HB Fitness using Greatmats Plyometric Flooring

HB Fitness owner loves the tackiness of Greatmats Plyometric Rubber Flooring

Today we’re here with Jason Loesch of HB Fitness in Minneapolis, Minn. Jason has installed our plyometric flooring in his training facility.

Greatmats Plyometric Rubber Rolls”I really love doing ladder drills because it’s a good combination of the plyometric work and stopping and starting skills,” Jason said. ”I like the tackiness of the floor.”

Plyometric flooring is guaranteed for a full five years. This flooring offers unmatched durability and performance.

”Clients really love the protection that they’re getting when they’re jumping,” Jason said. ”We do a lot of jumping skills and it saves on their knees.”

It’s designed to withstand the explosive repetition of rigorous workouts.

”Installation was extremely easy,” Jason said. ”I was surprised how easy it was – took the roll, lined it up at the end of the room and rolled it out. Once I got this in, my clients were just astonished!”

Jason Loesch
HB Fitness
Minneapolis MN 55419
For more on this topic please review our Gym Floors product page.

3rd Annual AKF Throwing and Grappling Tournament

Delavan Academy Brings the Most Competitors

American Kyuki-Do Federation Logo AKF GreatmatsAppoximately 60 competitors from 10 American Kyuki-Do Federation member martial arts academies competed at the AKF’s third annual Grappling and Throwing Tournament. The tournament was held on October 7 at Walworth, Wisconsin. The grappling and throwing event was sponsored by Greatmats.
The venue for the tournament was hosted by Big Foot High School, Master Linda Imler’s alma mater. The martial arts competitors were aged 5 and up. A.K.F. Martial Arts of Delavan brought the most competitors to the friendly and fierce judo and jiu jitsu focused tournament. The academy is instructed and owned by Master Rick Bjorkquist and Master Lloyd Holden.
This was the final tournament of 2017 for the AKF. Previous Grappling and Throwing Tournaments were hosted in Eau Claire and Edgerton, Wisconsin. The next major event for AKF members will be in Wisconsin Dells, November 305 for black belt promotions and seminars for all ranks at the Black Belt Extravaganza.

Visit the American Kyuki-Do Federataion, LLC Facebook page to view hundreds of photos from the event.

Grappling and Throwing Tournament
American Kyuki-Do Federation
Walworth WI
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Monroe Youth Hockey Association Equips Ice Arena with Rolled Rubber

Rolled Rubber Flooring Eases Hassle at Wisconsin Hockey Rink

By Brett Hart

Durable seam-free flooring is a necessity for ice hockey rinks to withstand the abuse of sharp skates and prevent tripping hazards. That’s something the Monroe Youth Hockey Association, a not-for-profit organization in Monroe, Wisconsin, recently discovered when it replaced its rubber ice hockey rink flooring, previously consisting of 4×6 foot cow mats with 3/8 inch thick rolled rubber flooring from Greatmats.com.


Association President Joel Fonseca said the old mats mat would move around in the 17-year old building.

”We’ve got a man lift that we would drive around on them and they would all bunch up,” Fonseca said. ”They were getting kind of messy and the corners were starting to peel up. They looked pretty ratty. That’s what prompted us to order (new rubber flooring).”

The ice rink, which is used primarily for hockey October through March is open 7 days per week and is also rented out for different events such as wedding receptions, home shows and – new in the spring of 2017 – arena football league play. With so many different forms of use, durability and versatility were a must when choosing the new flooring and rolled rubber fit the bill.


”We wanted something that was continuous,” he added.

That is exactly what he found with Greatmats Rubber Flooring Rolls with a 3/8 inch thickness and confetti color flecks. The 4-foot wide rolls were available in any length between 25 and 100 feet.

With more than 6,000 square feet to cover, the large rolls were a welcome change from cow mats.

”They laid down real nice,” Fonseca said. ”You can see the seams, but not very good, and we installed everything ourselves. We glued everything down, and they turned out great.”

”The installation was way easier,” he added. ”To install a 4×6 mat was just more of a pain.”

Monroe Youth Indoor Hockey Arena with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Fonseca, who’d been seeking out quotes for quite a while prior to the purchase from Greatmats, first learned about the specialty flooring leader from an association member who had ordered from Greatmats in the past. And with Greatmats’ pricing coming in well under its competitors, the choice was easy.

In order to protect their investment, association members clean the flooring 2-3 times per week.

”The flooring is great,” Fonseca said. ”Not that much different material wise, but the ability to get longer runs made things easier and easier to move things around.”

