The Future of Martial Arts: What Martial Arts Will Look Like in 100 Years

What Martial Arts Will Look Like in 100 years

When it comes to martial arts, many are still preserved as if they were fine wine.

Yes they have aged, but they are still in the same bottle they have always been in. Same dress, same techniques, and the same rituals. Some have stepped forward and changed this with new techniques, systems and drills, often most have fallen by the wayside but a few have taken on and are growing fast.

Today we ask the question: what will martial arts look like in 100 years time?

Traditional Arts​

Many think of the martial arts as traditional, as things that cannot and should not be changed. They are seen as perfection by many. It is, however, the adaptation of the arts that has lead to their survival in the modern world.It was November `12th 1993 that the martial arts world changed forever when a skinny Brazilian Kid named Royce Gracie took on numerous men and defeated each of them in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship with a style people had never heard of, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

For years, the Gracie family were the most dominant force in martial arts with their Judo, Ju Jitsu hybrid system that focused on ground work skills. However, people caught on to this groundwork craze, and we saw others adapting and learning to fight on the ground. Wrestlers learned submissions and boxing; kickboxers learned the ground defense.

The sport of MMA or mixed martial arts became more popular, and we saw the explosion of the UFC as a global sporting brand. The evolution of the ground and grappling game also continued as we saw an American named Eddie Bravo take a unique approach to grappling and submit Royler Gracie at one event and dominate him at another.

Royler is perhaps the most technically gifted of all the Gracies yet he was bested by a unique opponent or style. We have seen moe evolution as Ronda Rousey cleaned the Octagon with victory after victory with her modified Judo until she too was taken out by a world class boxer Holly Holm, who had evolved her style of boxing to deal with grapplers.

But what next?

What will the next wave of evolution be within the arts?

Let us now take a short trip through the next 100 years of martial arts.

1. Boxers will start to enter MMA

Until now the small pay cheques of MMA could not compete with those of boxing but that will change and many boxers will start to learn the ground game just as Holm did. This will change MMA forever as we will start to see world class boxers in their prime enter the cage. Until now we have seen few. The terrible performance of James Toney was a man well past his prime and not equipped to fight in the ring, but footage of Ray Mercer versus Tim Slyvia shows just how devastating boxers can be. The result will mean that MMA becomes even more exciting.

2. Traditional Arts Will Decline to the Point of Non-Existence.

The will cling on to their status, small clubs in church halls will have a few. Arts such as Aikido and Kung Fu will slowly start to disappear as the MMA generation who are just youngsters now will grow up with one view, "If it isn't in the cage it doesn't work".

3. The Russians Will Come

Until now only a few Russians have entered mainstream MMA; however, this will change. Russian Sambo is seeking to become an Olympic sport, and it is the closest relative of MMA. With the sport exposed to millions on the Olympic stage expect the cheque books of the large MMA promoters to be open as Russian Sambo and not amateur MMA becomes the feeding sport for Professional MMA. This will see highly skilled combat Sambo athletes enter the cage, and this will again be a game changer for martial arts.

4. Traditional Arts Will Be Altered To Fit In

Instead of facing the thought of dying out, the traditional non-Olympic martial arts will have to evolve to fit in.

We will see them technically broken apart and treated like spare parts. These evolutions will create a consumer driven product. It will be all about functionality. Arts will deliver end results such as self-defense skills, weight loss, and stress relief, but they will have no links to their history.

Instead they will be brands and products.

5. Gradings Will Disappear

As the martial arts are commercialized, we will see more and more people getting grading for attendance and not the level of skill. This will lead to a generation where everyone has a martial arts belt, and it means little.

The MMA generation who have no consideration for belts that do not have a championship attached to them will slowly phase belts out; it simply will not be cool to have a grading anymore, and they vanish.

6. Forget Keyboard Warriors: There Will Be Virtual Reality Ones

As Virtual Reality expands in its uses and capability, we will see online martial arts explode, people will be able to fight as them selves against anyone on the planet in games that are watched by millions on TV. To the senses, this will be real, to the spectator this will be real. It will explode in popularity.

7. Self Defense Skills Will No Longer Be Required

Over the next 100 years our technology will improve, we will have personal safety drones watching us as we walk home, they will have the ability to protect us and call the police if they see an attack. Police will respond not with physical officers but drones that can fire taser style weapons to deal with attackers.

People will have virtual shields as smart clothing will be created that no knife or gun can penetrate.

8. Someone Will Create a LightSaber

Eventually, a tech geek will create the one thing they have always wanted, a lightsaber. Well it is the one thing everyone really wants!!

Energy based weapons will be abundant, not longer after this and a whole new era of martial arts will be required as human beings will be improved with science and technology. We will see humans with machine parts that can run and jump far faster; people will have implants to make them stronger and the police drones will no longer be able to keep up.In the end, martial arts will focus on futuristic weapons like blasters and lightsabers as this will be the only way for people to defend themselves against mechanically improved human beings.


I hope you have enjoyed your journey into the future of martial arts. This was a 100-year journey and who knows what will happen but if in 100 years this article is still around I wonder how many of these things will be right and how many wrong.

What are your thoughts?