The single most important piece of equipment to martial artists are the mats that they train on. Mats need to be able to both cushion a fall from chest height and have an anti-slip surface that allows martial artists to recover from a devastating strike. But when the training is done for the day, you don’t want to carry heavy mats away to be stored. The best mats are easily moved, stowed in another part of the studio to free up gym space. With minimal exertion, and a few volunteers, roll out mats can be rolled into an easy to handle cylinder.
Attaching Multiple Mats
Rollout mats combine together to become enormous single mats. There are two major ways of attaching them together: tape and Velcro. Tape can work really well in the short run, but may require re-taping because of sweat and grime. Velcro is the best choice because once the mats are attached, they’re locked in place, seldom having to be reattached.
Rollout Mats Vs Flat Mats
There are three main types of mats: rollout, jigsaw, and flat mats. It’s important to compare rollout mats with flat mats in order to know the best fit for your home gym, training room, or competitive martial arts center. Rollout mats are the economical choice to cover large swathes of gym, with a single mat covering 6m x 1.5m, and multiple mats combining to make a fighting space for multiple combatants. Flat mats cannot compare with the sheer square meters covered by rollout mats.
Unlike jigsaw mats, rollout mats are completely odourless, and are easily cleaned by simply dissembling the mats. Jigsaw mats are commonly used as permanent flooring, and as a result the seams can become filled with grime and bacteria. Not so with rollout mats which are easily torn down, and can be placed away. Also, since the XPE foam used to make rollout mats is non porous, these rollout mats can be easily cleaned with water.
Uses For Rollout Mats
Another thing to keep in mind is that most rollout mats are made of a closed-cell foam XPE, which is incredibly durable, but also dense and unforgiving when compared to 40mm thick flat mats. Rollout mats offer a firm surface for takedowns and have very little give.
However, because of the ease of mobility and rapid mobility, rollout mats are the perfect mat to have for organisations that host competitions which involve large groups of participants. For example, rollout mats are perfect for gymnastic competitions. Even large wrestling, MMA, and Jujitsu competitions would benefit from the sheer size that rollout mats provide.
If you’re the host of a large combat sports event, go with the 40mm thick mats offered through Martial Arts Mats Ireland (British Martial Arts Mats) which are made from only the best XPE, offering stability and mobility, allowing for easy setup and teardown.
-Dave Van Kooten
Safety Tip. Don’t forget to regularly check your martial arts and gymnastics mats.
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