There are many uses for training mats. It is easy to think that there only use is for martial arts which is why they are often referred to as martial arts mats. As mentioned in previous articles training mats can be used to training in many activities and are indeed present in many different fields. The question isn’t where they are used but why. The answer to that is more often then not as a form of protection against injury.
There are two main kinds of mats on offer which form the bulk of the training mats used by training organisations. They are EVA mats and judo mats. No particular mat is favoured by a particular activity rather there are many factories involved in which kind of mat an organisation choses to use. The reasons for which are as varied as the organisations that use them. First though it would be necessary to describe each kind of mat.
Eva mats are probably the most common mat used by organisations as an anti-fatigue or protection mat. They are often referred to with a variety of names such as:
- jigsaw mats
- puzzle mats
- gym mats
EVA refers to the material itself which is a form or plastic manufactured into a compressed foam. Having a structure like foam makes sure it has some ‘give’ which in effect gives it its absorbing qualities. As it is make from a form or plastic it is very easy and inexpensive to manufacture. It is also relatively light and can be manufactures easily in a number of different colours.
Judo mats on the other hand are a combination of materials. In the middle you find compressed foam (not EVA) which is wrapped with a vinyl cover. The vinyl is durable and comes with a tatami finish. Judo mats can also come with a smooth finish but those mats are generally referred to as MMA mats. Judo mats also come with a rubber backing to help prevent them from sliding around during use. Judo mats are more expensive then EVA mats as the manufacturing process is more complex. Also they are more durable and easier to maintain.
EVA Mats vs Judo Mats
So which mats are more suitable for training? Essential both kinds of mats are suitable for activities that require protection. They both have absorbing qualities and both are are popular choice. Which mat a particular organisation choses depends on personal preference. Criteria which are often considered when making a choice may include:
- Durability required
- Permanence of area for training
Clearly when looking at the characteristics of both judo mats and EVA mats it is obvious that they both have there appealing properties. It is these very properties which determine which mat any particular organisation decides to chose.