The martial arts industry has grown in 2021 by leaps and bounds. With the lockdown in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have realized the need for fitness in a community setting. Some have tried online fitness programs at home, but many others craved the company of others in person. They have found the martial arts community to be a great fit for the need for personal training and fitness, as well as for living in community with others.

Martial arts are great for various types of people, as there are many options for training, such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, and Boxing, just to name a few.

Jiu Jitsu’s focus is working with a partner grappling on the ground. There is a lot of “rolling” as each person tires to get on top of the other and uses techniques to force them into submission. Muay Thai uses the whole body for punching, including knees and elbows. Mixed Martial Arts uses techniques from many disciplines including Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Karate, and Kickboxing. Boxing involves using large protective gloves and throwing punches with a partner until the set time is done. Whether working with a partner or individually in class, students learn together and encourage each other to keep pushing themselves and challenging their abilities. This camaraderie and in-person interaction are things many people have missed after spending a lot of time at home in 2020.

Some of the many benefits of martial arts include building confidence, building physical strength, providing activity for both young and old, and helping reduce anxiety. When someone trains on a skill that is new to them and accomplishes it in a multitude of ways, that feeling of confidence is irreplaceable. Physical strength and endurance are built when doing warm-ups and while practicing the specific techniques in class during practice. Both children and adults can benefit from training in martial arts, both for defense and fitness purposes.

There has been an increase of both children and adults trying martial arts classes for the first time in 2021 as well. The physical activity in martial arts combined with the required mental focus makes this type of activity great for reducing anxiety. The mental focus is turned away from the life stresses that 2020 brought and turned toward the skill being practiced on the mats.