AKF Spring Tournament of Champions: McCurdy, Kahl are Grand Champions

Elgin, Lexington Academies Well Represented at Spring Tournament

AKF Spring Tournament Drew McCurdy GreatmatsBy Brett Hart

 

Drew McCurdy, a third dan in Kyuki-Do from Elgin, Illinois, claimed his fourth AKF Grand Champion title for 18 and over competitors at the 2017 American Kyuki-Do Federation Spring Tournament of Champions in Huntley, Illinois on May 6. Meanwhile Logan Kahl, also a third dan, of Janesville, Wisconsin, claimed the 17 and Under Grand Champion honor.

”To qualify for Grand Champion, each competitor must participate in forms, weapons, breaking and sparring,” according to Master Rick Steinmaier. ”At the end of the black belt competition, the competitor with the most points is named grand champion.”

AKF Spring 2017 Logan Kahl GreatmatsCompetitors have the chance to earn points via 1st through 4th-place finishes in each activity, with first place finishes earning four points each.

Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin led the field as the school with the most competitors, making up 70 of the 260 total martial artists from 12 schools. AKF Lexington (Kentucky) Martial Arts also made an impact with 40 participants.

Mr. Lain Pontious of Huntley, Ill., was the winner of a free pass to this year’s Kyuki-Do Camp which runs July 7-9.

The 2017 AKF Summer Tournament of champions will take place in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Aug. 12. Due to the AKF’s new dedicated Grappling and Throwing Tournaments, the grappling portion of the Summer Tournament of Champions will be open to novice only.

 

AKF Spring Tournament 2017 kyukido GreatmatsAKF Spring Tournament breaking board Greatmatsyouth board breaking AKF Spring Tournament Greatmats

2017 Spring Tournament of Champions
American Kyuki-Do Federation
Huntley IL
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
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A quick guide to martial arts flooring: Which is best for your discipline?

Karate Mats

1 thick Karate mats are designed as a top quality interlocking martial arts mat for Karate and Taekwondo. This interlocking Karate mat is a firm, high density polyethylene (PE) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam tile with a smooth leather surface finish specifically designed for barefoot and soft shoe foot work and striking moves.

If you’re gaining interest in the exciting world of martial arts and are looking to take your commitment to the next level by setting up your own home or commercial training facility, knowing where to begin can be intimidating. With hundreds of different martial arts disciplines originating from dozens of countries, how can you be sure you and your training space are speaking the same language when shopping for the safest, most durable and most appropriate flooring for your needs.

The first thing to keep in mind is – where does your discipline originate? Are you creating a dojo, dojang, gym or kwoon? While all of those terms may refer to a similar space, each has a different origin and possibly a different intent. Knowing the terminology is important. Not all martial arts are created equal as each has a different focus.

Here’s a quick reference to some of the most popular forms of martial arts studios, their origin and some common disciplines performed in those spaces.

Common Training Hall Names

  1. Dojo: training place for Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Aikido or Jiu-Jitsu
  2. Dojang: training space for Korean martial arts such as Taekwondo or Hapkido
  3. Kwoon: training facility for Chinese martial arts (aka Kung Fu)
  4. Gym: general term for an American training hall for martial arts such as Western Boxing or Wrestling

Factors for proper martial arts flooring

When considering flooring for your training facility, material and construction can make a big difference in comfort, safety and ease of movements. Most martial arts flooring is made of an impact-absorbing foam material. Thickness, density and surface texture play vital roles in selecting the proper flooring for your discipline.

For striking martial arts such as Taekwondo and Karate, a high density foam is needed. If training with soft shoes a barefoot, a smooth, non-slip surface serves best to allow for proper footwork. Hard or slippery flooring can and will cause injury. A 1 inch thickness of high density foam will provide the ideal cushion and support for striking martial arts. Thatch top textures can increase the versatility and add resistance to wear and tear from shoes and boots for combat or aerobic training, but are not as gentle on bare feet. Greatmats Martial Arts Karate Mat Premium 1 Inch

When the majority of your sport takes place on the ground, such as in grappling or Mixed Martial Arts, you will want a slightly softer, thicker and more durable material that has a fall height rating of at least 4 feet. The surface texture should also be one that does not cause rug burns. A 1 5/8 inch thick EVA foam mat with a tatami texture is ideal for these situations. It will provide excellent support for grappling, take downs and ground work without burning the skin.Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats 1-5/8 Inch

For high impact landings, you’ll want a crash pad with a thickness of at least 2 inches. Crash pads are often available in thicknesses up to 12 inches with durable vinyl covers. The greater the impact, the thicker the mat you’ll need. These are ideal for practicing rolls, falls and takedowns. Greatmats Pro MMA Mats Smooth 1x2 Meter 2 Inch

All martial arts flooring should be non-absorbent, chemical resistant and easy to clean. Martial arts flooring can come in many forms including, rolls, tiles or fold up mats. Generally speaking, rolls are the most inexpensive option, but can be the most cumbersome to install due to size and weight. Interlocking tiles proved the most versatility for both design and installation. They are great for permanent or temporary installation and do no call for tape or adhesives. Fold up mats are good for crash pads.

Below is a quick guide to the top 15 forms of martial arts today.

