When it comes to MMA and martial arts gyms, the facilities generally have a aesthetic style that evokes a familiar feeling when you walk through the door. Many gyms favor strong, bold colors — red, black and gray, with yellow and blue rounding up the top five. This standard has been reflected in the martial arts and MMA mats and wall padding they choose, along with their logos. These colors have remained consistent over the years because equipment can be costly and complex to change, and the martial arts culture has always seen itself as strong, powerful and consistent.
Trends Have Changed
Over the last five years, there has been a noticeable design trend that is leaning toward simple, crisp, clean looking interiors. This shift has made its way from our homes and into our offices, and now it has entered the martial arts world. More gyms are choosing to upgrade the look of their facility, and their new aesthetic mirrors the crisp, clean feeling present in interior design today. White martial arts and MMA mats and wall pads have been in higher demand as gyms look for a way to make training spaces (especially ones on the smaller side) feel light and airy. Facility designers are choosing soft green mats that have a more muted tone over primary green. This is especially true for gyms that are looking to mix in two or more colors.
Another Popular Trend: Woodgrain
One of the most popular and growing mat trends has been mats that have a woodgrain pattern that is printed on the vinyl, which gives the mats a more expensive look that mimics hardwood flooring. Woodgrain vinyl is printed in several different patterns to give the mats a varied grain look, as one repeated pattern would make this look much harder to achieve.
Many martial arts facilities stick with the favorites: black, red, gray, blue, and yellow, but trends are pointing to the use of new mat colors to create a softer, more welcoming feel. It will be interesting to see if mat and wall pad color preferences continue along this trajectory or if these new colors and patterns are only a temporary trend before martial arts move back towards “the traditional.”