I was going to write a different post. I wanted to write about the technique I most want to work on over the summer. So I went on youtube to find some videos of that technique and something else occurred to me.
Many of the videos I looked at showed people on pretty crappy mats. Most of them were tatami mats — but more than once I saw concrete peaking out from under those mats. A couple of times I saw cheap puzzle mats. One mat looked like the brightly colored alphabet mat I put down when my daughter was learning how to walk.
I know I’m bragging a little bit, but — we have an awesome mat. We do.
Like so many others, we have tatami mats. Ours are really good ones from Japan. But it’s not just that we good mats. We have great undermats.
As every woman knows, it’s not just the dress — it’s what’s under the dress. A well made, well fitting undergarment makes all the difference in the world. For a great dress, you need a great bra.
And our mat has a great bra.
We have a state of the art foam sprung mat. Underneath the mat is a system of high density foam cubes attached to plywood in a specific pattern, which is then sandwiched between a perpendicular layer of wood and a level underfloor. The high density foam means there’s lots of give to help keep people safe during falls, but it is still stable and firm to work on. The foam sprung mat is a great bra, a great bra.
We have Eric Silverman to thank for this floor. When we were building the dojo he did it. He did the research, he found the plans, he found the only two manufacturers of the special high density foam. He got the plywood and stenciled it. Found the right kind of glue, got the foam cut into the right size. He organized the floor building nights and put it all together. Then, when we expanded the mat room over the winter he did it all over again.
Lots of people helped make it, lots of people put their time and effort into it. But Eric made it happen. And now we have what is probably the best mat on the east coast. Pretty cool.