As this was going on in America, Brazil was holding open competitions that pitted different styles against each other in order to truly find which single martial art was the most effective. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu reigned supreme for decades, winning competition after competition. The rest of the world didn't take notice of this art until the early 1990s when a descendant of the creator of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) won a no holds barred tournament in America known as the UFC. Many people were blown away with how easily a small man could defeat a larger, stronger man. The world started to wonder where this "new" martial art had come from! What most people didn't understand is it wasn't that new of a martial art, it actually was invented in the early 1920s by Carlos Gracie.
In the 1920s a Japanese martial artists by the name of Esai Maeda migrated to Brazil and taught Carlos Gracie a martial art known as Jiu-jitsu which translates into the gentle art. Carlos in return, taught his four younger brothers the art and they opened their first school in 1925. Helio Gracie, who is the youngest of all the Gracies only weighed 135lbs and had trouble using the techniques on bigger opponents. He then figured out a way to fine tune the techniques and use leverage instead of strength. Ultimately Helio altered so many of the techniques that it became a martial art of its own which they now labeled Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
What makes BJJ so effective is the fact that even the smallest man or women for that matter can effectively defend themselves from a larger, more aggressive assailant. BJJ is a ground oriented martial arts meaning the objective of the art is to take an attacker to the ground and apply either a choke or a joint manipulation. The belief behind this is that most attackers will be like a fish out of water when taken to the ground. The true effectiveness of the art is the fact that you use your opponents own strength and aggression against them. Unlike other martial arts, students partake in live training or sparring at the end of each class which helps equip them for real life situations. The fact that every class is made to feel like a real life scenario is truly what makes BJJ the single most effective martial art for self defense. It may not be as pretty as some other martial arts but it certainly is more effective.