Top 15 Martial Arts

  1. Wrestling: Dating back to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) in France, wrestling is the original form of martial art which involves throws, takedowns, grappling holds, clinch fighting and joint locks. The goal is to end the match by way of a pin.
  2. Boxing: Born in the Iron Age (1200-550 BC) in Mesopotamia, boxing is a martial art in which all contact occurs using the upper body – almost entirely through the use of punches. The goal is to knock down or knock out the opponent
  3. Jiu Jitsu: A Japanese martial art of close combat that began during the Sengoku period (1467-1603) using no weapons or only a short weapon. Jiu Jitsu is known as a gentle martial art. Its strategy is to manipulate the opponent’s force against himself/herself using grappling techniques joint locks, throws and pins.
  4. Judo: A Japanese martial art with the objective of immobilizing or subduing an opponent with a pin or forced submission. Established in 1882, Judo uses throws, takedowns, joint locks and chokes. Hand and foot strikes and thrusts are involved, but not in competition. Judo is one of two olympic forms of martial arts.
  5. Muay Thai: Originating in Thailand in the 16th century, Muay Thai, originally known as Siamese-Style boxing, uses stand-up striking along with clinching techniques using fists, elbows, knees and shins.
  6. Karate: Primarily a striking art using punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes, Karate also utilizes open hand techniques such as palm-heel strikes, spear hands and knife hands. Karate is believed to have begun secretively in the late 1300s in Okinawa, Japan, under a fighting system know as te.Fumio Demura The Real Mr. Miyagi Karate Kid Greatmats
  7. Hapkido: Primarily used for self defense, Hapkido is a Korean martial art that utilizes numerous forms of attacking methods, including kicks, punches, weapons, joint locks, grappling and throws. Weapons can include various sticks, swords, knives and ropes. Hapkido is believed to have begun in the 1940s.
  8. Taekwondo: Also a Korean martial art, Taekwondo places heavy emphasis on kicks, but also includes hand strikes. Believed to have originated in the 1940s or 50s, it has also been known as Tae Soo Do.Infinity Martial Arts Taekwondo Greatmats
  9. Aikido: A Japanese martial art, beginning in the 1920s, Aikido is used for self defense that also avoids injury to the attacker. Its techniques redirect the momentum of the opponent’s attack and finish with a throw or joint lock.
  10. Krav Maga: A martial art developed in Israel for self defense, Krav Maga is derived from street fighting skills and combined those from Aikido, Boxing, Judo and Wrestling in the 1930s and 40s to focus on counter attacks in real world situations. If confrontation cannot be avoided, the goal is to end a fight as quickly as possible by attacking the most vulnerable parts of the body. There are no rules in Krav Maga.
  11. Kung Fu: While the term Kung Fu refers any skill acquired through practice, it is commonly used as a general term for Chinese Martial Arts intended for self defense, hunting and military training using hand-to-hand combat and weapons. Legend has it, Chinese Martial arts began more than 4,000 years ago.
  12. Kickboxing: This form of martial art comes in two styles, Japanese kickboxing (started in the 1960s) and American Kickboxing (started in the 1970s), but in general includes all stand-up combat sports that allow both punching and kicking.
  13. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ): A martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting, BJJ’s roots are in Kodokan Judo ground fighting. It emphasizes the use of leverage and ground fighting to even the playing field between unevenly sized opponents. Opponents are defeated by applying joint locks and choke holds.Rodrigo Comprido on MMA MAts Smooth 1x2 Meter 2 Inch Thick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Greatmats
  14. Jeet Kune Do (JKD): Founded by Bruce Lee in 1967, the premise behind his martial art is that it has no form or patterns, making it unpredictable and flexible. It is based on minimal moments with extreme speed, adjusting techniques for the given situation. JKD does use kicks, punches, traps and grappling techniques.
  15. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): MMA leagues began in the United States in 1980, but were originally known as Tough Guy Contests. They really gained popularity in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). These leagues allow various martial arts styles with both striking and grappling techniques using both standing and ground attacks.

Karate Mats

Karate mats from Greatmats are an inexpensive flooring solution for dojos, studios, multipurpose rooms, or residential homes.  Designed as  high quality, interlocking martial arts mats for karate and taekwondo, they feature a smooth surface for barefoot and soft shoe footwork as well as for striking moves. They are a full one-inch thick so they provide a comfortable and soft surface for all types of training.  Used in hundreds of studios nationwide for more than 10 years, these karate mats are some of our most popular products.  Karate mats come with a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects so you can rest assured your mats will be in excellent condition.
Installing karate mats is a breeze.  Simply piece the tiles together like a puzzle and you’re done.  You need no adhesive so the tiles can be easily installed or uninstalled and moved or stored with ease.  These foam mats are also lightweight so they’re easy to carry.  Want to practice in various facilities or homes?  With our karate mats, you can! 
Karate mats come in three different color combinations:  red/blue, black/gray, and black/wood grain.  Colors are perfect for any martial arts studio or indoor playground.  Mats are truly reversible so you can use either side or mix and match to create a checkerboard effect.  Each tile comes with four border strips.  To cut mats to fit, all you need is a sharp utility knife and a straight edge.  This is handy when creating a wall-to-wall installation.
Our Karate mats are waterproof.  They are also lead and latex-free.  Each tile measures 40”x40”.  If you want, you can start with a small number of tiles and expand your project as necessary.  Check out our handy online Floor Planner to map out your room and determine how many tiles you need.  We also recommend that you check out reviews that our previous customers have left regarding our karate mats and other foam mat products.  Some have even sent in photos which can be viewed on our site in our Customer Gallery.
If this particular foam mat isn’t exactly what you need for your application or budget, please consider one of our other foam mats. We offer a complete and comprehensive line of interlocking foam mats to our customers with some as low as 99 cents per square foot.   Some of our foam mat products even come with free shipping.  Please browse our complete line of interlocking foam mats and, if you have questions, please chat with us online, send an email, or call our friendly customer service center to speak with one of our flooring experts about our foam mats.