I was recently asked to review the newest jiu-jitsu magazine, BJJ Style. This British-based magazine includes the talents of blogging favorites Seymour, Can, Meg, and Carl, as well as input from Roger Gracie as Guest Editor and more.
The magazine itself is slickly and professionally put together. The layout, colors, typography, callouts, backgrounds — all these show the time and effort that went in to making this magazine. Articles include interviews; technique; gear and media reviews; BJJ history; tournament coverage; and Seymour being, well, Seymour ;).
In the first issue, there was an injury corner; in the latest, an advice column with Braulio Estima. (Perhaps they’re rotating columns? I did definitely like Braulio’s column.) (Not sure if it was intentional, but the injury corner in the first issue focused on knee injuries and was followed immediately by an interview with Romulo Barral, who is coming back after a knee injury.) Also, there are lots of pictures from tournaments and training.
The interviews aren’t all the same, which is nice. Some, like Kyra’s, are articles with liberal quotes from the subject; others are Q&A style. Kyra’s interview focused on growing up Gracie and female; Romulo’s, on training under Draculino and on teaching curriculum. Those with Marc Walder and Jude Samuel spent time on the history of BJJ coming to the UK. There’s a wide variety of backgrounds, philosophies, and aspects of BJJ that are covered in these interviews.
The magazine is also big, coming in at 88 pages (includes the covers). Honestly, I was expecting something smaller and lighter, and didn’t initially set aside enough time to even read the whole thing, let alone try to review it. So that was a pleasant surprise — there is a substantial amount of content here.
I did have a few moments of confusion with some British spelling and grammar conventions, and kilo-to-pound conversions are just impossible for me (I always forget even how much I weigh in kilos. But, that just means I need to keep an online conversion calculator handy. And maybe one day I’ll get better at the math. 😉 ) There are a lot of ads, and sometimes they’re almost indistinguishable from the content, but part of that could just be that I’m not used to reading magazines that use anything except a white background for articles. (I do like the colored and patterned backgrounds; I’m just not quite observant enough for them.) The Review Corner and Kit Bag sections looked like ads to me at first, and I nearly skipped them. I was a little sad that neither section was quite as substantial as slidey’s or Seymour’s regular reviews, but I suppose not everyone geeks on them as much as I sometimes do.
Jiu-Jitsu Style is available as either a printed magazine or an online version. (There appears to be both an online version and an App version for iPad/etc. version. I read the online version only as I don’t have App-wielding devices yet.) Prices for the printed version vary based on location (UK, Europe, World). The magazine is published bi-monthly.
P.S. I think I’m supposed to say what I got out of this deal. I got to read the magazine. That is all.