With Karate making headlines as it tries to become an Olympic sport, one can’t help but consider other martial arts as potentials for the Games as well. There is certainly a contingent of the population which believes any martial art should see the Olympic spotlight, but others believe that martial arts shouldn’t take the stage because they would lose their roots, become diluted, and evolve into a sport. Kendo is a good example. Continue reading Kendo: Martial Art or Sport?
If you’ve got a kid who’s into martial arts and practices at a facility, you know it’s impossible to keep them from trying things out at home. So how do you protect them while still encouraging their love of a great sport? The best thing you can do is provide them with a safe, supportive home martial arts practice space.
An area of the garage or basement lends itself perfectly to a home martial arts practice studio and it can easily be constructed without professional help. Most practitioners find that pivoting throws, kicks, and takedowns are better accomplished on a mat that won’t move beneath them or be so smooth that gripping is impossible. Many instructors and seasoned martial artists will tell you that a textured mat is the best way to go.
Tatami mats were traditionally made of rice straw and covered floors in homes. As martial arts evolved, these mats were used for practice, primarily because of their texture, though they offered no shock-absorption. Today’s tatami finished martial arts mats combine the best current foam technology with the texture of tatami to provide padding, protection, and grip without compromising balance or stability.
For a home martial arts practice, the best tatami mats will be thick, textured, and easily adapted to different configurations. If your 10 year-old wants to practice at home, but soon becomes your 15 year-old, the space she needs will change. Mats with interlocking tabs for additional tiles will best suit this situation. If a solo practice becomes one involving opponents, the space will need to be expanded, too. And if your practice changes to one involving grappling, the floor will need to be specialized to meet the requirements of a lot of time spent on the ground.
There are many ways to install the flooring so it covers your required space; sometimes just laying the tiles on a hard surface is enough, especially if the tiles connect to each other securely. Some people find that the addition of carpet tape to the underside of the mats provides additional stability. Either way, the installation requires only a few minutes, but can last the lifetime of the practice.
Give yourself or your child the consideration of safety, durability, and tactical advantage by installing the best martial arts mats in your home studio.