Taekwondo training requires martial arts mats that not only protect athletes when they hit the mat, but also provides the stability they need to perform head-height kicks, spins, jumps and other stand-up techniques.
While some facilities choose puzzle mats, often for budgetary reasons, these mats are not the best investment for serious taekwondo training, which is why organizations like the ATA recommend them in any of their facilities or at any tournaments. The best taekwondo mats have a few key qualities facility owners and trainers should look for.
What Makes a Good Taekwondo Mat?
There are several aspects of specially designed taekwondo mats that make them ideal for training and competitions:
3. Quality and type of foam
The thickness of taekwondo mats differs from that of the ideal mats for BJJ training. While facilities that focus more on BJJ, judo, and other grappling arts want their mats to be thicker (ideally 1.5-2 inches), which provides more protection against takedowns and throws, taekwondo facilities will benefit more from mats that are 1” thick. This is because thinner mats are slightly firmer, providing the necessary stability for stand-up martial arts training. If athletes won’t be hitting the mats hard, any thickness over 1” is overkill.
The official Zebra mats used by the ATA for their tournaments are the 1” combo mats, which come with a 15lb/ft3 foam density, a latex anti-skid backing and a tatami-style textured vinyl for maximum support of spin/jump kicks and other quickly performed techniques.
Better Than Puzzle Mats
When compared to puzzle mats, Combo mats are superior in every way. They are made using high quality open cell foam, while puzzle mats are manufactured using closed cell foam (read this to learn why open cell foam matters in marital art mats). Zebra’s combo mats also come with a 10-year warranty (compared to a 90 warranty on puzzle mats) and a life expectancy of 15+ years (compared to 5 years for puzzle mats).
Contact Zebra for Financing Options
Puzzle mats provide some protection and stability, but nothing beats the superior quality and performance of Zebra’s Combo mats. If pricing is an obstacle for your facility, get in touch with Zebra today to learn about our financing options.