To better understand the differences or similarities between grappling mats and jiu-jitsu mats it is important to know what both grappling and jiu-jitsu are. The foundation of understanding is research. It has been used for thousands of years by humans to understand the world we live in and how it functions. Whether you are seeking to understand a natural phenomena or object the same rules apply. Seek and you shall understand.
Grappling is the act of gripping or seizing the opponent, as can be clearly seen in wrestling, which is the best example of grappling. In grappling the two fighters grab at each other trying to get a grip so that they can get themselves into a position to throw the other person on the ground. Once on the ground the fighter in the best position will try to apply some kind of submission or choke hold to get the other person to give up. The other person will give up by tapping out or indicating that they have had enough verbally or some other sort of means. Grappling can cover techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts.
Jiu-jitsu is a martial art which has it origins in Japan in the 16th century and before. Jiu-jitsu was an amalgamation of fighting styles at the time which incorporated punching, kicking, take downs and submissions. Later on the art mainly concentrated on the take down and submission aspect as it was deemed a less violent method of subduing an opponent. These days the most common form of jiu-jitsu is BJJ. BJJ is an abbreviation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which is a more grappling orientation form and is widely used in competition and mixed martial arts.
So understanding this one would ask is there even a different between jiu-jitsu mats and grappling mats. Well the answer to that is there is no difference. Whether you call them jiu-jitsu mats or grappling mats the function is the same. Grappling mats are designed to protect the practitioner during use. Jiu-jitsu mats are also design to protect the users. So indeed they are the same. What a person chooses to use as a grappling mats or a jiu-jitsu mat is a different story.
The kinds of mats one would use for these purposes depended mainly on taste. The different options available are:
- Jigsaw mats (also known as EVA mats)
- MMA mats
- Tatami Mats
- Roll-out Mats
Which of the above is chosen depends on if it is a professional organisation, the budget, and availability to name a few.