Anderson Silva applied a front kick to knock out Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 (last night as of this post). Commentators universally expressed amazement at that kick, like it was something very new. In karate there are a few basic moves. The most basic is the front kick. It is what white belts first learn, lol. I was jokingly teaching that very kick to my baby yesterday before the UFC fight and he actually sort of got it (even though he can't even walk yet).
How does this apply to IM? Lots of basic IM principles can be highly effective when properly applied (ie applied at all). It is about applying the basic moves to accomplish an objective.
Why do some fail and some succeed? It's a matter of applying some basic moves to real situations. Some do it better than others, but chances are most know what the moves are.