Drunken Monkey or Praying Mantis, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do or Judo, no matter how you get there, hitting the ground hurts. We, as gymnasts, know this. We’ve taken a fair amount of flights and falls ourselves.
That’s why we at GMR Gymnastics Sales have been making mats AND martial arts floor covers for 37 years!
Our aim is to offer a solution that fits the budget of every martial arts dojo. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re outfitting your third location, we’ve got a martial arts floor that will work for you!
Our most economical martial arts floor option is our DIY assembly, vinyl floor cover stretched over 1 3/8in. or 2in. crosslink foam. LINK MA 500. What sets this martial arts and self defense floor apart is that we provide special instructions on how to make your own stretcher bars.
Sometimes, our customers send us things that really make our day, if not the whole darn month! This testimony sent to us from owner/operator Jenni Hallock is one such joy.
We spoke with her and got her permission to reproduce it in its entirety. She told us, “You have to save your hands to swing bars. To the kids and to me, it’s a huge deal. I’ve got to tell them how awesome their grips are.”
Amen to that, Jenni!
Thank you so much for making the time to let us know how our grips have made a difference in your gymnastics life and and in the lives of the gymnasts under your guidance now!
“Hi There! My name is Jenni Hallock. I am the owner and head coach of G-4orce Athletics in Palestine, TX. I’m writing because I want to share a testimony with you about your grips and what they meant to me as a young gymnast and what they mean to the young gymnasts I now coach at my gym.
I’m currently 34 years old. I started using dowel grips at age 10. I continued to use them until my career as a gymnast was completed at age 16. I remember how excited I was to get my first pair of dowel grips. I don’t recall what brand they were, but they weren’t Ten-o. I used them only a short period of time before I began slipping off the bar. My coach and I tried to fix them, but I kept “pinging” off the bars. It just wasn’t happening for me. It wasn’t in the budget to buy another pair of grips, so to stay safe, I had to go back to a beginner pair of grips for a while.
A few months later, for my birthday, I got a new pair of dowel grips. This pair of dowel grips was different.These grips were red, white, & blue. I also had some matching wrist bands that went with them. These were Ten-o grips. I remember being nervous about using them. After all, my last experience with dowel grips didn’t go so well.
Let me say this, this new pair of grips allowed me to do tricks and swing on the bar like never before. I loved them!
We purchased a size 0, couple of size 1’s, and a size 2 over the years. I am one of those people that keeps certain things that are important to me. For some reason, I have kept all of my Ten-o grips, some are over 20 years old.
When I was preparing to open my gym last summer in 2017, and got the bars set up, we couldn’t find my daughter’s grips. Well, I went over to my trophy case and pulled out my old grips. She and I were trying to see if they would fit her and if they were in a condition to even use. I checked to make sure they weren’t overstretched, as I know that if they are they can get caught and lock up. Thankfully, they weren’t! And, she really wanted to swing some bars!
I first put on my size 2 grips from 1997. I took the grip brush to them, chalked them up and I did a kip fly away. My daughter went next with my size 0 grips from probably 1993? It was pure adrenaline!
When I first opened my gym in August 2017, some of my kids had grips some didn’t. I ordered a couple of pairs from you guys. — I’m getting to the point of this story I promise. — Do you know what those girls do now? They literally will argue over wearing “those grips.” Those grips that are my grips from 20 years ago. Seriously! They love how they feel when they are doing bars. The girls will pout when “those grips“ are taken by another gymnast already at bars. Sometimes I take them and hide them, because I really don’t want them to wear them. I want them to wear their own grips and get them broken in. I had put mine out there for display never to be used again. The girls still do it, though, they try to be sneaky because they know they’re not supposed to. Of course, I make sure to not leave any in there that are too worn out or overstretched, for safety’s sake. Crazy kids! I’ve never seen grips that last like yours do!”
On the left, one of the new Ten-o 501 Blues Grips Jenni ordered for her girls since she opened her gym. On the right, one of Jenni’s old grips from the 90’s her girls keep stealing from the case, lol.
“They want to wear them because they can swing bars on them unlike any other pair in the gym. I can’t go on enough about the quality of your grips. We don’t have to use anything, but chalk on the new ones we’ve ordered from y’all or my old grips when I let them use them.
What’s funny is that some of the girls have grips from another company and they are slicker than climbing a mountain in high heels. Even being over 20 years old and somewhat used, my old Ten-o grips are the best grips in the gym. Some parents don’t have the money for new grips, and this being a new business and I don’t own a credit card, I wasn’t in a place to purchase them for the girls until now. I couldn’t care less about ever trying another brand of grips. As far as I’m concerned, you are the only company I will ever purchase grips from. I just really felt I needed to share this story with you guys.”
