Neuman K-9 Academy – Dog Boot Camp

Outdoor Patio Tile and Interlocking Dog Agility Mats for moisture control

Neuman K-9 Academy in Hugo, Minnesota
By Brett Hart

Neuman K9 Academy Dog Training School with Greatmats Dog Agility FloorFighting the elements isn’t always the easiest thing to do in Minnesota. That’s why Josiah Neuman, owner and training director of the nation’s leading dog boot camp, designed a premiere 3,600 square foot climate-controlled all-weather training area when he moved his 20-acre St. Peter training facility, Neuman K-9 Academy, onto 10 acres of pristine wilderness in Hugo, Minn., in late 2011.

”I’ve been training dogs professionally since 2007 (when he became a Certified Master Trainer),” Josiah said. ”We’ve had about 1,000 dogs go through the course. Dogs come from all over. This year, we’ve had dogs return to their owners in Switzerland, Brazil and Canada (as well as all over the U.S.). We get them from all over the place specifically for the boot camp.”

At the time of the move, the new property had a pole shed in disrepair, which Josiah and his staff envisioned as the location of the indoor training area.

”Clients want their dogs to have first class accommodations,” Josiah said. ”We do train outside as well, but it’s nice to have an atmosphere like this where you can walk in and focus on the dog and training and not the elements.”

After several months of intense restoration and remodeling work, the final hurdle of the project was selecting a durable floor that would stay dry while also providing a safe and comfortable surface for dogs.

”We were really going back and forth on how to treat the concrete floors previous to installing any sort of flooring, because we knew it (the concrete) would sweat,” Josiah said. ”We put a lot of time and effort into researching different flooring options. It was import to us to have space that is climate controlled.”

In July of 2012, the staff at Neuman K-9 Academy decided blaze a new trail in K-9 flooring with an alternative use for Patio Outdoor Tiles they found on a website called Greatmats.com. The Patio Outdoor Tiles, designed for use in wet areas, would serve as a subfloor underneath waterproof interlocking dog agility mats also found at Greatmats.com. Waterproof and slip resistant, the patio tiles are designed to allow water to drain through them and are elevated, permitting air to flow underneath the flooring.

Neuman K9 Academy Dog Training School with Greatmats Dog Agility Floor and Patio Outdoor Tile”We put down the PVC as a subfloor because… we didn’t want the moisture to be trapped underneath,” Josiah said. ”It just made more sense to use a product like the PVC floor that would be designed for getting wet, airflow, things like that.”

Summer Duggan, the assistant training director at Neuman K-9 Academy, added, ”It’s a firm material, but I think it even adds an extra layer of support and cushioning – as opposed to just having the mats flat on concrete.”

The idea for interlocking dog agility mats as the top surface of the floating floor came upon recommendation of other friends in the professional dog training industry. One training facility in western Wisconsin used these same kind of interlocking dog agility mats, and Josiah was particularly impressed by their performance.

”They’ve had them for a long time,” Josiah said, noting that they’ve beaten up the mats and they’re still holding up really well.

”We do sport dogs,” Josiah said. ”We do bite work. So we’ll literally have a dog back tied – agitation; they’re gripping; they’re clawing; they’re pulling. These go through a lot of abuse. One of the biggest considerations with the type of flooring we were going to go with was not only… Is it comfortable for the dogs? Is it safe for them? And then very importantly, what’s the longevity of the product going to be like.”

Durability
The K-9 Academy uses the facility 3-4 times per week, specifically for off-leash behavior and training with up to 15 dogs at a time. After nearly 3 years, the flooring has suffered some expected cosmetic blemishes that come along with hard use and abuse. But the mats continue to perform as well as the day they were installed.

Summer said, ”We work with different working breeds in different venues in addition to the obedience and the agility, and I’m very impressed with the durability of the product. It gets a lot of mileage. There are lots of dogs running around in here – lots of toenails, and its held up phenomenally well, even in the really high traffic areas.”

”So far, we haven’t replaced a single tile,” Josiah added.

Comfort and Safety
The new flooring system hasn’t disappointed in comfort or safety either.

Neuman K9 Academy Dog Jumping Greatmats Dog Agility Floor”When we are doing jumps, we’re having dogs clear things and land hard,” Josiah said. ”When you are training a sport dog to jump, typically you won’t start until they’re 12 months of age or older – sometimes even 2 years of age or older – because of their bones developing. With how soft these (tiles) are to land on, we can actually start dogs at a younger age, because it’s low impact.”

To get out of the elements at its previous location, Neuman K-9 Academy needed to rent space, and the flooring systems varied greatly.

