Dojangs have various training floor surfaces; some modern, some traditional. Each surface has advantages and disadvantages.
Wood is a traditional floor surface. Wood is hard and provides little cushioning, but it provides good support for stable stances. It is easy to pivot and spin on wood, but this becomes more difficult as sweat makes the wood either sticky or slippery. Wood may warp, crack, or splinter over time if not properly constructed or maintained.
Tatami is a traditional floor surface for martial arts such as Aikido and Judo. Tatami is tightly woven rice straw. They have about the same cushioning as a hard foam mat. Cushioning is important when doing falls. Tatami are rarely used outside the orient. Straw tatami is expensive to purchase and maintain, so synthetic substitutes are used where the use of tatami is desired but not financially practical.
Hard Surface/Soft Base
This type of surface has a base of used car tires spread over the floor with a two-by-four wood framework covered with plywood placed atop the tires. The plywood is then covered with a thin pad and a canvas sheet. This type of surface is hard and very stable, but still offers good cushioning.
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