Whether it’s for you or your child, a martial arts practice area in your home is a great idea. And contrary to what you might think, it’s entirely affordable.
It’s important to dedicate a specific area of your home as your martial arts workout space, rather than just practicing randomly in different areas. The arts are about discipline, structure, control. The first way to ensure you have the best experience is to prioritize the space in which you practice. Make it a dedicated, exclusive space only for your practice, not doubling as the playroom, family room, or 36 square feet in front of the clothes washer. A sense of place gives reverence and value to your practice.
It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of space, but if your practice involves throws, you may want to carve out a larger area well away from anything that could injure. If you need an area only for tai chi, a small space may suffice. A patio outdoors with some good martial arts mats is actually quite enjoyable. But if you’re into an art that involves throws, like judo, plan on a much larger area. Converting areas of the garage or a basement are common choices, though dedicating an entire room in the house can offer a more intentional feel, almost like you have your own dojo.
Regardless of the size of your space, preparing it for use as your studio can be easy and inexpensive. Clearing the space of obstructions is priority one. No need to land on the kids’ toys or the corner of a tool bench. Once the space is cleared, you’ll need to prepare the floor. Never practice on hard surfaces that will cause injury. Garages and basements are great spaces, but concrete floors are not conducive to the practice of martial arts! The solution is simple, effective, aesthetically pleasing, and inexpensive. Mats made specifically for martial arts practice should be purchased and installed over any hard floor. Never put the mats over carpeting (unless it is extremely low-pile) as it can result in loss of balance. The mats should have a textured finish to ensure the best grip, and the really good ones will be easily installed with no professional installation required.
If you’ve been hesitant to bring your practice home, don’t worry. A martial arts studio can easily be integrated into your existing space with very little effort or cost.