Equipping a Home Martial Arts Studio

There are so many choices to make when considering how to outfit your home martial arts studio; location, size, equipment, etc. It’s important to pay attention to even the smallest of details when setting up your space so it can be a place you look forward to being in day after day. 

Martial arts aren’t like other workouts. You can’t just plop down on the floor at the foot of your bed and get a good workout done. Bedrooms and family rooms may be sufficient for a workout that’s limited to the space a yoga or exercise mat might occupy, but for martial arts, you need space. Many home practitioners find that a corner of an unfinished basement works well. It’s in conditioned space, it’s easily accessible, and with the shifting around of a few boxes and unused furniture, it can quickly become a well-quipped martial arts studio. Similarly, and with about as much effort, garages can offer ideal conditions for hosting a workout space. While these spaces aren’t heated or cooled, they can be just as effective at providing a private, accessible space for your practice.

The size of your home martial arts studio is going to depend on your intended use. If you just need enough space to hang a heavy bag, your space requirement will be less. But if you plan to practice high-intensity movements or practice with another person, you’ll need a lot more room. Consider storing equipment, too. You’ll want some space dedicated to keeping your equipment easily accessible, but not in the way, so remember to factor in storage space when deciding your square footage.

Why is determining the size of your martial arts space a factor? Because you can’t practice on a poured concrete floor! You’ll need to cover the floor with martial arts mats (don’t think some carpet or rugs are going to do the trick…they’ll land you in the hospital). Martial arts mats come in different thicknesses, styles, and installation methods. The simplest are those that you can install yourself without adhesive. Choose a thickness that complements your ability: if you’re a seasoned practitioner, you probably don’t need extra padding, but if you’re a beginner or if children are involved, you’ll want to go with the thicker option. Good mats can be ordered by square footage and by individual tiles to fit your space precisely. Here’s an example of a great review of some martial arts mats: “I use them for yoga and our muay tai heavy bag and grappling dummy. The mats are also well-suited to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling.” Mats that can handle that kind of activity are going to do well in your studio.

Don’t skimp when it comes to your studio. If it’s not comfortable, inviting, or well-equipped, it will end up being just another unused piece of furniture in the basement. Take the time to plan its design, ask questions of helpful retailers and experienced martial arts instructors, and incorporate your personal tastes. Then look forward to years of fitness in your own home.