All about Interlocking Mats (Tatami)

What are Martial Arts Mats

It doesn’t matter whether you are learning Karate, Judo, BJJ, Tae Kwon Do or any other martial art, using good floor mats will help to keep you safe from injury as you take this exciting journey. These mats were originally called tatami which are traditional Japanese floor coverings made from a rush covered straw mat. You can still buy these mats, they are beautiful but extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for most people. Now most mats are made from foam although they are still referred to as Tatami in a martial arts context.  

With all the benefits you can get from practising a martial art, it comes as no surprise that the popularity has increased over the years to include more people of all age brackets who are seeking to gain these benefits. There are a wide range of reasons why people practice martial arts, such as; confidence building, self-defense, spiritual reasons, keeping fit and healthy are among them.  

Martial arts mats provide a padded surface to a hard floor that allows a person to practice different maneuvers safely without adding any unnecessary stress to the body. There are many different types of mats available on the market. Basically, an ideal mat should be one that is safe to land on and whose material is good enough to absorb the repeated shock of the falls and the landings.  

We have found the best mats to be the interlocking mats that use EVA, the latest in athletic foam technology as they will never harden or shrink. These mats are able to support maximum performance throughout their life. 25mm mats are suited to arts like Karate and Taekwondo whereas the 40mm mats are more suited to grappling and throwing arts like Judo, Jiu Jutsu and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jutsu).

The mats connect seamlessly together and will provide adequate practice space in a home gym or workout facility. You can install them wall-to-wall or in the centre of a room if you are only using a small area to practice.

Each mat is available to purchase individually so you have the ability to create the safe space needed to hone your skills, if your training space increases in size it is easy to expand the area with more mats. Just make sure that the jig-saw pattern is the same as they can differ or the mats won’t connect. 

Another great advantage of martial arts floor mats is that they can be easily be transported. If you don’t have a permanent dojo space you can pack them up at the end of the night and take them with you. 

If you have a home dojo and you or your child has to practice before an event, the tiles could be placed on the floor in a hotel room or at a local park, providing a mobile training station that will help to keep you in peak shape.

The biggest advantage of interlocking mats over the other types is that one can easily replace damaged tiles without having to replace the whole mat because a section is damaged. You also have the ability to customise your dojo as the mats are blue on one side and red on the other.

Benefits of Using Martial Arts Floor Mats 

Martial arts mats are great for anyone trying to advance in their particular art. Choosing the right floor mat is key because it is likely you could be falling often. When you are tossed to the floor by an opponent or instructor, you may hit with your legs, arms, back or shoulders. The right mats provide maximum shock absorption. A high-quality mat is designed to last for years and take countless hours of abuse, and if you do damage one you can easily replace it.

Here are a few benefits of using a good mat:


When practicing martial arts, there is a lot of tumbling and landing that can inflict injuries on the body. Mats are installed to ensure that these falls and landings are safe. They reduce significantly the trauma that would be caused to the joints if there were no mats.


If you are practising martial arts with the fear of injury in the back of your mind it can greatly hinder your performance. Installing mats gives you the confidence to execute your moves knowing that any falls that might result from it will be cushioned by the mat.


Training on the bare hard floor can be uncomfortable even for experienced martial artists. Whereas the bare hard floor may train one to avoid falling, it may hinder the advancement and realisation of the full potential of the trainee.

Mats make training comfortable especially for beginners who may not be used to the stress martial arts can place on the body.

Pros of Interlocking Mats

  • Easy to Assemble: Perfect for someone who doesn’t have a permanent practice area as they can be easily disassembled and kept away after practice.
  • Portability: Make it easy to go wherever you want to go with your mat as they are light and will not need a big transporting space as well.
  • Durability: If you need a mat that will stand the test of time this is an option for you. They are easy to repair as well as all you need to do is replace the spoilt or worn out tiles.
  • Waterproof: Some mats that absorb water can get soggy after the cleaning which means they take time to dry and may still be damp afterward and attract mold. With the interlocking mats, you don’t have to deal with that issue and they are very easy to clean. 
  • Shock absorbent: The purpose of any great mat is majorly to absorb shock during practice and the EVA type does that perfectly.
  • Customized look: Interlocking foam tiles come in different colors and textures which make it possible for you to choose a look that is perfect for you.