Men grappling on BJJ Tatami Mats

There's something about training on a Tatami mat that feels right for Jiu-Jitsu. The traditional Japanese flooring may give you a sense of connection to the art's origins. Or it's the softer surface that makes every technique feel more powerful.

Either way, there are plenty of benefits to training on Tatami mats. 


In this blog post, we will explore some of those benefits and show you why you should consider using Tatami mats for your next Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class or competition.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Importance of Using the Right Mats

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is an incredible way to develop physical and mental strength, challenging you with every class. But to have a fun, safe and efficient practice, it's essential to make sure you use the suitable training mats.

It's not just about having the necessary amount of cushioning when practising submissions while minimising injuries – Brazilian Ju Jitsu mats are specifically designed to support your movements and facilitate cardio-vascular conditioning simultaneously.

With high-quality materials and tight weave construction for easy maintenance and durability, quality products guarantee that every training session is enjoyable and beneficial. No matter what level you're currently at in your martial art practice, investing in professional field platform mats is essential for taking jiu-jitsu sessions to the next level.

What Are Tatami BJJ Mats Made Of?

Tatami mats are a vital part of BJJ training. Without them, students wouldn't have the cushioning necessary to practice this martial art safely and comfortably. Tatami mats are made of two layers:

  • A bottom foam layer. The foam layer is firmer on the outside but softer on the inside for optimal cushioning and support during training.

  • A top woven layer that can come in various colours and textures. The top woven layer is designed to guard against sweat and stains while providing comfort and traction during arm bars, throws, or other manoeuvres.



Thanks to their strong construction materials, tatami mats will last longer than many other types of flooring and provide just enough protection without sacrificing the feel of connecting with the ground—essential for successful BJJ training.

The Difference Between a Regular BJJ Mat and a Tatami Mat

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art gaining popularity around the world. As its practitioners increase, brand-name companies have started offering specialised sports products, including mats for practising and competing. Here's how a regular BJJ mat compares to a tatami mat:

  • A regular BJJ mat provides more cushioning and less slip than a traditional tatami mat, making it the material of choice for grapplers needing extra comfort.

  • On the other hand, many tatami mats have been designed with competition belt levels in mind, from student-level belts to world champions. These higher-quality mats may be more expensive, but they offer the best grip possible.

Whether you're just starting or a seasoned veteran, choosing between a regular BJJ mat or a tatami mat could make all the difference in your performance.

The Size and Thickness of a Tatami Mat

The size and thickness of a BJJ tatami mat can significantly impact the quality of your martial arts training. Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is that bigger mat sizes are better when possible, as this increases the available area for practice.


As for thickness, mats in 20mm, 30mm and 40mm offer the best support and cushioning than thinner mats that may not absorb shock as effectively. But, again, ensure you consider your practice environment and choose a mat accordingly.

The Many Benefits of Training Jiu-Jitsu on a Tatami Mat

If you're considering starting to train jiu-jitsu, one of the most important decisions you'll make is what type of mat to train on. Many different types of mats are available on the market, but tatami mats are generally considered the best option for training.

Here's a look at some of the benefits that come with training jiu-jitsu on a tatami mat:

1) Help Improve Balance and Coordination

Training jiu-jitsu on a tatami mat isn't just good for your health. It's also great for improving coordination and balance. These durable mats are made of interlocking boards that fit easily together and are the optimal size—large enough to practice moves, gi range techniques or ground techniques.

Plus, beginners can find them in different gi ranges, so no matter their skill level, they can have confidence knowing the mat will hold up to whatever training they're doing. Jiu-jitsu training on a tatami mat is the perfect way to maximise your workout routine and improve your balance and coordination.

2) Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion

Learning jiu-jitsu on a tatami mat is an excellent way to become flexible and develop a range of motion. While many people choose to wear the traditional BJJ gi during training, doing without it can be just as beneficial for getting in touch with your body's capability.

For example:

  • Using BJJ shorts or any lightweight clothing works well when going through drills and learning the fundamentals.

  • On top of that, some combat sports require special outfits, like the rash guard that could bring more safety while performing them.

Therefore, no matter what you choose to wear while training on a tatami mat, you can still benefit from its physical and mental improvements.

3) Great for Shock Absorption

BJJ requires a lot of physical contact, so having a good surface to practice is essential. Tatami mats are an excellent product for BJJ practitioners because:

  • It's great for those who want maximum protection and shock absorption to their joints and muscles during BJJ training.

  • These mats are great for beginners in BJJ who may be unsure how hard to grab when practising throws, takedowns, and submissions. They also offer superior comfort compared to the standard mats used at many BJJ clubs.

