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I am in the process of building some kind of martial arts room in my basement. I also want to practice on the ground (and practice some falls) and might do some fitness inside the room too. Also, I don't have a high ceiling (2.2 m high).

I was thinking about getting this kind of mat (60 cm2, 1.2 cm thick), as I see them to be the cheapest solution:

Does anyone have experience with these kinds of mats? What are the pros and cons of EVA mats for Martial Arts training (specifically falling)?

PS: I also thought 1.2 cm was the right width for my mats as I don't have a high ceiling, but I'm a bit worried because Taekwondo mats have 2.5 cm more width

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    It would be helpful to be more specific about "training". Are you intending to take falls on this surface? Are you intending to throw? – mattm Mar 29 at 16:43
  • Yeah I wrote about falls. No throws intended although it would be a + – QuestionMan Mar 29 at 16:52
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    Which martial arts would you be practicing? What activities do you see doing the most? Karate kata? Punch/kick stuff? Grappling / wrestling? Throws? General fitness (jumping jacks, burpees, etc.)? Skip rope? Running in place? Knowing that would be helpful. – Steve Weigand Mar 29 at 21:18
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I have a little experience with these mats. Specifically, I've trained at places that use them. Here is what I can gather:

Pros

  • They are easily transportable
  • They can be disassembled and reassembled very quickly
  • Can be a great surface to practice kicking on because they provide a semi-soft landing

Cons

  • They aren't soft enough to safely practice falling on unless you have built up your endurance

  • Their rough texture makes grappling difficult and uncomfortable

  • Can cause bruises if you fall incorrectly onto them

Here's my suggestion:

Get a fold out mat like this one. They are great for falling onto. If you also want to practice kicking, then you should buy the EVA mats, but also buy one of two of the fold outs. Again, they aren't the best for falling on unless you've mastered falling onto something a little softer. Eventually, if you keep increasing the hardess of the surfaces that you fall on, you will be able to safely fall on concrete. So if you've practiced on softer surfaces and got that down, then these would be a great idea. If you haven't, then start out with something softer, like a fold out mat.

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