Brian Kagen pick: “The Quest for the Perfect Judo Floor” by Paul Nogaki

“If any of us has done Judo for any amount of time we have probably done Judo on a myriad of different types of surfaces. I have done Judo on sawdust covered with canvas, to horsehair mats, to wrestling mats to the latest vinyl covered tatamis made specifically for Judo.

Our Judo club decided to re-do our floors after we noticed the foam under our tatami was starting to break down and our surface was becoming uneven and falls were starting to hurt more and more especially to us adults

In our quest for the “perfect” Judo floor, I started to do some research. I had the “let’s do it right” attitude with budget constraints being a major concern. I ended up talking to two structural engineers, a kinesiology specialist, mat manufacturers, gymnastic floor manufacturers, gymnastic coaches and many Judoka on this subject. I must give special credit to James Carmer from Denver Judo who was extremely helpful as he was also doing research on this subject and was great help in the area of suppliers. We both came up with the same conclusion as to the ideal flooring system and surface for Judo. Great minds must think alike. ”

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  1. That looks really cool!

    For aikido purposes, judotex high density foam is pretty good stuff right over concrete, but aikido falls are lower impact. Bruce Klickstein installed that in a couple of his Aikido Institute schools. The funny part was that in his second location he put on a new canvas cover. the nap of the canvas wore the callous off my feet! Painting was attempted. The spines were then more rigid, but brittle…

    One product I absolutely do NOT recommend is wrestling mat. It is soft to give traction for low grappling. Bad for toes and ankles in aikido because the inevitable friction when pivoting the feet. Also it stings A LOT on breakfalls. Gymnastic mats don’t sting as much but still grab the feet too much; foot, ankle and knee injuries. If they are the velcro-together portable type, people also get in between the joints; toes if the joints are tight, and when the velcro wears out, hands, feet and knees.

    Have trained on padded carpet. Ok, depending on the pad. More friction burns, though. Grass is pretty good, generally, depending on the grass, dampness, and who walks their dog where.

    After a while anybody should be able to roll on concrete pretty comfortably. Sidewalks, however, usually leave teeny friction burns on the outside of the knee because of their texture.

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