In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as with other martial arts, additional equipment can benefit the typical training styles. Zebra mats, whether in the 1.5” or 2” thicknesses, are perfect for day to day training in BJJ facilities. There are aspects of jiu jitsu training, however, that would benefit from occasional use of softer surfaces such as Zebra’s line of landing mats (also known as crash pads).
Good takedown skills are a cornerstone of any competitive jiu jitsu athlete. With so many athletes pulling guard these days, being able to gain an extra two points may make the difference between winning and losing in a match. It’s an undisputed fact, however, that training takedowns is hard on the body. Training more active takedowns, including those involving throws, is even harder. Landing mats allow for training takedowns more often with less impact on bones and muscles. In addition, learning new takedowns means practicing until safe and correct technique can be executed without a second thought. A softer landing surface provides athletes with more forgiveness during takedown training until they’ve learned how to safely perform the takedown.
As more and more children and younger adults begin training, attention to longevity must also be taken into account. A softer landing surface for takedowns is crucial to reduce wear and tear on younger bodies to allow them to make jiu jitsu a lifetime sport. For those who begin the sport as older adults, landing pads offer cushion for bones that may be beginning to show signs of frailty, and joints and muscles that have less mobility than in earlier years. Offering landing mats for takedown training can play a pivotal role in keeping athletes training, and training healthy.