”One place had concrete pavers, which was not good,” Summer said. ”There were situations sometimes where dogs would get scraped pads. Other places had a pebbly/rubbery floor – decent traction, but no shock absorption. This is the best!”

As for the water problem from sweaty concrete and foot traffic… There isn’t one.

”When people are coming in and out… if there’s snow, if it’s a rainy day… things dry up really nice,” Josiah said. ”We’ve never had a problem with them.”

With this innovative flooring system, Neuman K-9 Academy is truly top dog.

Josiah Neuman
Neuman K-9 Academy
Hugo MN 55038
For more on this topic please review our Dog Training Flooring product page.
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Shihan Eric Swick – Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts

Hall-Of-Fame Martial Arts Instructor Changing Lives on Greatmats

By Brett Hart

A friend’s invitation to attend a martial arts class at the age of 12 changed Eric Swick’s life. Now 41, Swick is a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate-Do, 3rd degree black belt in Renzoku Jiu-Jitsu, 3rd degree black belt in Dragon Kenpo, 1st degree black belt in Judo and the owner of Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts academy in Grafton, West Virginia where he also trains in Kobudo and Arnis.

Dragons Den MMA Eric Swick Greatmats

Shihan Swick began his martial arts journey in 1988 under Sensei Dave Burner in Shotokan Karate, Aikido and Arnis and now includes Jiu-Jitsu and Kobudo into his primarily lineup of disciplines.

Real Life Experience

While martial artists train to be prepared for the unthinkable, most never need it. Unfortunately, he has, and it saved his life.

Ten years ago while working as a correctional officer in a United States Penitentiary, Swick was sucker punched by an inmate with a 7-inch shank and ended up being stabbed 13 times while trying to control the attack.

”If it wasn’t for God and my training, I do believe I would not be here today,” Swick said. ”The most horrific thing that I have ever seen is looking into another man’s eyes that was just a few inches away from me that really wanted to kill me. … There is no kind of training that can prepare you for that reality.”

Pushing Forward

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats

The life-changing experience, inspired the Swick to focus more of his time and energy to helping others.

”You win, or you learn. You never lose,” he said. ”If you have the right attitude, there is no such thing as truly losing. Defeat, or losing, is only possible when you give up and quit. Defeat is a state of mind, not a reality. You, and only you, determine whether you lose or whether you had a temporary setback from which you learned more and became stronger. You do not play karate; you study it.”

In 2010, he was named to the Martial Arts Legend Hall of Fame and named the Sensei of the Year by the United States Black Belt Hall of Fame. He is also a two-time Hall of Fame instructor both Jiu-Jitsu and Karate and a Hall of Fame MMA instructor.

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats

With all he’s accomplished, Swick says his biggest accomplishment is seeing his students become teachers of the arts, putting their martial arts training to work in the dojo and their everyday lives, overcoming their fears and becoming adults with success stories.

”I want my students to have the ‘I can, and I will’ attitude,” Swick said. That includes his wife and two kids, who train with him.

While Swick did not compete much early on, his academy has a successful competition team that competes at local tournaments as well as the USA-National Karate-do Federation and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

Discovering Greatmats
Swick was impressed by the Greatmats martial arts flooring used at one tournament attended and looked up Greatmats on the web.

He soon ordered Greatmats’ Wood Grain/Black reversible Martial Arts Premium 1 Inch Karate Mats and loves the way they look and perform while enduring classes five days per week.

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats Karate Mats

In 2015, Swick co-founded the Warriors United Tournament Circuit, a growing tournament point circuit open to all styles that includes competitors from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio.

”Tell you the truth, it’s just a great bunch of martial artists having a good time,” Swick said of Warriors United.

So happy with his Greatmats martial arts flooring, Swick and his Warriors United co-founders opted to equip each of their tournament rings with Greatmats flooring as well.

”They’re very tough, and the feel is great,” Swick said.

Warriors United Greatmats sponsored logo

Shihan Eric Swick
Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts
http://www.dragonsdenmma.org
Grafton WV 26354

For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
Adamson Karate Studios Black Belt testing Greatmats Karate Mats

Three Generations of Black Belts, Adamsons Building Karate Dynasty

Martial Arts Inspiring Story – Janice Adamson – Adamson Karate Studios

Adamson Karate Studios Janice Adamson Greatmats Karate MatsHello my name is Janice Adamson I am part of Adamson Karate Studios out of Indianapolis Indiana. Douglas Adamson is my husband.

