Two men grappling on martial arts flooring

Mixed martial arts or MMA is a full-contact combat sport. Anyone who watches the UFC, competes or uses it as a hobby will be aware of the common moves like striking, grappling, and ground fighting. All of this means that you require sufficient padding from your martial arts flooring while at the same time using a surface that doesn’t leave burns on the skin. 

Martial arts flooring


Sports flooring should create a safe space for combat sports. Martial arts is a specific activity with certain needs and requirements. Therefore, your flooring needs to feature particular characteristics that support these demands. Keep reading this short guide to martial arts flooring to find out how to choose the right solution for your studio or gym. 

In this article: 


  • What is the Best Type of Flooring for Martial Arts?
  • What Are EVA Foam Mats Made Of? 
  • 3 Top Qualities of Martial Arts Flooring 

What is the Best Type of Flooring for Martial Arts?

Martial arts flooring

When you’re looking for martial arts flooring, the type of material and construction can make a huge difference. You need a high-density foam for MMA to provide the right level of cushioning. Martial arts involves a lot of footwork, mainly barefoot, so the martial arts flooring surface needs to be non-slip while soft enough to not result in skin burns. 

Martial arts flooring

Although the majority of moves are performed on the ground, there is some falling. This is why you need a slightly softer and thick material for your martial arts flooring. One of the best options for martial arts flooring is EVA foam mats. These foams mats provide an excellent surface for grappling, striking, and groundwork without burning the skin. 

Martial arts flooring


The other option for martial arts flooring is crash pads. You would tend to use crash pads alongside a more permanent solution. Crash pads are ideal for high impact landings. They can be as much as 12 inches thick. The basic idea is that the higher the impact, the thicker your crash mat needs to be. If you want to practice takedowns, rolls, and falls, a crash mat is a must-have. 

Martial arts flooring

Generally, all martial arts flooring should be slip-resistant, easy to clean, durable, and thick enough to support the type of movements you will be performing. Depending on your facility, you may need a combination of EVA foam martial arts flooring and crash padding, so that you can practice a variety of movements. 

What Are EVA Foam Mats Made Of? 

Martial arts flooring

EVA stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate. It’s a type of foam with a rubber-like feel and flexibility. EVA foam mats have a glossy finish and are resistant to UV rays. They are also waterproof, which is why they make such a good surface for exercise such as martial arts. 

Although EVA doesn’t actually contain any rubber, it’s commonly referred to as rubber foam. This the of martial arts flooring is known for its bounce and ability to absorb shock. This is why it’s such a popular martial arts flooring option for activities like MMA as well as non-fitness applications like kids play areas and business settings. 

3 Top Qualities of Martial Arts Flooring 

When you’re grappling, striking and tackling, the last thing you want to think about is the floor. Your focus should be on your opponent. Your martial arts flooring should include these top three characteristics.   


Martial arts flooring


Any fitness flooring should feature a non-slip surface. The wrong type of material could lead to skin burns as well as potential injuries, especially if you’re performing on a hard surface. As you are constantly moving with martial arts, you need to be able to nail your footwork to progress. A non-slip and waterproof surface is a key part of this. 

Easy to Clean and Maintain 

Martial arts flooring

A fitness environment naturally attracts sweat and dirt, so it’s important that your martial arts flooring is easy to clean and maintain. As a studio or gym, you probably have a lot of foot traffic and will need to maintain optimum cleaning and hygiene levels for all visitors and members. 


Martial arts flooring

Your flooring should absorb impact safely. It’s common in sports like Taekwondo, karate, and kung fu to deliver strikes and blows with your opponent falling to the floor, sometimes unexpectedly. The floor and material should create a cushioning surface while protecting the athlete from any burns on the skin. 

If you’re looking to set up your own home or commercial martial arts training facility, it can be tough to know where to start. Your flooring choice will allow you to train effectively and safely. EVA foam mats are a great martial arts flooring solution that is durable and one of the most appropriate options for training across multiple martial arts disciplines.

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November 25, 2020 — Richard McKay