Taekwondo Mats Guide – How to Select Mats for Your School

Various martial arts styles can have differing requirements for mat types, thicknesses, texture, and absorbency. Selecting the right Taekwondo mats for your school is an important decision for both your students’ safety and your martial arts business success. In this article, we will look at what qualities make great mats for Taekwondo practitioners.

Taekwondo Mat Related Injury Risks

Prior to arriving at a conclusion to what makes the best mat type for a given martial art, we need to look at the unique qualities of that martial art. For instance, Jiu Jitsu practitioners have a tendency to be wrestling on the mats, which predisposes them to issues such as “mat burn”. Depending on the type of mats a Jiu Jitsu user is on, the mat burn can vary in severity.

In the case of Taekwondo, there are a few factors like this, which are most prevalent and need extra consideration when mats are being chosen for a school.

foot injury
Source: Pixabay

Kicking in Taekwondo

One such factor is the array of dynamic kicks that are performed within Taekwondo. Some of these dynamic kicks require the students to load their weight on the balls of their feet and pivot their foot nearly 180 degrees in order to align their hips for delivering power through the kick (such as a roundhouse).

In this situation, softer mats can make it difficult for this foot pivot to occur and could pose a risk to the student’s ankle if the pivot does not happen, but the body is still spinning.

Another common factor in Taekwondo is the chance that a student falls. Like any martial art, this is one of the most common reasons for purchasing mats. While Taekwondo may not be known for it’s power throws, such as in Judo, there is still a likely chance that a student could find themselves headed face first toward the mat. Therefore, absorbency is still a very important factor.

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Our Top 3 Mat Picks

With the two previously discussed risk factors in mind, we recommend three types of mats for Taekwondo:

swain sectional mats
Source: Dollamur

Sectional Mats

Sectional mats, such as Fuji or Dollamur/Swain are great for most aspects of Taekwondo. These mats offer great absorbency with a fall and yet aren’t too soft. The balance is just right (in our opinion). These mats also come in 3’x6’ sections, which means the practitioner is less likely to rub the soles of their feet on the creases in the mats, unlike our last suggestion (puzzle mats).

Modern Rollout Mats

Rollout mats, such as Dollamur FLEXI-Roll (with FLEXI-Connect), also make for great Taekwondo mats. As with the sectional mats, Rollout mats have great absorbency, while maintaining a firm surface for performing kicks. Resilite also makes a rollout mat version.

jiu jitsu mats
SOURCE: Greatmats

Puzzle Mats

In the case of puzzle mats, you will still be able to perform kicks well, as the surface is firm. On the downside, these mats can often be slightly too firm, even the 2” thick versions. Another downside of puzzle mats is that the interlocking connections sometimes do not line up vertically and are not straight lines, causing a rough texture against the foot on the interlocks.

While this doesn’t always happen, it can can be an issue, especially with lower quality puzzle mats. Additionally, mats that have a tendency to warp over time, or have been mix-matched with a newer version, or mixed with a different brand altogether, can have the same issue.

Despite the mild downfalls, puzzle mats are often a great option for Taekwondo practitioners.

Wrapping Up

In short, you will need to decide what makes sense for your school. For a more comprehensive analysis of martial arts mats, check out our complete Martial Arts Mats Guide below.

We go into full depth in our Martial Arts Mats Guide:

To get our full breakdown on Martial Arts Mats, fill out the form:

Get the Martial Arts Mats Guide!

Choosing your mats can be a HUGE decision! Take out the guess work with our guide to choosing your mats!

Disclaimer: Everything written herein should be taken as our opinion and should not be construed as advice. Further, we are not liable for any accidents or injury on mats purchased based on the content of this page.

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