In Kanō Jigorō’s time, there were no industrially produced judo mats as we know them today. The tatami of that time were actually used as flooring in rooms, which should get a traditional touch and showed good cushioning properties as well as excellent adhesion.

In 30 seconds the most important:

  • Judo mats are irreplaceable for training or a judo competition. They cushion the fall during a throw.
  • The mats are multi-layered, with a foam core that absorbs energy well.
  • Per square meter you have to plan about 25€. Depending on the number of participants, you should allow a buffer of 2 meters around each participant.
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Judo mats FAQ

Judo mats are essential for judo training. So that you can also shine with knowledge, would like to answer you at this point a number of common questions.

Judo Training
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Why do you need judo mats?

The judo mats are irreplaceable for training, because practicing throws on bare hall floor, even among professionals, would provide regular, serious fall injuries. Due to the padding of the mats, the fall will not be so painful.

Manufacture and texture

In the past, peopleused a braid of rushes on a rice straw core and fixed this structure with a cotton band. The production was costly and time-consuming, therefore the sensitive tatami were walked on exclusively without shoes, so as not to damage them. The side lengths of the tatami were fixed and even served as a unit of measurement.

Not only did the method of manufacture change over the last two hundred years, but so did the standards. At that time, Kanō Jigorō used what already existed and was most suitable for his training. Today, many judo mats are made specifically for the purpose of martial arts.

We can buy judo mats whose main objectives are to cushion the great impact as it occurs in judo throws, to provide a very good grip on the ground, minimizing the risk of burns and abrasions.

Materials used

Judo mats usually consist of 3 parts.

  • The underside is made with an adhesive material so that the mat literally sticks in place.
  • The core is usually made of a foam, which has a different density in the various models in order to be able to produce different degrees of hardness. Here it is generally true that beginners train on softer mats than professionals.
  • The upper side and the side edges are provided with a vinyl coating, which primarily serves to not let any dirt through and to be washable itself. The second effect of this coating is that it doesn’t keep tearing if damaged, like foam does, but can still be repaired if there is a small, external damage.

Typical shapes and colors of judo mats

The shape of modern judo mats is square or rectangular, as the dimensions 1×1 meter and 1×2 meter have become popular. Their thickness is, in the most common models, 4 or 5 cm. Mostly they are smooth on the outside, although there are some models which have a jagged edge and you have to put them into each other, like a puzzle.

As for the colors, the manufacturers are very differently equipped. Some offer only red and green, others still blue, yellow, turquoise or gray. However, the color has no influence on the properties, so you can choose freely according to your taste.

Surface and hardness of judo mats

The surface of judo mats usually has an uneven structure, which is similar to the former rice straw mats. This minimizes any risk of slipping on the mat and also helps to cushion falls.

The hardness of the mats is indicated with a value called “RG”, which stands for “volume weight” and has no relation to the thickness of the judo mats. This means that a mat with an RG of 260 would weigh 260 kg per cubic meter. Common values are about RG 235 for medium-hard mats, as recommended for beginners, or RG 260 for harder professional mats.

Buy judo mat

All these factors should be taken into account when you or your club is obliged to buy judo mats. Do not be blinded only by the price tag, but also remember the principle: who buys too cheap, buys again.

Update: 2023-01-20 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API