Monroe Youth Hockey Arena with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Joel Fonseca
Monroe Youth Hockey Association
Monroe WI 53566
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring Rolls product page.

Axel Landscape Looking Forward to More Fun with Ground Protection Mats

Minnesota Landscaper Makes the Switch from Plywood to Ground Protection Mats

Protecting lawns is a top priority for longtime Minnesota landscaper Chris Axel of Axel Landscaping, which is why he used to buy and replace numerous sheets of plywood each year to protect lawns from his equipment.
Greatmats Skid Steer Ground Protection Mats at Axel Landscaping

”We do pretty much all renovation, not really new construction,” Axel said. ”So we are pretty much always going over existing lawns.”

When driving machinery that, when loaded, can weigh in excess of 11,500 pounds, lawn damage is bound to occur if the yard is not properly protected. He noted that it is much better to keep existing lawn than to re-sod, as it saves time, money and hassle.

”Even if you’re going to re-sod it, it’s not going to look the same for a few months,” Axel added. ”A lot of clients haven’t really thought about that part. A lot of companies will destroy the yard and then charge to fix it.”

Axel’s team was able to use his plywood sheets for 70 to 75 jobs where they drive compact track loaders, skid-steers and mini track loaders across them.

”If we’re on super soft lawns, we’ll wheel barrow across the plywood too,” Axel added. ”It’s super important for people. We tell people, we bring plywood to every job and most likely we’ll be able to do the whole job without hurting their lawn. And they really love that.”

There were a few problems with that scenario, however.

Struggles with Plywood

”The act of using (plywood sheets) destroys them,” Axel said. ”Plywood gets wet and gets a lot heavier. It’s kind of sort of floppy. The longer you have your plywood, the more the edges get destroyed so it just gets harder and harder to move them around and use them. You start having little holes that aren’t covered anymore, but you don’t want to buy new plywood. … After one season they are pretty much destroyed.”

After 18 years of dealing with the hassles of plywood, Axel finally bit the bullet and purchased a couple dozen 4×8 foot sheets of rugged clear polyethylene Ground Protection Mats from Greatmats.com.

Plywood Used at Axel Landscaping before Greatmats Ground Protection Mats

Welcome Change
”I wanted to get these because these will last basically forever,” Axel said. ”I’ve been waiting for about 10-12 years for the time I felt like I could drop thousands of dollars on these mats, but I’m really glad I got them. It’s worth it.”

On his first job using the mats he said, ”Already, I can see the difference where these are a lot better. … Even with the plywood, we didn’t even hardly ever use the wheeled machine across the plywood because the plywood can’t support it. … We can bring our wheeled bobcat to jobs where we would have had to bring the track one before.

”Because they (ground protection mats) can support so much more weight than plywood can. I can envision times for sure where we’re going to use these and drive our trucks across somebody’s back yard an dump right where we want our load of dirt.”

In addition to increased durability, the ground protection mats will also save a lot of time, energy and hassle as his new mats won’t break, splinter, waterlog or warp and carry a lifetime warranty.


”At times where I can back my truck up and dump something out instead of having to scoop that stuff out and drive it back there with a bobcat,” Axel said. ”Right there, maybe you save an hour.”

In ideal conditions, the new mats weigh about 10 pounds more the the 15/32-inch thick plywood sheets he had been using previously. But in wet or muddy conditions, the advantages of ground protection mats become obvious as each plywood sheet could gain up to 50 pounds when waterlogged.

”I can already see that these are going to be easier to move around,” Axel said. ”They’re not going to get wet all the time. It’s going to be less work for us to deal with them, which saves more energy for doing stuff that you’re making money doing.”

Axel is also happy to be able link the mats together.

”When you’re trying to turn 90 degrees on plywood, they squirt around,” he said. ”Somebody has to keep moving them back. … That’s a huge reason to get these. You can link two together and now you have a pad so you can turn. That would often be the trouble spot. We could get all the way to the back yard and patio, but you can’t make the turn so you’re stuck screwing up grass that you have to fix.”

There’s also the traction factor

”We bought these things one side smooth and one side diamond pattern,” Axel said. ”I’m quite sure with the diamond pattern down these will help hold better on the hill – as you’re going down the hill. These shouldn’t be a prone to slipping.”

Greatmats Ground Protection Mats at Axel Landscaping

And since Axel purchased clear Ground Protection Mats, he can leave them on the ground longer without killing the grass underneath.

”At three days, plywood starts to affect the grass underneath,” he said. ”It’s a lot of work to pick up all the plywood and set it aside overnight and put it back in the morning. We should be able to leave these down for a full five-day work week, pick them up for the weekends, and put them back on Monday. That will legitimately save a lot on any jobs longer than three days.”