We started our karate business in June of 1977. We bought out a bankrupt martial arts school on the south side of the city. It only took 6 months to turn it around, and we moved to a bigger location. We now serve the Indianapolis area with 7 locations!!

You might ask how we can man 7 locations? Well, when we started, it was just my husband and I. We raised 4 sons in the martial arts business. All of them became black belts as well as excellent instructors. Each one of us has a passion about what we do and and love to share this passion with the students we are lucky to have come in the door. Time has raced by and in that time our sons married well!! That is they are married to Black Belts as well.

Adamson Karate Studios instructors Greatmats Karate Mats

Everyone of us work in the family business. In 2015 we hired 3 of our grandchildren to also join in the business. My husband and I have 9 grandchildren; 7 are Black Belts; 2 are still too small too reach that level. There is no doubt that that will happen in the future though.

Adamson Karate Studios Janice Adamson Karate Family Greatmats Karate Mats

We have 3 state level tournaments every year as well as compete in AAU Karate. We have been in the top 3 schools at the AAU Nationals for the past 5 years.

Our students have traveled all over the world to compete. This summer we will travel to Ireland with a large team from Adamson Karate Studio. Over the years, we touched a lot of lives in very positive ways. Leadership is big with us; our students excel at it. I can’t imagine how many we have had over the years but I can say there weren’t too many that I wasn’t proud of.

Back in the late eighties we taught karate classes to kids as well as adults. Most Dojo owners back then only taught adults, thinking kids were not strong enough for the rigorous classes they would teach. Mostly they didn’t want to teach kids.

Adamson Karate Studios kids karate class Greatmats Karate Mats

Our children had to go to work with us. We couldn’t leave them home. We even had a class for them, and others came as well (from the group of adults who also had kids) took class in the dojo.

One day, we decided to have a kids karate tournament with small awards given. We advertised in the local paper. Little did we know who would read that add.

I was at work early one day and two men walked in and introduced themselves as being the representatives of Columbia Pictures! They had a idea to share with me. They had heard about the tournament we had just had and wanted to sponsor the next one we had because they wanted to brake in a new movie they were making ”The Karate Kid,” We did did the tournament as well as demos in every theater where it was showing in the Indianapolis area.

Our school grew so much from just this one visit from Columbia Pictures. We have tournaments each year since then. … We use Greatmats for all our tournaments as well as schools.

Adamson Karate Studios Black Belt testing Greatmats Karate Mats

Janice Adamson
Adamson Karate Studios
Zionsville IN 46077
For more on this topic please review our Karate Mats & Striking Arts Mats product page.

St. Paul Ballet Leaps Forward With Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor

Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor System Improves Traveling Flooring System for Ballet Company

St. Paul Ballet at Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater
After performing on various forms of hard surfaces since it was formed in 1997, the St. Paul Ballet, which travels across Minnesota and Wisconsin to perform several times per year, has been in search of a portable dance subfloor that would ease the stresses on its dancers at an affordable cost.
St Paul Ballet with Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor

While the dancers are able to practice on marley over a sprung dance floor, that system was too cumbersome for the Artist-Led company to transport for its traveling performances.

Instead, they’ve dealt with performing over hard surfaces, such as brick, cement or wood floors.

”We’ve performed on everything,” said St. Paul Ballet Artistic Director Zoe Emilie Henrot. ”Our Board of Directors and dancers have been looking to create a traveling dance floor for quite some time to help keep the dancers safe while performing while at the same time allowing the dancers to perform in many different types of venues.”

After much research, St. Paul Ballet Board President Dave Trayers decided that Greatmats’ Dance Subfloor system would be the most cost efficient subflooring system – and the easiest subfloor to travel with.

The Greatmats dance subflooring system consists of a layer of 2×2 foot interlocking foam tiles, topped by a layer of 1×1 foot snap together flat top plastic court tiles. The foam layer adds cushioning while the plastic layer offers a firm surface on which to lay a final layer of marley.

St Paul Ballet installing Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor
St Paul Ballet installing Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor

After ordering the subfloor, Trayers quickly went to work custom building a cart that would be able to both transport the tiles easily, but also fit neatly in the company’s trailer without wasting critical space.

”(It was) very easy to transport and install using simple carts on wheels,” Henrot said. ”Lightweight enough for anyone to help with the installation.”

That proved to be a good thing. As an artist-led company, the artist not only dance, but are responsible for administrative roles, organizing performances, outreach events, fundraisers, lectures and even installing their own floors.

