SEA MMA Gear Guide

Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine Review

Introduction

Recently, I received a copy of a new and upcoming BJJ magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, from fellow blogger and reviewer Meerkatsu, who is also a contributor to the magazine. JJS is based in the UK, and is a bi-monthly publication currently in its second issue.

Aesthetics

The magazine comes in a high quality glossy print which really helps the magazine pop. The cover as expected, is printed on paper of good quality and thickness, however it doesn't stop there. The inside pages are also fairly thick which helps resist wear and tear compared to some magazines with thinner and flimsier pages. Great for me considering how I just dump my magazines into a bag with my other gear. The size is standard A4, for those of you who pay attention to your carry options.

Photos are numerous and eye-catching, while pages are colourful and well-laid out for easy reading. My only gripe is the photo quality for some of the articles. While the occasional grainy and off-colour balanced photos are unavoidable, some of the interview and technique shots could do with better lighting so that the shadows don't blend in and the colours pop a bit more. That said, I probably only noticed it because of how good the rest of the photos in the magazine look!

Given the print quality, I was a little disappointed to find no centrespread pull out. I  mean, with Kyra Gracie on the front cover, you'd think there was gonna be something poster worthy for us BJJ geeks! *hint to JJS for next issue*

Content

Jiu Jitsu Style is chock-full of great content, ranging from interviews to technique segments to reviews. There's also Q&A segments like BJJ Doctor answered by Braulio Estima, and the fun, tongue-in-cheek segment on designing BJJ logos.

Being a UK based magazine, it's no surprise that the content is geared more towards the UK crowd. You'll see more updates on UK-based events and the scene in general. The featured BJJ practitioners are also fairly UK-centric, which is no surprise. It's a great supplement if you're interested to follow the scene in Europe.

That said, much of the content is still accessible to everyone regardless of region. The articles are generally well-written in great depth, with little boxes to provide additional background info. As a reader who likes to skip around and read snippets that interest me, the boxes and the sidebar profile in some of the articles are great in drawing my attention and guiding me along. My only comment is that the interviews can be a little serious at times, and could do with more lighthearted banter and quirky fun facts.

I also enjoyed the technique section, which highlights important points to watch out for when executing the moves. It's great that JJS also showcased two techniques from Rafael Lovato Jr in his article, although I was initially a little lost over what the techniques were about, since there was no title nor explanation of the end goal. I'd love to see a no-gi segment too, though I'm not sure whether this is a direction JJS plans to head towards.

One thing that bugged me initially on the first read through was the choice of ad placements. Most magazines I read tend to place ads in between articles, but JJS has them sandwiched within some articles, breaking the reading flow. It can be a little jarring to read the introduction of Kyra Gracie's article, and turn the page to see and ad featuring a couple of topless men instead of more Kyra. This happens several times in other articles, making me confused over whether the article has ended or not.

Given the amount of content in the magazine, JJS could also implement a colour coded tab system to categorise articles. It's a really big help for readers like me who constantly flip through the magazine to look for specific articles. An example of a UK magazine that has done this well is Fighters Only, one of my favourite magazines. I'm able to easily find the type of articles I feel like reading with a quick flip of the pages by looking at the section I'm in.

Affordability

The magazine can be bought from the official website, and costs GBP 3.95 (SGD $8) for the hardcopy or GBP 2.99 (SGD $6) for the digital version. That's a great price for the quality you're getting. Hardcopy annual subscription to this region is a lot pricier though, at GBP 60 (SGD $122) for just six issues (it's a bi-monthly). That's more than double the price of one copy. You're better off getting the digital version, which can be read on a computer or one of those iPads.

Conclusion

Jiu Jitsu Style magazine is a great addition to your BJJ reading, providing another perspective on the global BJJ scene. The magazine is only in its infancy, yet is doing a great job already. I can only expect more good stuff to come as it grows.