Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
For the first two years we had mats, then we trained in racquetball courts, and in the summer we usually trained outside either on the grass or a wooden deck.
As far as groundfighting I would say that we weren't instructed formally on fighting on the ground, however, during two mans and sparring it would get as intense and all out as we wanted. Meaning we trained to make our karate work in any situation. If you found yourself on the ground you still had to make it work. Although we did do tournaments, our karate was definiately not confined to any tournament rules. I trained there from 1990-1994. I will say that it has changed significantly since that time, you know, student retention and all. We had very little when I first trained, student retention that is.