Jiu-Jitsu Style

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.

Website: bjjstyle.com
Online Version: pocketmags.com

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.

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4 thoughts on “Jiu-Jitsu Style

  1. Great review, BJJ Grrl. Glad you like the mag and I agree that Cal and the JJS team haven’t skipped on the production values and have put together a great collection of words and images. It *is* nice how the interviews are different, like you say: I hadn’t fully noticed that until reading your observation.

    Best wishes to you x

  2. Great review of a great magazine. I’ve had the good fortune of rolling with some of Jiu Jitsu Style’s contributors, they’re a very talented bunch. I’ll definitely be a regular reader 🙂

  3. Cool review!

    Yeah, it was a bit of a culture shock having to cut down my usual review length pretty drastically from the massive DVD reviews I normally do, but then that would need way more space (come to think of it, a dedicated BJJ reviewing mag would be fun ;)). Still, writing 500 words rather 5000 was good practice in being concise. 😉

    It proved less difficult for the book I looked at in issue 1, where I could say most of what I wanted (though that wasn’t an instructional, so no technical explanations to analyse). Not sure who did the equipment review in issue 2: I’d guess either Seymour or Callum?

  4. Thanks for the excellent review and taking time to read Jiu Jitsu Style Leslie. Feedback is always welcome!
    Can – I had no involvement with the gear reviews for either issue 1 or 2 although I did supply some photos. I think gear reviews in magazines are always a bit tricky. Since magazines on the whole are supported by ad revenue, it’s less easy to write anything scathing about an item one does not like. I view the ‘Kit Bag’ section of the magazine more as a showcase, rather than a review. I guess blogs like mine help plug the hole a little as I can be a lot more discussive over the merits over certain products. However even here, I am careful to provide as balanced a report as I can.
    Thanks once again Leslie, glad you enjoyed the magazine 🙂

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