Point your toes! Coach or ballet mistress, dancer or gymnast, if you’ve said or heard this once, you’ve heard or said it a zillion times! If only you had a nickel…
The New Yorker’s Katia Bachko describes, in exquisite detail, why mentors in both dance and gymnastics pound the toe point into the heads of their artists:
“In ballet, the pointed foot creates extension from the top of the thigh to the toes; without an emphasis on this stretch, gymnasts curl and clench the toes. When coaches put too much emphasis on strength training, athletes end up with bulky shoulder muscles which compromise the graceful, elevated carriage of the head, which is typical among Carly Patterson, Jordyn Wieber, and other American gymnasts. Pay attention to the way the head position changes as the torso moves. Graceful, fluid neck movement creates dynamic, pleasing movement; a tight upper body gives the impression of tension. These minor, but important differences reflect the influence of ballet training. If they stop mattering, in terms of points and, ultimately, victories, the sport will be the worse for it.”
Every event in gymnastics demands the gymnast point his or her toes — because certainly, male gymnasts are not exempt from this technique to lengthen the leg and please the eye of the fan and judge alike!
However, we see the discipline of dance make its biggest mark in women’s events; most notably, the floor exercise with it’s, well: choreography.
Most people think gymnastics gym pits are only ever literal holes in the ground. That’s just not the case!
In fact, there are upsides to putting your gymnastics club’s pit above ground. Hint: loads of added storage space! (Upsides? Ha! See what we did there!)
Gymnastics gym owners put their pits above ground by choice or for forces beyond their control. Let’s look at some of the factors that might put you in a position to build your gymnastics pit above the floor of your gymnastics facility.
Does strapping on your gymnastics grips feel like slipping into your favorite hoodie?
Do your grips give you that feeling of familiarity like laughing at inside jokes with your BFF, finishing their sentences and ordering for them at the drive-thru because you just know?
But, are they long enough that they look like the gymnastics grip equivalent of clown shoes?
Do you want to break your wrist?
Riiiight! That last part, not so much, really? Mmmm, yeah. We didn’t think so.
Unlike, a friendship, your relationship with your gymnastics grips shouldn’t continue for years and years. Unlike people, gymnastics grips need to be replaced: grips are disposable.
Gymnastics grips are worn by male gymnasts on the high bar and rings, by female gymnasts on the uneven bars.
When you first get a pair of gymnastics grips, kind of like shoes or boots, you’ll need to break them in so they fit and feel right. Once, that perfect fit hits, your grips become your best bud.
When swinging bars or or hitting iron crosses on the rings, like a best friend or a coach your grips have got your back. They’re a big factor in what keeps you holding on, allowing you to make the bold moves that make gymnastics, so breathtaking. Grips also protect your skin from that in/famous hazard of the sport: the gymnastics rip.
However, when that perfect fit stretches past its expiry date. Your gymnastics grips are no longer protecting you. They are endangering you.
Mike Raines, CEO and founder of GMR Gymnastics sales was a gymnast from age 13 until his college years. Alas, Mike was forced into retirement when his shoulder gave out from too many inverts in college.
Moving from doing gymnastics to coaching and installing gymnastics equipment for another company, Mike decided to start one himself. From then, he’s been a gymnastics equipment nerd since he designed and manufactured his first Mushroom™. Mike’s love of making and innovating equipment will never fade!
Mike also enjoys collecting old gymnastics equipment. He’s interested in gymnastics history and studying how the sport and its equipment has evolved over the years and how new technologies and techniques interrelate as the sport continues to grow.
Mike had been on the hunt for something special to put in the foyer of GMR’s Lithonia, GA headquarters when a former employee told him of an antique vault buck at a thrift store.
Yes! That something special had finally found him!
Hailing all the way from the 1920’s this antique vault horse is a beaut! It was made by Adec Sport, a Belgian company that’s still around today. It’s a seriously, solid hoss of a thing, probably weighing a good 75lbs, with a body made out from suede leather. The legs are telescopic, making its height adjustable. Mike, “It’s feet are shaped like actual hooves!” That’s true. It’s a trip: It’s feet look just like those of a real equine being.
We’re looking ahead to the New Year to roll out something extra special we’ve put together for our friends in competitive cheer, we’re bringing back a gymnastics classic and we’ve innovated our website design; so that when you come to ten-o.com you enjoy an easy and elegant shopping experience, no matter what type of device you use!
GMR Gymnastics Sales has rung in 39 New Years in the gymnastics business and we’ve loved every minute of them! What started out as strictly “snail mail” order catalogue business has grown and changed quite a bit oh these many auld lang synes. But, if there’s one thing gymnastics teaches it’s that you’ve got to be flexible, if you want to perfect your skills!
To that end, we’re rolling with the changes that are so much a part of today’s Internet culture and that means creating a website with a shopping experience that’s easy to navigate and user friendly across all the types of computers people use be they desktops, laptops, tablets or phones.