  • Furthermore, tatami mats are durable and resistant to damage, making them ideal for BJJ training sessions that involve intense grappling sessions on the mat.

4) Help You Focus and Concentrate on Your Techniques

Training on a tatami mat can be an incredibly effective way to help any combat sports practitioner focus and concentrate on form. Tatami mats provide a safe and supportive surface for beginners to explore their techniques and improve footwork while protecting against bruising, friction burn or injury.

As technology becomes more advanced, practitioners can apply the same principles of form and control on the slippery tatami, helping them commit their moves to memory while mastering their form and technique.

A tatami mat is the perfect partner when training in any combat sport and will ensure that fighters have the support they need during every training session.

5) More Comfortable to Train On

Tatami mats are true lifesavers when it comes to grappling! They offer superior cushioning compared to standard gym mats and come with built-in rash guards. 

So whether you prefer to roll up your gi or let loose in range with BJJ shorts, these multi-functional mats provide a safe and comfortable environment for training, no matter the attire.

Not only do they reduce wear on joints during rolls, but the porous surface quickly absorbs liquid and moisture, which limits slippage and nasty spills. Plus the broad spectrum of designs allows gym owners to personalise their dojos however they like it best.


In short, tatami mats make for better mat time no matter what you're wearing, so why settle for anything less?

Tips on How to Care For Your Tatami Mat

As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioner, you know that a big part of the sport is taking care of your tatami mat. Not only do you have to keep it clean for hygiene reasons, but also to prevent wear and tear.

With a little effort, you can prolong its lifespan and keep it in good condition for many years.  Here are some tips on how to properly care for your tatami mat:

Tip #1: Keep It Clean

Taking good care of your tatami mat is essential to its longevity. So, keep these in mind:

  1. Regular sweeping and occasional vacuuming will keep it looking tidy and reduce the accumulation of dirt and dust that can otherwise damage it.

  2. It is essential to use a soft-bristled broom so as not to cause any scratches or tears in the mat.

  3. If you wish to vacuum it you should select one with an appropriate head for the task.

Doing this regularly will ensure your tatami mats remain in top condition and significantly extend their lifespan – making them a worthwhile investment for years to come.

Tip #2: Keep It From Anything Sharp

Keeping your BJJ tatami mat safe from damage is essential for enjoying a comfortable, safe and professional Jiu-Jitsu experience each time you step onto the mat. To maximise your mat's lifespan, do these:

  • Avoid allowing anything sharp to come into contact with it. While dropping keys or coins on the surface may not seem like an issue, any kind of irregularity can over time cause pain when doing Jiu-Jitsu and potentially decrease safety levels.

  • Implementing a "no shoe rule" to prevent users from walking around with gravel in their soles is also highly recommended—by taking this additional measure, you are protecting your tatami mat from being punctured or torn by foreign objects.

Ultimately, little steps taken now will go a long way in preserving the quality of your BJJ tatami mat.

Tip #3: Wipe Spills Immediately

Whether you have an intense sparring session or an exciting technique drill, it can be easy to get distracted and accidentally spill something on the BJJ tatami mat. Unfortunately, this can cause sticky surfaces, making your practice area uncomfortable or even dangerous.

To avoid this issue, it is essential to wipe up spills and messes as quickly as possible, so they do not disrupt your BJJ training. If a mess occurs, don't wait around - grab a cloth or towel and take care of it immediately.

Keeping your BJJ tatami mat clean will ensure that you can progress confidently in your martial arts training without worrying about any unacceptable conditions.

Tip #4: Store in a Cool and Dry Place

It is crucial for anyone using a BJJ tatami mat to ensure it is stored in a cool, dry place when not in use. By doing so, you are ensuring that your tatami mat lasts longer while staying in top shape.

If possible, try to store the tatami mat away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes. Providing it with proper storage will help make sure that when you need your tatami mat for that next tournament or class, it will be safe and there for you.

Tip #5: Wear Loose Clothing When Not Using a BJJ GI

When you practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it's essential to wear clothing that won't get in the way of your rolls and techniques. So, take note of these:

  • Sweatpants or lightweight shorts are a great option for practising without a Gi - they will not limit your movement and won't snag or tear during rapid movements.

  • Additionally, a loose-fitting t-shirt is preferable to a tight-fitting one - this will give you a maximum range of motion while protecting your skin from abrasions as you roll on your BJJ tatami mat.

  • Make sure whatever clothing you wear does not restrict circulation, which can lead to medical complications.

With these few tips in mind, you'll be able to focus on advancing your technique instead of worrying about what you wear.

You may also be interested in reading:

All about Judo Mats: Why, How, Where?

What are the best Floor Options for a Dojo?

February 14, 2023 — Michael Geraghty