Martial Arts Become Fitness Industry Juggernaut

By Ryan Halvorson
Feb 16, 2015

Have you ever considered adding a martial arts component to your current offerings? According to IBISWorld Industry Report OD4187 Martial Arts Studios in the US, now may be the time to do it.

Thanks in part to the success of mixed martial arts and highly popular events like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the martial arts industry has seen a steady annual growth of 1.2% for the past 5 years, the report indicates. In 2014, total revenue reached $3.2 billion, with MMA-style studios and gyms accounting for an estimated 34.9% of that revenue. If the report’s analysis is correct, industry growth of 2.6% can be expected annually over the next 5 years, with revenues of $3.7 billion per year. As for demographics, males made up almost 65% of the clientele in 2014, with individuals aged 17 and younger bringing in 43% of revenue.

Why the increased interest in this type of training?

“If you think about any kind of MMA fighter, that guy is in good shape, and the reality is people want to be in shape,” explained “Razor” Rob McCullough, former World Extreme Cage fighting champion and current senior director of MMA at UFC Gym. “They want to train and do something that’s going to be different than the norm. They don’t want to walk in and sit down and bench press. We offer programming to stimulate the mind and give them self-confidence. [Martial arts training is] definitely on the up and up.”

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Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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