The Open Mat, what is it?

open mat

The Open Mat, what is it?.

The concept of open mat is something very innovative and I find it an incredible way to share martial arts and train with a spirit of exchange to evolve your sport and your martial art.

An interesting thing is also to go and explore with the open mats other disciplines and specialties, such as Grappling go to try to fight with the Gi

in BJJ, or do BJJ go to try in Judo, Sambo,


Why do I mainly talk to you about the fight?

I’ve always seen it done mainly between wrestling practitioners and BJJ, perhaps because there is a common spirit for art that unites beyond the Gym in itself, but as if it is more linked to the sharing of an art, a community spirit different from other arts, beyond the rivalry itself.

Now the idea of doing open mat for sparring,or for technical work, etc. I think is a good way to work but that requires a personal maturity that unfortunately I do not see much present in many martial disciplines.

The Open Mat, what is it? Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

What is an open mat?

For anyone who doesn’t know, an open mat is an open training session where there is no organized education.

Many schools host open mats and allow students from other academies to attend, sometimes with a reduced fee (or not) entrance to the gym.


How many of you attend open mats or have attended them?

open matI remember when I started to struggle I didn’t know this practice but when I heard open mats and what their meaning is, I found a way to broaden the knowledge and find new training partners.

Over time I realized that cross training is valuable and that attending open mats in other academies allows your game to evolve and especially if you compete but also if it is just your passion to grow a lot as a result and performance.

Given the way the BJJ and the fight evolves and how information spreads differently today through new communication methods, these open events can be another very important method of learning and evolving the use of techniques by practicing them “in the field”.


The mindset

open mat

I believe that a fundamental problem that highlights the open mat is the risk that some pupils seeing other environments and other gyms will find greater affinity and that this causes a way of going from one gym to another.

It’s part of the game, but I understand that when we talk about business, many right and evolutionary principles are lost by making selfishness prevail or not to think badly of a necessity to keep the school going.

I think when you are sure of the quality of your gym in your city or village or neighborhood you never have a problem doing Open Mat.


The Surprise

The Open Mat, what is it? Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Another crucial element is that you never know who shows up.

I’ve been to open mat with black belts and MMA agonists who came to do some rolling, I’ve also been to open mat with few people and worked on techniques and specific positions, working more on technical aspects.

In regular lessons the lesson is always structured in a fairly constant mix of activities but you never know what to expect when going in an open mat, it is always different depending on who you meet although there is usually a lot of rolling.

If you go to an open mat you have to be very clear that not everyone plays by the same rules you’re used to.

You may find gyms where people emphasize a more technical or more aggressive type of struggle, those looking for certain leg finalizations or other techniques that are usually less used where you work.

In your mind you have to be ready for new approaches and the unexpected, and that’s what makes you evolve.

open mat

Everywhere open mat

Another aspect of open mats is that it allows you to go to gyms even not close to where you live,or in other cities (arrange a car with friends to amortize expenses) where you can’t normally go and train with different people and experience or instructors and athletes who normally do not train anyone outside the gym.

Open mats are specifically intended for what their name implies: being open.


Each gym interprets the open mat in its own way

Più frequenti questi eventi e più sei e preparato alle novità, all’adattamento che devi avere per riuscire a vincere.

For this reason, if you frequent these events often, you are and become more predisposed to rapid change to adapt to the situation and bring it in your favor without being surprised.

If you get out of your comfort zone of your school you really have the chance to know what techniques other people are studying, find out if your strategy and tactics that work in your school are also applicable outside or which need to be changed, this is really an important benefit.

open matIf you don’t, chances are you’ll limit yourself a lot of that and consequently evolve your art and the way you fight.

I see many people who train only in their gyms, some for years without ever looking outside just out of curiosity and do not even venture invited to other gyms.

  • If you’re one of those people, what’s your excuse?
  • Is it a matter of time?
  • What do you think?
  • Is it something deeper, more related to your psychology?
  • What is the thought that blocks you?

Explore“the open mat!!“.

Once you try it you may find your way to your true sporting and martial evolution.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


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Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

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