As a professional fighter and trainer in martial arts-based fitness, Rafat Shawe is always keeping up to date with the martial arts industry trends to stay ahead of the game. Whilst martial arts may be thousands of years old, in recent years it’s been one of the hottest fitness trends in part due to the unprecedented popularity of the UFC and champions Anderson Silva and Ronda Rousey, but fresh new takes on martial arts training are always on the rise. So, what are we seeing in 2020?
- Self Defense
Many see martial arts as a violent combat sport, forgetting that it began as a way for people to protect themselves. More and more people are signing up to self-defense classes to protect themselves. These classes empower and replace fear with confidence and strength. Even in cities such as Dubai, where it’s safe, we all travel widely and so it’s always good to know what to do if assaulted and the best methods to protect yourself. From all the trends we’re seeing, this one really makes a difference in the lives of those in the community.
- The move to Body Weight training
People are moving away from gyms for a number of reasons, cost included. Instead they’re looking for exercises that use their own body weight which requires no equipment and is an easy and affordable way to exercise. Convenient and accessible for all levels, exercises using martial arts techniques such as kicks have proven to be an effective and functional way of training.
- Mental Health focused workouts
For many, exercise is their go-to stress management and fitness is a very powerful stress reduction method. Exercise such as boxing and martial arts is also continuing in popularity due to their mental health benefits. Mental Health focused training including “mindful running” and “gym for the mind” where classes aim to inspire and focus on the theme of mental wellbeing as well as physical fitness are on the rise.
- At home fitness options
2019 saw many new ‘at home’ fitness options emerge, but 2020 will see them coming into their own as the market expands dramatically with new extremely effective, technology-driven options to pursue health goals at home. Many at-home fitness technology options including copy-cat bikes, treadmills and mirrors are becoming more affordable. Fitness brands like Les Mills, F45 and Classpass have all pivoted their business models to include home training options and live stream martial arts classes are a big part of this.
- Lightsaber Training
I’ve saved the best for last! Did you always watch those scenes in Star Wars and long to be Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader when they battled with their lightsabers? Well, now you can! Lightsaber training is a mix of martial arts and swordsmanship, with a lightsaber. It’s a bit gimmicky and I’ve yet to see any studio launch this in the UAE, but it’s on the way I’m sure! It’s a great way to attract fans of all ages into martial arts and it’s a great one for the whole family too. Who doesn’t want to become a Jedi Master?
Dubai based professional MMA fighter and former international karate gold medalist Rafat Shawe offers personal training and runs classes across Dubai. If you would like to speak with him on any martial arts, fitness or nutrition topic please do get in touch.