The St. Paul Ballet was first able to test the flooring on Sept. 16, 2016 when they performed at the historic Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater located in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The 127-year-old theater, named one of the 15 most spectacular theaters in the world by CNN Travel, accommodated a relatively small 26×20 foot dance floor.

St Paul Ballet installing Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor with Marley Floor

With a team of six working on installation, the subfloor was laid in about a half hour – the same amount of time it took to roll out and tape down the finished marley surface.

”I was very impressed with how little time it took to install the floor,” Henrot said.

After studying dance for more than 20 years and being professional dance for five years, Henrot knew exactly what she was looking for from the flooring system.

”Jumping felt great right away,” she said. ”This system definitely felt MUCH better on the joints when compared to the other floors we have performed on. … Our bodies were not as sore from the shock of landings the next day.”

The one drawback she found, however, was that the floor was ”just a little too soft” to support pointe work. ”It would be excellent as is for modern dance,” she said.

”We are thrilled to be working with Greatmats on the dance floor system,” Henrot said. ”We hope to be able to help design a floor that will protect dancer bodies for year to come!”

St Paul Ballet installing Greatmats Portable Dance Subfloor with Marley Floor
Zoe Emilie Henrot
St. Paul Ballet
St. Paul MN 55104
For more on this topic please review our Dance Flooring product page.
Related Product: Home Dance Subfloor

Champions Centre Takes Advantage of Rubber Flooring

Event-Driven Church’s Switch to Rubber Flooring Allows for Even More Innovation

By Brett Hart

 

For an event driven church like Champions Centre, minimizing costs for maintenance and replacement of its flooring is a big deal – especially as its events become more creative. That’s why, in 2011 it began converting nearly all of the carpeted surfaces of its 180,000 square foot main campus in Tacoma, Washington, over to polished concrete and rubber flooring surfaces.

The non-denominational church has three campuses that include a school and dome event center (which served as inspiration for the Tacoma Dome) and hosts numerous large events throughout the year.

Champions Centre with Greatmats Rubber Flooring in Theater

The Need for Durable Flooring
Steve Shackett, whose father was the founding paster, found that ”our carpets were getting beat to death.”

Drawing upon his construction background, Shackett began looking into flooring that would be easily maintained, durable and long lasting.

”We’re constantly renovating and updating,” Shackett said. ”We have coffee shops and book stores in all of our locations and we allow our folks to bring coffee into the auditoriums. Once you spill a latte, its pretty tough to get it out. So we were looking for that kind of material and we found it. We found something comfortable and lasting in the rubber.”

Champions Centre Event Center with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Extreme Floor Makeover
Shackett began Champions Centre’s switchover to rubber flooring by installing approximately 6,100 square feet of 3/8 inch thick 3×3 foot rubber tiles – which were black with a 10 percent tan/mocha color flec blend – in the first year.

A year later, he installed another 1,200 square feet of black rolled rubber of the same thickness and an additional 7,500 square feet of the rubber tiles – this time with 20 percent color.

”We like the rubber tiles,” Shackett said. ”We have that in our auditoriums, primarily because you can do it custom with a little bit of color speckles, and it adds just some depth, and it looks better. We use the rolled black rubber in our auditoriums and three different stages just for the solid black color on the platform itself.”

champions-centre-rubber-floor

In each of the last six years, Champions Centre has continued to convert more of its facility over to rubber flooring at a pace of anywhere between 900 and 8,900 square feet per year. From stage areas to hallways, auditorium floors and even stairways, Champions Centre continues to find innovative ways to use rubber flooring to its advantage.

This year, Shackett has a 1,500 square foot installation of rubber tiles planned for the school, bringing its total rubber flooring area to approximately 24,200 square feet – 17,000 square feet in tiles and 7,200 square feet in rolls.

champions-centre-staircase

Serving the Purpose
”We found that that was the most practical and efficient way to maintain our facilities,” said Shackett, who has been with the church for 40 years. ”It should be there until I’m long gone.”

”We do a lot of things in our auditoriums and on our stages with lighting,” Shackett added. ”It’s a progressive way to maintain your facility. It just makes sense. Our last men’s conference, we had motorcycles doing jumps in our auditorium off a ramp and it didn’t do anything to them.”

Champions Centre’s main auditorium seats 2,500 people, and it also has another auditorium with seating for 750.

”In both auditoriums, the rubber is very important to us because it allows us to always look fresh and clean, and yet it is so durable. It doesn’t look worn and beat up.”

To maintain the floor, Champions Centre runs a Zamboni-like floor washing machine across the floor 2-4 times per month, which Shackett says makes the floor look ”brand new and fresh.”

