Martial Arts Industry Trends

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Martial arts industry trends

The integration of fitness and martial arts has opened up many opportunities for the industry, and businesses are jumping into the field with gusto. Martial arts fitness has progressed beyond Tae Bo videos and YMCA kickboxing classes, and gyms are coming up with new, vibrant programs like MMA fitness to capitalize on student enthusiasm. Here are some martial arts class types that have gained notable traction in the industry.

Cage Fitness

Launched by UFC star Matt Hughes, Cage Fitness incorporates the tenets of mixed martial arts training without the hand-to-hand combat. A cage fit program involves a heavy bag with a routine of upper body and lower body workouts and can be catered to various fitness and strength levels.

Along with catering to an individual’s skill and fitness level, Cage Fitness workouts are popular for gym members because they can be done quickly, as they consist of five five-minute interval workouts with a minute rest between intervals. These short 30-minute workouts allow gyms to schedule lots of sessions that can easily fit their members’ schedules. This leads to an increase in revenue and happy, healthy.

Piloxing

Piloxing fuses boxing with Pilates and dance, creating a hybrid workout that simultaneously burns fat while increasing flexibility and strength. This brand is highly popular with women, allowing them to branch out from basic kickboxing classes.
Piloxing has also become popular because of the all-around body benefits. Not only does the Pilates aspect of piloxing help with leg strength and cardiovascular fitness, but the weighted boxing gloves help define and tone arms and upper body. These elements account for some of the reason gyms are adding piloxing to their cardio fitness and martial arts menus.

CrossFit Defense

CrossFit Defense markets itself as a hardcore program featuring hand-to-hand combat in close quarters. Integrating martial arts with a wildly popular fitness brands, this technique fuses CrossFit movements with self-defense to burn fat and increase confidence.

Unlike Cage Fitness and Piloxing, this is a full-contact self-defense class that has relevance across the board for members. Whether members are just looking for a boost of confidence, flexibility and balance to their CrossFit regimen or are training for a fight, CrossFit Defense classes are picking up steam in CrossFit and martial arts gyms everywhere.

Choreographed Kickboxing

Choreographed kickboxing integrates dance with kickboxing, usually set to popular high-tempo music. Rather than preparing students for self-defense, it’s designed to be a fun activity to increase cardio vascular fitness and shed fat.
What has made choreographed kickboxing increasingly popular for gym members is the evolution from the Tae Bo and basic kickboxing classes. With energizing music, coupled with a vigorous routine that can burn up to 600 calories per session, while strengthening many muscle groups, choreographed kickboxing has been a popular workout addition for gyms.

Preschool Martial Arts Classes

While the martial arts industry has always had classes for older kids and teenagers, offering classes for preschool children is a recent trend. With children as young as 3 years old participating in classes, preschool programs are great for getting children used to an active lifestyle at a young age. They also learn the tenets of discipline and self-control that are inherent to all martial arts. Since martial arts has also been linked to increased socialization in young children, these classes are incredibly beneficial for the kids.

Offering classes for preschool students is also a good business decision. While the classes attract the toddler demographic, they also convert parents and siblings into students of the more traditional classes. This two-for-one quality offers even more reasons to consider adding preschool programs at your martial arts school or gym.

No one knows for sure what the future of holds. But if the recent industry growth is an indication of the future, we’re in for a bunch of exciting new variations of the ancient and honorable tradition of martial arts.


Incorporating the latest industry trends into your schedule is a great way to create desirable, fresh classes for your students. Interested in seeing what other schools are doing to create success for themselves? Get your copy of our free Martial Arts Benchmark Report today!

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Shilo Lucyk

Shilo Lucyk

In her spare time Shilo enjoys teaching yoga classes, doing CrossFit® and reading anything she can get her hands on.

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