”This is the kind of investment that it’s hard to see right off the bat how it’s going to make you money, but I think they are,” Axel added. ”Dealing with crappy stuff is no fun. The more things you can remove from this process that aren’t fun, the better it can be.”

Greatmats Ground Protection Mats used by Axel Landscaping
Chris Axel
Axel Landscape
Hopkins MN 55343
For more on this topic please review our Ground Protection Mats product page.

Josh Mancuso – Becoming BJJ

This isn’t a hobby where you can buy way to the top

By Brett Hart

”I’ve been doing this so long and frequently that I am BJJ,” Louisiana BJJ black belt Josh Mancuso says. ”I can’t imagine not training.”

Josh Mancuso Grappling BJJ Greatmats

In addition to being a first degree black belt in BJJ, Mancuso also holds a brown belt in judo, owns the academy JM Modern Jiu Jitsu, works in outside sales for a large corporation and coaches his athletes in competition. At the recent Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation New Orleans BJJ Championships, Mancuso led 35 competitors from Soul Fighters Louisiana to a overall team title. Two-hundred nine points separated his squad from the runner up team in a field in which nearly 60 teams recorded points.
Josh Mancuso podium AGF New Orleans BJJ Championships Greatmats

Motivated by the satisfaction of seeing his students and himself improve, Mancuso said, ”I’ve got a bunch of medals – all special in their own way. However, the life lessons, growth and friendships I’ve gained through the sport are by far my largest accomplishments.”

As a coach, Mancuso enjoys taking his athletes to AGF events.

”Their customer service is what sets them apart from all other organizations,” Manucso said.

With some background in wrestling, boxing and MMA, Mancuso now trains under Bruno Tanque Mendes and Rafael Formiga Barbosa, and his 14-year-old daughter has also joined in the training process.

”The fact that you can’t fake it,” is Mancuso’s favorite part of BJJ. ”The mats always speak the truth. In many hobbies, you can buy yourself to the top – not this.”

Josh Mancuso with BJJ instructors Greatmats

Josh Mancuso JM Modern Jiu Jitsu Greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes and coaches visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

Josh Mancuso
JM Modern Jiu Jitsu
Baton Rouge LA 70809
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Cottonwood Riding Club Loving Interlocking Horse Stall Mats

93-acre Riding Club is Largest Horse Boarding Facility in Colorado

By Brett Hart

Tara Gandomcar-Hieb of Cottonwood Riding Club in Littleton, Colorado, has become a horse stall mat connoisseur of sorts after being in the horse business with her family for the last 35 years.

Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding logo GreatmatsShe and her sister, Erica, recently took over the family business, the largest boarding facility in the state of Colorado, which is home to more than 170 horses on the riding club’s 93 acres.

”We’re second generation at this barn so a lot of what we’re doing now is updating the barns that were built 25 years ago,” Tara said. ”We’re a large boarding and training facility, so we have two box stalls,” Tara said. ”Those have the old non interlocking mats.”

cottonwoodWhen we revamping the breezeway barn, which has open sides, it discovered Greatmats’ interlocking stall mats.

”There are no shavings allowed in that barn,” Tara said. ”I needed something to protect the horses from laying on the gravel and still not slip around on the ice. The non interlocking mats peel up and curl up the edges, so the horses were tripping and people were tripping.”

They started with updating some 11.5×20 foot stalls with custom cut interlocking horse stall mats from Greatmats.

”I love the interlocking mats,” Tara said, which led her to use them again when they built a new barn in 2016. ”It’s easier for my guys to clean. It’s better for the ladies walking around. The horses – they’re not tripping and have less thrush and foot issues.”

Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding GreatmatsNow, with four barns, Cottonwood Riding Club has equipped its newest 23-stall barn with a 12×12-foot mat stall mat system over chip gravel.

”Every stall has it’s own little drainage system,” Tara said, noting that the cleanliness of her facility is one of the reasons its become the most popular boarding facility in the state. Adding the interlocking stall mats has helped keep the reputation in order.

”Before, the stalls were not completely matted – Mats in front and dirt in the back.” Tara said. ”That definitely made that barn more sellable. Having the horses on a completely matted surface. It just looks cleaner so it’s more appealing. … Shavings and dirt and everything get underneath the corners of the non interlocking mats.

Tara Gandomcar Hieb owner of Cottonwood Riding Club horse boarding GreatmatsAnother big selling point for Gandomcar-Hieb was the fact that the Greatmats stall mats came with 12 year warranty.

