Martial Arts Training: Why It Will Be Huge in 2016

Martial Arts Training: Why everyone will be doing it in 2016

This article will tell you why martial arts training is about to become massive in 2016 and what you need to do to capitalise on this growing trend.

Google Trends Data for the last 12 Months


If we examine the following Google Trends data that shows the searches for various terms in the USA on Google we see that there is a definite increase in searches for mixed martial arts and also MMA but we also start to see a very small up turn in interest, in general, martial arts as well.

Let’s look at the data for the USA:

google tredns data 2



Let’s look at data for the UK:

Martial Arts Training

The above data also shows pretty much the same albeit with a few ups and downs. However, all the searches point to a huge growth.

So what is happening?

Well, a young Irish man is pretty much becoming the biggest sports star in the world. Love him or hate him Conor Mcgregor is getting the world to take notice of not just MMA and the UFC but also martial arts as a whole.

In a recent interview he stated:

“you put your child into martial arts it allows them to conquer whatever they want to, whether they want to conquer the fight game they can, whether they want to conquer the business game, whatever route they decide to take, training for Martial Arts will help them.”


This itself is a fantastic endorsement seen by millions of people worldwide. However, this is just the beginning of Connor’s influence on martial arts and, in particular, martial arts promotion.

One of the things Conor has been using in his training is natural movement training as we can see in the video below

Conor McGregor’s Movement

Make no mistake about it natural movement training like this will soon start to become a big thing and people will want it. Conor is seen training with the team from Ido Portal, who are pioneers in the natural movement that is growing.

However we have seen elements of that natural movement in the Russian Martial Art of Systema as can be seen in this video:

It doesn’t stop there; we can see variations of these drills in Judo, Tai Chi and many other traditional martial arts as well such as Silat. Check this fantastic video on Silat

Creating Functionality, Performance and Not History are Key To Growth

For those of you that feel that martial arts sells itself, you are wrong. People sell martial arts and in particular, the benefits of martial arts are what attract people.

What worked on an ancient battlefield is of no interest to the general public. Instead, people want to know how martial arts will benefit their everyday lives and this is the core selling point.

Conor McGregor has laid the path for you by telling a global audience that martial arts can help you to conquer the world. What you do from there is up to you.

Now I know the stubborn readers will be thinking “I don’t want to change what I teach”. No one is asking you to. However, you need to start to think on different lines. An example could be a silat teacher, rather than just advertising his Silat classes he could advertise a functional movement course based on Silat teaching. Run this over 6 weeks and at the end you might have a few new members that want to explore Silat further.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu used this approach when they set up their Gracie Combatives programme that addresses the self-defence uses of BJJ prior to the sport, and holistic uses.

The Economy Is Growing: Prepare For That Growth

The economy is the US and the UK is growing and you need to prepare for that growth. Cross fit emerged in recent years and had flourished by delivering performance and competitive fitness. However, I fully believe that the next great leap for martial arts will be the ‘mind- body’ training that we all know has been present all along.

As martial artists, we need to look at these benefits and focus on these alternative ones rather than the obvious self-defence ones.

Mixed Martial Arts and Not MMA is the future.

When people think of MMA the public either have no idea or think it is cage fighting and that sadly carries with it quite a violent tone. It does nothing to convey the hard work, training and mental discipline required to enter a cage.

The term Mixed Martial Arts needs to become used rather than MMA in my opinion.

“What do you teach here?”

“we teach mixed martial arts, we use aspects from many different martial arts to increase fitness, flexibility and mental well-being for our students.”

The above sounds a lot better than “we teach MMA.”

It might be a play on words but the phrase Mixed Martial Arts means that the martial arts are no longer merely confined to improving performance in the cage. Instead we are focused on making people healthier and happier.

Mixed Martial Arts Becomes Its Own Discipline

I see that 2016 will be the year that Mixed Martial Arts will become its own discipline that is separate to MMA. Classes will consist of Yoga, meditation, combative drills and exercise. People will still train traditional arts but these classes that are all about the activity rather than the system will spring up as coaches start to realise that they can shed the boundaries of their system and add anything that helps a person to become healthier and still impart self-defence skills.


Conor McGregors unusual approach, great results and promotion of the martial arts has given Martial Arts a serious boost. How martial arts schools use this is up to them but right now martial artists can start promoting the beauty and healing elements of the arts to the general public and growth will follow.

What do you think? Will martial arts grow? Let us know and comment below