Martial Arts Industry Trends

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It’s a good time to be in the business of martial arts. According to research company, IBISWorld, the martial arts industry has grown over the past five years, and is expected to continue to grow over the next several years. The growth is due in large part to a strong economy, increased spending on recreational activities and the rising popularity of mixed martial arts.

With the industry on the rise, here are some of the key martial arts industry trends to keep an eye on over the next several years.

Mixed Martial Arts

Due in large part to the rise of the UFC, along with several other factors, mixed martial arts is expected to continue to gain popularity over the next several years. In fact, the mixed martial arts equipment market is expected to reach $565 million by 2022. Expect to see increased participation in martial arts practices like jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, kickboxing and boxing during this period as well.

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Speaking of kickboxing, this workout made the Ace Fitness list of 2018 fitness trends. We anticipate seeing more specialized kickboxing studios opening up around the country. Boutique fitness studios are expected to pick up on this trend as well, offering more group cardio kickboxing classes on their schedules.

Boutique Boxing

NBC News reports that we can expect to see a rise in boxing, thanks to the number of influencers (think celebrities and well-known athletes) hopping into boxing-inspired fitness studios that have started popping up around the country. This popular workout is a great stress reliever, and offers students an incredible workout, consisting of both strength training and conditioning.

Tracking Technology

Beyond dojo software and other school management tech, martial arts is seeing a growth in wearable tech which isn’t just for the boutique market anymore. Global technology research company, Technavio, reports that technological innovations have positively impacted the growth of the global mixed martial arts market. Tracking and smart devices significantly benefit martial artists, offering real-time data on important performance metrics like power, speed and number of punches. Even in Denver, we’re starting to see boutique kickboxing studios popping up that encourage participants to wear heartrate monitors, further proving the value of these high intensity workouts.


Martial artists around the world are beginning to incorporate different types of workouts into their training schedule to help them further perfect their art. From running to weight lifting, these individuals understand how additional cardio, strength and mobility can significantly benefit their chosen art form. At the same time, these individuals are also looking for additional ways to recover, incorporating mobility and yoga into their routines as well.


Since BJJ focuses on grappling, it’s a great sport for those with mobility impairments and even intellectual disabilities. We absolutely love the increased focus on adaptation, and the number of stories we’ve read about the impact this sport is having on peoples’ lives is nothing short of inspiring.

Are there other martial arts trends missing from this list? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear about popular trends you’ve noticed in the martial arts industry.

Incorporating the latest industry trends into your school 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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