SUPERMAT is a general purpose sports mat but specifically designed for the sport of judo.
As a judo mat, SUPERMAT is a state-of-the-art product conforming fully to all European and British technical requirements. The core of the mat is a precisely cut slice of reconstituted foam which results in a very firm but highly resilient material capable of supporting substantial weight without indentation and yet able to absorb considerable impact. The top surface and sides are covered in a flexible PVC material which is heat welded at the corners. SUPERMAT is normally supplied with a fully sealed cellular antislip base for temporary location on polished floors or can be supplied with a plain base for permanent installation. Sizing is metric (normally 2m x 1m) to conform with modern requirements. In spite of its firmness, its high resiliency and ability to absorb impact makes it suitable for all levels and all age groups.
As a general purpose mat, SUPERMAT is especially suitable for karate, aikido, gymnastics, stretching classes and children’s play areas.
SHOGUN INTERNATIONAL established in 1974 and the originator of SUPERMAT™ deals exclusively with martial arts products and sport mats. SUPERMAT is the Company’s main product, having been supplied to national sports centres and exported worldwide including Japan, since 1976.
The Company employs persons who have direct experience of judo and the martial arts from international contest level to teaching.
The Company is a standing Member of the British Standards committee on sports mats and its Managing Director is the UK representative from this committee to the European Standards.
SUPERMAT is the only judo mat endorsed by international superstar Brian Jacks 9th Dan, Olympic medallist and four times European champion.
HISTORY AND STATUS
As an art and a skill, judo was developed in Japan. As a sport, judo is now practised all over the World under the aegis of the International Judo Federation , their prime concern being the regulation of contest, especially at international level.
At the 1972 Munich Olympics, new rules were introduced which required, amongst other things, mats of metric proportions. New designs were made by the Europeans and by the time of the 1973 World Championships in Switzerland, the use of metric mats mostly using reconstituted foam, was confirmed. In 1974 for the European Championships in London, the concept of a metre wide warning zone (using completely red mats) was firmly established.
In the same year 1974, SHOGUN INTERNATIONAL started business in London and within a few months, was producing the first modern PVC covered judo mat to be made in various specifications. These mid-seventies products were the predecessors of SUPERMAT which is now the supreme portable mat for sport judo, being used for the formulation of the British Standard BS 1892-4 and also being one of the mats used for the formulation of the European Standard BS EN 12503 3-7.
The core of SUPERMAT is a lightweight chemically stable mixture of polyester and polyether reconstituted chipfoam. Made as a large block, it is left to cure for sufficient time to settle in shape and tension. The block is then cut to a tolerance of less than 1mm by precision machinery, resulting in a perfectly flat slab of chipfoam with even characteristics and accurate dimensions.
The top and sides are covered with a special expanded vinyl material which is heat-welded at the corners. Expanded vinyl is more flexible and lighter than solid vinyl which is prone to splitting with age. The top surface is impressed with the internationally accepted rice-straw weave pattern and has a strong woven backing material which is highly resistant to splitting on impact. Standard colours are green and red with other colours available if required.
The underside of the mat is covered with a stable rubber cellular antislip material which gives a strong grip by both friction and suction on the most polished of floors. This ensures that the mats can be used independently. The antislip edge and vinyl are bonded with a special sealant.
There is no stitching to come undone and the covering material is permanently bonded to the entire upper surface of the foam core. The adhesives are carefully selected for material compatibility.
In spite of the various adhesion processes and handling during manufacture, SUPERMAT is made to the finest tolerances possible for a flexible product. This is a vital factor in order to avoid gaps when laying large areas.
HANDLING AND STORAGE
During handling, particular care should be taken to avoid harming the corners, especially likely if mats are dragged across the floor. This is perhaps the greatest single cause of damage. To minimise accidental surface abrasion and for reasons of hygiene, mats should be carried with the top surface towards the handler.
To avoid surface damage and again, for reasons of hygiene, SUPERMAT should be stacked face to face and back to back with the first mat facing upwards. The uppermost mat should be covered to prevent accidental damage to the vinyl surface or deterioration of the antislip due to light exposure.
Modern reconstituted foam mats of adequate thickness and firmness have reduced serious impact injuries substantially where judo is practised on inadequately sprung floors.
The firmness of SUPERMAT ensures that it is suitable for sprung floors while its resiliency and ability to safely absorb impact ensures that (while not the ideal situation) it is the best option for unsprung floors for which SUPERMAT is primarily designed. When mats are laid permanently, safety can be much enhanced by the use of undermats which can be obtained from SHOGUN .
At the standard thickness of 40mm, mats weigh approximately 11kg per sq. m. For permanent installations , 50mm is preferred since at this thickness, it is possible to increase the capacity for impact absorption. A thicker mat requires a higher density to ensure that the foot does not sink any deeper than when using a 40mm mat; however this results in a substantial increase in the mat's weight.
Safety is a function of the type of materials used, the density and resilience of the foam core and the thickness of the mat.
The materials used in SUPERMAT give a firm and slightly cushioned feel without excessive gripping of the feet which could cause rotational injuries, especially to the knee. Due to the mats' resiliency, leg fatigue is minimised since a large proportion of energy imparted into the mat is returned to the body.
The expanded vinyl material covering is particularly effective in avoiding mat burns.
SUMMARY OF MAIN FEATURES
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