As a dojo owner, it’s crucial to stay up to date with martial arts industry trends to stand out from your competition. Though martial arts dates back thousands of years, fresh new twists always arise.

Martial arts first originated in East Asia as a type of fighting that involved using hands and feet to defeat your opponent. As this sport started to grow and spread across the globe, each country adopted its own specific style. Now, there are several different types of martial arts such as Muay Thai which first began in Thailand and Taekwondo that had its start in Korea. Each is different from the other with its approach and definitive moves.

If you want to keep your studio current, be aware of new martial arts industry trends. A trend is something new which people around the world are engaged in. Keeping up with trends is important for you as a business owner to consistently surprise your clients. Everyone offers classic martial arts styles like karate, so offering contemporary options can make your studio stand out! Be the one place where your students know that they are being offered something that no one else can provide. Not only will this increase your dojo’s value and popularity, but it will increase your client retention rate and grow your martial arts studio.

So stand back and prepare yourself for five martial arts industry trends that’ll knock your socks off!

1. Self-Defense Classes

Many people believe that martial arts is a violent sport, forgetting the fact that it initially began as a way for people to protect themselves. Self-defense classes are just that, which aim to help people defend themselves when put in difficult situations.

More and more women are signing up for self-defense classes in order to protect themselves against harassment. These classes empower women to no longer feel like victims but be their own heroes. Fear is replaced with confidence and strength, allowing women to fight back if necessary.

martial arts industry trends, self-defense
Self-defense classes are at the peak of their popularity! Offer classes and workshops to help your community.

Sadly, hate crimes have increased in North America, leading people from minority groups to seek self-defense courses too. Participants are taught what to do if assaulted and the best methods to protect yourself from your attacker.

Consider adding these classes to your studio’s schedule as a way of offering a helping hand to those in need of a safe space. Out of all martial arts industry trends, this one will help you make a difference in the lives of people in your community.

2. Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts classes have become more and more prevalent in several studios. This is because male and female MMA stars have been made famous due to the popularity of this fighting style.

Organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship have allowed many fans to watch their favorite mixed martial artists fight others in the ring on television. Thousands of people watch these competitions as they are promoted by both the organization and social media. Several MMA fighters have used social media as a powerful marketing tool to increase their number of followers. This has led many of them to become celebrities, like Rhonda Rousey, who has even made several cameos in popular movies! Those that look up to these fighters wish to emulate them, which is why mixed martial arts participants are increasing more and more.

Besides being extremely popular, this trend is also a great workout. Your entire body is moving, so almost every muscle is being targeted. This helps build your body’s strength and endurance, as well as burn calories. Plus, while you’re strengthening your body, you can also strengthen your mind.

Think about including this as a new class in your studio as people from all walks of life will be inclined to join.

3. Beginner Classes for Adults

One of the most common martial arts industry trends is introducing beginner classes for adults. Many believe that in order to be a martial artist, you have to start training when you’re young, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Martial arts is appropriate for any age. There are many out there who wish to learn martial arts, but they are too self conscious to begin because there aren’t many places which offer martial arts classes to adult beginners. Promote this idea in your studio and you’ll attract a whole new target audience.

Adults can also benefit from martial arts classes! This sport promotes discipline and respect, and as we’ve already mentioned, it can do wonders for your self-confidence. Not only does this help your students, but it helps your business too! Your client retention rates will rise as adults are likely more inclined to continue their training and commit than children who only signed up because their parents forced them to.

4. Kali

Kali, also known as Eskrima or Arnis, is a martial art which originates from the Philippines. Out of all the martial arts industry trends we’ve mentioned so far, this is one of the few fighting styles which involves the use of weapons such as sticks. This is definitely one of the more daring fighting styles, which will certainly make some noise at your studio!

martial arts industry trends, Man practicing kali
Originated from the Philippines, Kali is one of the more daring fighting styles.

This martial art was born in the jungle and originated from the fighting techniques of different tribes who went to war in the Philippines. In that time, whatever was available in the jungle was used as a weapon, which is why sticks are used today.

At first glance, Kali may look like a very intimidating sport, but the necessary safety measures are always considered. Those who choose to fight wear fencing masks as well as gloves to protect themselves. You can even take it a step further in your studio and offer different types of body padding. Separate classes can also be offered for those who would merely like to train and for others who would like to put their skills to use. Experienced instructors should always be present to keep a watchful eye on your students.

It’s important to mention that the goal of Kali today is not to hurt your opponent, but to be fully present with them in the ring. The Dog Brothers, who made this fighting style popular in Los Angeles, even encourage all martial artists to end their fights with a hug.

Break the monotony of conventional martial arts classes and offer something different to your community!

5. Lightsaber Training

We’ve come to the end of our martial arts industry trends list, and we’ve saved the best for last.

martial arts industry trends, lightsaber training
Lightsaber training is sure to be a fan favorite! Open your martial arts studio up for new ideas and offer unique workshops or classes to set you apart from your competition.

Remember those amazing scenes where Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader battled with neon lightsabers? Now you can too! Lightsaber training is a mix of martial arts and swordsmanship techniques with the help of…you guessed it! A lightsaber! Imagine offering your students the chance to learn different choreography from the famous Star Wars films. If you want to increase your studio’s popularity, this is certainly the way to do it!

Think of how introducing this martial arts trend could expand your target audience! Not only will you attract older fans of the film, but the younger generation still discovering the classic will be tempted to try it as well. Separate classes could also be offered for adults and children, while mixed classes can be promoted for families. We couldn’t think of a better fun-filled family activity!

A series of classes varying in difficulty could also be marketed for Star Wars fans who truly wish to become Jedi masters! And you don’t have to stop at classes. You could even host community competitions to find the best Jedi Master out there! The possibilities with this trend are endless.

All in All…

Make your studio an exciting place to be by staying up to date with the latest in martial arts industry trends. By offering these exciting new classes your students won’t know what hit ‘em!

Consider offering self-defense classes as they are growing more and more popular. Students will feel more empowered and confident, and you would be doing your community a service. Mixed martial arts is another current trend which many would be attracted to, with its rise in popularity in mainstream media. In addition, consider offering beginner martial arts classes for adults. We’re sure that many will flock to your studio and thank you for providing them with the opportunity to learn a new skill in a safe space! If you would like to cater to those who walk on the wild side, think about starting Kali classes with proper precautions. This fighting style would be a refreshing change from the basic martial arts classes which can be found anywhere. Lastly, if you really want to stand out, offer lightsaber training! Stars Wars fans can make their dreams a reality and kids can join in the fun too!

If you want to get noticed, tapping into martial arts industry trends is the way to do it.

And when it comes to growing your business and retaining your clients, that’s where we come in! WellnessLiving offers an all-in-one martial arts software to help you keep track of your clients and send them automatic review-requests after their visits, and that’s only scratching the surface of what we can do. Book a free, no commitment demo with us today and make your martial arts studio the talk of the town!

wellnessliving, book free demo