While Jiu-Jitsu evolved to superior levels of technical development in ground fighting within Brazil, all the other disciplines like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo became really popular due to Hollywood movies and the Olympic games. Albeit those martial art styles have great techniques, they are restricted to just one aspect of real combat and only work under a set of rules that ensure the circumstances in which the techniques are effective. Generations of martial artists spend many years learning one aspect of fighting (i.e. striking, take downs, or pinning), believing that would be sufficient under real combat situations.
In 1993, that assumption faced its most challenging test when Rorion Gracie put together the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as a contest between athletes from different martial art styles. The world was shocked when a lighter and “apparently” weaker Royce Gracie defeated all his opponents by fighting mainly on the ground using choke holds or joint-locks to make his opponents give up the fight.
Suddenly, martial artists from all different backgrounds realized if they did not know Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu, all they knew about fighting was worthless against a Jiu-Jitsu fighter. That realization triggered what many call the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu revolution in martial arts. A big shift of focus and training towards ground fighting followed.
Today the UFC is a worldwide phenomenon. Every fighter in the UFC especially the champions train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and many also train with the Gracie Barra team. From throws to armbars and chokes Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu is now taught to children, women, and men all over the world.