”It was a dollar per square foot more expensive than the non interlocking mat, but worth the expense in the long run,” Tara said. ”It’s nice to have the new technology.”

”Our first barn was sort of the test for it and we’ve definitely noticed that that is an easier situation,” she added. ”You can go to a feed store and get mats that are a dollar a square foot cheaper, but you’re going to be fiddling around with it every year. It’s less labor. Labor is time and time is money.”

home gym
To learn more about Cottonwood Ride Club, read this article published in the Littleton Independent or visit its website.

Tara Gandomcar-Hieb
Cottonwood Riding Club
Littleton CO 80125
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.

Groundbreaking Wing Chun Instructor Expands Expertise over Greatmats

Chris Damiano Builds Academy into One of the Best in Gulf Coast

By Brett Hart

After 32 years in martial arts, Sifu Chris Damiano has been round the world honing his skills in everything from wrestling to Hapkido to Judo, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do and has developed a strong understanding of what works for him and his students.

A Chicago native, Sifu Damiano originally moved to Florida because he needed training partners. Soon he was teaching others how to be his training partners.

Chris Damiano owner Centerline Martial Arts Greatmats Grappling Mats

Wing Chun
In 1994, he narrowed his focus exclusively to Wing Chung and six years later traveled to Hong Kong to study with Grandmaster Ip Ching, the second eldest son of Bruce Lee’s mentor Ip Man. Damiano later became an instructor under Ip Ching, opening Centerline Martial Arts out of his garage in Destin, Florida in 2000. A contractor during the day, Sifu Damiano finally opened Centerline as a full-time martial arts academy in 2007. He quickly became one of the most sought after instructors in the Gulf Coast and was named the USA International Black Belt Hall of Fame’s 2013 Wing Chun Instructor of the Year.

Damiano now also has academies underneath his banner in St. Louis, Boston and Las Vegas.

Chris Damiano Centerline Martial Arts Greatmats Grappling Mats

Jiu Jitsu
Over the last four years, Damiano has added Gracie Jiu Jitsu to his repertoire, studying under fellow 30-plus year martial artist Sensei Brandon Hetzler, who has achieved black belts of varying degrees in Fudoshin Taijutsu, Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Sifo Damiano still splits his time between his contracting work and martial arts, teaching three days per week, but with other instructors, the academy is used 5-6 days per week.


The Need for Mats
With his current academy being located in the second story of an office building and his teaching expanding beyond Wing Chun to striking/kickboxing and jiu jitsu, he quickly discovered that concrete flooring was no longer suitable for his practices.

That’s when he discovered Greatmats martial arts floors. One of his friends with a big Karate school told him about Greatmats, and Hetzler, who has used Greatmats flooring in his home dojo for six years, both highly recommended Greatmats to Sifu Damiano.

In 2012, Damiano equipped his academy with Greatmats 20 mm inch thick martial arts mats and a pro pole pad. While he was happy with the quality of the mats, they proved to be too thin for his judo and jiu jitsu work – especially in the kids classes. So he ordered three of Greatmats’ 2 inch thick 4×10 foot folding mats to add more cushion for those exercises.

Centerline Martial Arts Chris Damiano Greatmats MMA Grappling Mats

Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats
In 2015, he upgraded to Greatmats’ 1 5/8 inch thick Grappling MMA Mats, with a no burn tatami surface and 4-foot critical fall height rating, and sold off his 7/8 inch mats to students for garage workout areas.

”These mats are not as taxing on the body for what I’m doing now,” Sifu Damiano said. ”I love those mats! My school’s completely covered in it except for my back room.”

With approximately 20 students per class and 45 of his 60 students being adults, the mats are regularly put to the test.

”Those mats get an awful lot of use every night,” He added. ”The overall quality of those mats are great. They’re durable. We usually do 45 minutes of technique and eight 5-minute rounds of sparring/grappling. We always start standing. Using wrestling takedowns or judo takedowns, three rounds of kickboxing and three rounds of kickboxing with takedowns. I love that tatami top.”

Pole Padding
The Grappling MMA mats have eliminated his need for the folding mats, but added that the pole pad is still a ”very needed piece” in his school, noting that it is often used as a circuit training tool.

”People use it to train on; kids kick it,” Sifu Damiano said. ”Sometimes I use that to line them up, and they can do some of their striking on that as part of the stations.”

A believer in ”time put in equals skill,” Sifu Damiano has definitely put in his time, and for the last five years, that time has been put in over Greatmats martial arts floors.

Centerline Martial Arts class on Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats and Greatmats Pole Paddding
Chris Damiano
Centerline Martial Arts
Destin FL 32550
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.