing

A mat should allow you to have a safe landing when practicing to avoid injuries and trauma to the joints. This gives you the confidence you require to concentrate on the training and to streamline your moves. 

Water Resistance

An ideal mat should be water resistant which makes it not only easy to clean but also safe and durable as water can damage it. A water-resistant material also makes it easy to clean.

Top 5 Reviews of Martial Arts Mats

The flooring sections are not all created equal.

Depending on your training level and where you are going to be doing the majority of your workouts, these five mats will give you a good cross-section idea of what to expect when searching for flooring.

1. IncStores Foam Tiles

Perfect portable floor tiles that allow you to get in a MMA, karate, or mixed martial arts training session anywhere.

Any tile can be used as a corner because each comes with two detachable edges. Comes with a one year warranty against defects and uses high-density EVA foam material for maximum shock absorption.

IncStores - Tatami Foam Tiles - Extra thick mats perfect for martial arts

Pros

  • Durable high-density closed cell foam
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Comes in variety of reversible colors
  • 24″ x 24″
Cons

  • Difficult to cut
  • Larger tile size

2. We Sell Mats EVA Foam

Each tile is especially thick, designed to take the full impact of a fall or constant training. Specialized finish offers maximum comfort to the feet and very durable to train on.

Provides exceptional cushioning on hard floors, can be laid to a small section or tiles will connect to complete a full wall-to-wall design.

Cutting is required to complete the perfect wall-to-wall fit in you dojo.

Martial Arts Interlocking EVA Foam Flooring

Pros

  • WAVY tatami finish
  • Covers 100 square feet
  • Comes in many colors
  • 24″ x 24″ x 3/4″
Cons

  • Not for small area
  • No flat edges

3. We Sell Mats Anti-Fatigue

Colorful assortment of martial arts flooring allows you to create that unique training room by mixing up tile color selection.

Each tile is designed to absorb maximum impact and help to reduce the fatigue of being on your feet for hours during rigorous training.

We Sell Mats Anti-Fatigue Martial Arts Training Mats

Pros

  • Comes with straight edge borders
  • Interlocking shock absorbing technology
  • Comes in 13 colors
  • 24″ x 24″ x 3/8″
Cons

  • Cutting required to fit wall-to-wall
  • Larger pieces

4. We Sell Mats Training

Thick and durable martial arts floor mats will provide an exceptional flooring for any training facility by adding cushioning underfoot while absorbing maximum impact when you hit the floor.

We Sell Mats Martial Arts Training Floor Mat

Pros

  • Covers 34 square feet
  • Interlocking rubber tiles
  • WAVY tatami finish
  • 24″ x 24″ x 3/4″
Cons

  • Limited color selection
  • Large pieces

5. Get Rung

Looking to maximize the usefulness of your studio dojo. These interlocking martial arts floor tiles are made of high density foam for greater comfort and durability.

Get Rung Martial Art Interlocking Floor Mats

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Easy to assemble with highest safety ratings
  • Provides comfortable workout area
  • Several square feet options available for purchase
Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Limited color selection

Where to Use Martial Arts Mats

Martial art marts can be used in different locations for different purposes. The following are places where they’re used the most:

Home Gym

If you just want to start training yourself at home or you want to extend your gym training to home, then you need a mat. You will need to ensure you get a product that suits your requirements depending on the discipline you are training and other factors like storage.

Commercial Gym

Mats are widely used in commercial gyms for other varieties of workouts to provide the required cushioning during these workouts.

Martial Arts Studio

Martial arts are normally very physically involving and can be a lot hard for beginners. Good mats are key in the training journey, especially for beginners. It is almost impossible to have a workout studio without having mats that minimize the injuries during training.

Martial Arts Studio

Boxing Facility

For a boxing facility, you need a firm mat that keeps in place during the rigorous boxing training. In this case then, you not only need a padding but you also need to ensure that it’s the right type.

Dojo

Originally from Japan, dojos are now widespread places for not only training martial arts but also as places of meditation. You will need to ensure that you get the right kind of flooring for your dojo to make it comfortable and accommodating depending on the disciplines you want to practice on it.

