There is nothing scarier for a coach or gym owner than one of their students being injured. Wall pads are designed to minimise the risk of injury by absorbing impact. If you haven’t already purchased wall mats for your gym, you need them in your gym as an added level of protection. The wall mats offered at British MMA Mats are made from shock-absorbing cross-linked polyethylene, which can prevent against dangerous head injuries.
The Risk of Head Injuries
In the past 20 years, there has a boom in MMA training centers popping up throughout the UK and the world. With the increase of participants in combat sports, several studies have been released detailing the potential dangers associated with the sport.
A recent article from the American Journal of Sports Medicine shed light on the risk of head injuries for those who take part in MMA (1). The study found that older combatants are more at risk for serious head injuries following a KO or a TKO. In addition, the study found that on average it took 3.5 seconds to end a fight after a KO-strike, leading to several more blows to the head.
In an earlier article found in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, videos of MMA matches were scrutinised and an overwhelmingly large proportion of matches were stopped do to force to the head (2). The survey mentions that this new breed of fighting, “no-holds barred fighting” as they refer to it, can cause musculoskeletal injuries, which not only end the match but could stop athletes from competing in further competitions.
You probably already know that all combat sports are inherently dangerous, but you may not have known that all you need to do is make a single addition to your gym and you could easily provide greater protection to the athletes you train: purchase wall mats.
Wall Mats Offered at British Martial Arts Mats
Adding that additional added protection as wall mats could make the difference to create a safer space. Once all areas are covered with shock absorbing foam mats, you can rest easier knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to protect those athletes training in your facility.
Constructed form a lightweight cross-linked polyethylene (XPE) foam which is incredibly efficient at cushioning blows. XPE foam is incredibly resilient and is able to retain compression resistance with repeated impacts. This can be owed to the cell structure of XPE which doesn’t break down compared to other mats. These wall mats meet the BS EN 12503:2013 for cushioning ability.
In addition, these wall mats are covered with a heavy-duty flame-resistant polyester PVC fabric. This PVC outer shell is incredibly useful at preventing friction burns. This fabric is incredibly durable, with the ability to resist gouges, scrapes, and divots. In order to bring some expression to your gym, club logos may be added to the mats for an additional fee.
This translates directly to you, and specifically to your wallet. These mats will stand the regular wear and tear at your gym. These mats can be supplied with 6mm MDF plywood backing which makes it incredibly easy to fix the 2m X 1m panels to the wall. This means that you’ll also save costs of setting these mats at by yourself.
How Do You Install a Wall Mat in Your Gym?
As mentioned above, you don’t need to hire a contractor to install your wall mats because installing wall pads is easy enough that you can do it yourself. Even if you’ve never used a hammer and a power drill before, you can easily manage this project. All you need is a to take a bit of time to map out how many square metres of wall space you need to cover. Once you have a good idea of how many walls need to be covered, send us the measurements and we can set you up with a quote for the products.
Some Tools You’ll Need to Get Started:
A Measuring Tape
A Power Drill
And a friend (who is offering to help specifically because you offered to buy him a beer afterwards)
Scoping Out Your Space.
Start by a general overview of your room. Make sure to move out all equipment or other hinderances in the room. Whenever I’m doing a construction project, I like to start with a clean slate, and this is especially true when you’re measuring for an install.
Walk through your room and make a note of the general overview of the room. If you’re not covering every wall with wall mats, try to envision which walls need the mats. Then get out your measuring tape and clipboard with paper. Keep track of exact measurements. If the room has baseboards, be sure to include those in your calculations.
Obstacles: Windows, Doors, Columns, I-beams, Doors, Electrical Outlets, Light Switches
When you’re taking measurements for your room, visualise where these obstacles may be. Make a note, either through a drawing or just a mental note, of the place of each of these obstacles. You may need to install the wall mat above an already installed mat, or over base boards. When sketching out a wall, start from left to right, translating everything you see onto the page with the exact measurements. This will be incredibly handy to you later on.
There are special mat padding cut outs you can use for the light switches and electrical outlets in your athletic facility. These inserts are made of flexible plastic which easily hides the outlet in a recessed space, while also keeping the structural integrity of the mats intact.
For I-beams and columns, you’re going to have to become a little more creative to create a safe space. First, remember that when measuring the space for the wall padding, you’ll need extra mat material to cover a beam. Let’s say a beam is 20cm thick, and the wall mats are 40mm thick, then the total mat space, including the sides, will be 24cm.
In those tight, hard to reach spots where you can’t quite fit your power drill into, consider using construction grade adhesives to hold the mats in place. Epoxy resin based adhesives are great for welding different building materials together, just like PVC polyester and concrete block. Although there are a lot of great options to properly hang your wall mats, the easiest is by screwing horizontal pieces of wood directly to the wall, and then screwing the mats to them.
There is nothing more reassuring than walking into a MMA gym which has wall mats because it shows that safety is a priority. It shows every single person who steps foot in your gym that you take injury prevention seriously, and that you’re doing everything in your power to prevent major injuries, like concussions.
1.Hutchison MG, Lawrence DW, Cusimano MD, Schweizer TA. Head Trauma in Mixed Martial Arts. Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;42(6):1352-8. doi: 10.1177/0363546514526151. Epub 2014 Mar 21. PMID: 24658345.
2.Buse GJ. No holds barred sport fighting: a 10 year review of mixed martial arts competition. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Feb;40(2):169-72. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2005.021295. PMID: 16432006; PMCID: PMC2492032.
Author – Dave Van Kooten