”We’re not a normal church,” Shackett said, noting it has a 7,000-8,000 member congregation and five services per weekend. ”Pastor Kevin Gerald is a forward thinking pastor. … We do a big Christmas production over the holiday. And we have all kinds of sleighs and different things going in and out of the auditorium. You can do so much with it, and you don’t have to worry about covering it or being aware that you may ruin the carpet.”

”Everyone that comes here, the first thing they ask is ‘Hey! Where’d you get that floor?”’ Shackett said. ”We love it. It’s durable. It makes sense. It’s practical and it looks great.”

Champions Centre with Greatmats Rubber Floor Tiles in Hallway

Steve Shackett
Champions Centre
Tacoma WA 98404
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring product page.
Greatmats National Award Series Logo

Greatmats brings National Award Series into 3rd Year of Honoring Instructors and Trainers

Greatmats National Award Series LogoMILL TOWN, WI – Greatmats is in search of trainers, instructors and coaches from across the nation who embody the essence of community service, customer service, integrity and quality in the industries of dance, martial arts, personal fitness training, dog training, horse training and cheerleading.

If you know someone who fits the bill, nominate him or her for one of six awards included in Greatmats 3rd Annual National Award Series. The winner of the award will be given the choice of $250 in new mats/flooring or $150 in cash.

The Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award is part of Greatmats 3rd Annual National Awards Series, honoring instructors, trainers and coaches who have made a positive impact in their communities.

Greatmats Annual National Dance Instructor of the Year Award LogoThis year’s awards include:

National Dance Instructor of the Year

  • In its third year, the National Dance instructor of the Year Award contest has had nearly 2,700 votes cast over the first two years. Previous winners include Rosanne Vavasis and John Culbertson.

 

Greatmats Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award LogoNational Martial Arts Instructor of the Year

  • In its second year, the National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award Contest witnesses more than 1,300 votes cast in its inaugural year which resulted in Grandmaster Bryant Harrell being named the 2016 winner.

 

 

Greatmats National Personal Trainer of the Year Logo

National Personal Trainer of the Year

  • 2017 marks the first year for the National Personal Trainer of the Year Award Contest. In 2015, Greatmats offered the National Aerobics Instructor of the Year Award, which has been expanded this year to include all personal trainers and fitness coaches. The 2015 Aerobics instructor of the Year was Jeanette Raichle

 

Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year LogoNational Dog Trainer of the Year

  • In its third year, The National Dog Trainer of the Year Award Contest has also had approximately 2,700 votes cast in the first two years, resulting a back-to-back victories by Jeremy Joseph Brown.

 

 

Greatmats National Horse Trainer of the Year LogoNational Horse Trainer of the Year

  • Also in its third year, the National Horse Trainer of the Year Award Contest. The 2016 contest, won by Jessica Moctezuma, generated more than 1,400 votes.

 

 

 

Greatmats National Cheer Coach of the Year LogoNational Cheerleading Coach of the Year

  • In its second year, the National Cheer Coach of the Year Award Contest, has an overwhelming popular inaugural showing with 26 nominees and nearly 4,000 votes cast. Amy Beth Klopf was named to 2016 winner of the award.

 

Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series at https://www.greatmats.com/greatmats-national-instructor-of-the-year-awards-series.php.

Leerburg – 50-year Dog Training Veteran’s Space

Dog Training Flooring – Foam Dog Training Mats – Interlocking Dog Training Mats

By Brett Hart
Ed Frawley has more than 50 years of experience training dogs and co owns the largest dog training content website on the internet. He’s not one to sit back and stay quiet when he sees something he doesn’t like as he’s made a living out of correcting behavior in dogs and their trainers. Even this outspoken dog training specialist has nothing but good things to say about Greatmats Dog Agility Mats.
leerburg-dog-attention

”There is nothing I don’t like about them,” Ed said after nearly five years of using the foam interlocking tiles in his Menomonie, Wisconsin, training facility.

A progressive entrepreneur, Ed co-owns, Leerburg Enterprises, Inc. with his son, Jeff, and Cindy Rhodes. Leerburg has been creating videos on how to train dogs since 1982 and currently offers more than 550 free streaming videos and more than 930 Dog Training Videos on Demand. Its video subjects include all ranges of obedience training, police and military dog training, breeding, bite work, behavioral problems and dog sports, among others.

Greatmats Dog Agility Mats at Leerburg Dog Trainingleerburg-training-area
Ed Frawley
Leerburg Enterprises, Inc.
Menomonie WI 54751
For more on this topic please review our Dog Training Flooring product page.