Dojang

Originally from Korea, dojang is a place to train martial arts of Korean origin such as kuk sool won, taekwondo and other. You will need appropriate mats if you want to start a dojang.

Kwoon

While a dojang is a place where martial arts of Korean origin are taught, a kwoon is a place where Chinese versions are taught.

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

It is common for people to assume that spending more money on products is a guarantee of better quality. When it comes to martial arts mats, however, more spending does not necessarily guarantee or translate to quality mats.

As already explained, getting the perfect mat requires one to put different factors. The key factor to have in at the top of your list of consideration is the discipline you want to practice and the dominant skills in that discipline. 

Does it involve a lot of slamming or striking? What thickness and density of the mat are ideal? If you subject mats to these criteria before you acquire them, then getting a quality mat should be easy.

How to Install Martial Arts Mats

Installation of the martial arts floor mats is simple. The tiles have interlocking outer edges that allow pieces to seamlessly lock together on all four sides.

If you’re only creating a small work space in the center of the home gym, the tiles take minutes to assemble. If you’re creating the ultimate retreat with tiles flush to all walls, some modification may be required.

Once the flooring has reached the last section of the room, the tiles can be turned over and cut to size with a razor. No gluing required, tiles interlock to provide a seamless appearance.

Installation of mats depends on the type of mat you are installing. In cases of folding and rolling mats, there is no procedure to it. 

You just lay them out and connect more mats if you need a larger space. With interlocking tiles, you may require a little bit more time to do execute the installation. 

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1 – Get the tiles

Get the right amount of tiles you need for your space.

Step 2 – Clean the floor

Start out at one corner of the floor to interlink the tiles. 

Step 3 – Lay down the mat

Cover as much area as you need. Smoothen the ends by cutting the tiles that spill out to have the perfect fit.

How to Clean and Maintain Martial Arts Mats

Step 1 – Wipe the mat

Since the mats are not water absorbent, all you need to do is wipe the surface with a wet cloth when the mats get dirty. 

Step 2 – Disinfecting

You might also need to disinfect the mats once in a while to keep them hygienic.

Do’s and Don’ts to Do with a Martial Arts Mats

  • Don’t fold mats that are not meant for folding as this may damage them.
  • Don’t leave the mats in the way when they are not in use as someone may stumble on them and fall.
  • Don’t clean the mats unnecessarily.
  • Don’t walk on the mats in shoes.
  • Do keep away animals with sharp claws as they may puncture the mats.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are martial arts mats made of?

These paddings are made of EVA foam material which is ideal for shock absorption and cushioning of participants against the impact of the falls and landings. This material allows the mats to create a safe and comfortable area of training for high impact workouts.

How well do martial arts mats work installed on top of carpet?

When interlocking tile mats are installed over a thick carpet, the tiles may separate during practice due to the depression of the carpet and therefore it is best to install them on the bare floor of a thin carpet.

Will martial arts mats slide on hardwood floors?

Folding as well as roll out mats are covered with a non-slip material which does not only ensure safe and firm landing but also keeps the mats in place on a hardwood floor. Interlocking paddings, however, may slip if they do not cover the whole room from wall to wall or a large are enough.

Can these mats be used outdoors?

Martial arts marts are generally portable and easy to install which enables you to take your practice outdoors if you like. Using thesm outdoors can, however, make them degrade faster as they are best suited for indoor use. The direct sunlight may also make them fade faster and lose their appeal.

Conclusion

When it comes down to acquiring the best martial art mats it is best to have in mind exactly what to look for and what qualities make that which mat ideal for what discipline. It is therefore important to keep in mind the discipline for which you are getting the mat and the requirements. Armed with this kind of knowledge, choosing a mat should be easy.

The decision on whether to settle for a folding, roll out, landing mat or interlocking tiles should be subjected to the factors discussed in this article.

Photos from: photography33 / depositphotos.com, Icealien / depositphotos.com, Andreyfire / depositphotos.com,  jerryb7 / depositphotos.com, michaklootwijk / depositphotos.com and rbvrbv / depositphotos.com.