MMA Mats: Back to the Basics

Mats are such an integral part of the Mixed Martial Arts training experience. If you are looking to open a new facility, it’s never too early to begin planning your next mat purchase, and if you own an existing facility, it’s never too late to take stock in your MMA mats and consider upgrading.

What to Consider When Buying New Mats

The first consideration when choosing MMA mats is safety! It is important to get the right mats for the right application so your students can train safely and successfully. To best address safe applications of mats in an MMA facility, a gym owner needs to answer several key questions:

  • Which art or arts is the focus of the training area?
  • Is the training area a dedicated space or a multi-purpose room?
  • Who will be training: experienced fighters, amateur fighters, first timers, etc.?
  • Will your students be training while wearing a gi or will it be a combination of gi and no-gi training?

By answering these questions, a knowledgeable mat provider can help you decide on the type of mat, the proper thickness of the mat and the right surface texture of the mat you need.

Considering Your Budget, Style, Etc.

If training space and budget are your biggest concerns, you may want to consider multi-use Roll-Out Mats or Zebra Combo Mats. If you are focused on teaching the Striking Arts, you would want to consider the Zebra Puzzle Mats. If your focus is the Grappling Arts, then the Zebra Grappling Puzzle Mat or higher-end Grappling Mat (both with tatami-style vinyl surface) would be your best choice.

Go Beyond the Mats

Mats go beyond floor covering, of course. Padding for walls (Zebra Wall Pads) and structural posts (Pole Pads) will improve the look of a finished training space and also help ensure a safe training experience.

If top-level fighters will be using your space, you need to be looking at top-of-the-line mats, such as Zebra Pro Series MMA Mats. This mat is a two-inch thick mat that is designed to handle aggressive throws. Its smooth surface is non-abrasive (critical for any non-gi training).

Because this is a capital investment that will last years, a mat purchase needs to be considered a long-term investment. Zebra Mats have a 10-year limited warranty and typically last at least 15 years. Still, you may want to replace your mats more frequently to change colors or keep the mats looking as new as possible.