I have to admit, I'm not a big jiu jitsu reader. Or watcher for that matter. The time that I do have for jiu jitsu I pretty much carve out of other responsibilities and it gets spent on the mat. You know I haven't been blogging as much and that's because work is crazy these days-weeks-months. Well, I make an exception for BJJ Style magazine. I like it way better than GracieMag. I like it because it's like my favorite cooking magazine... it doesn't just give you a recipe, it also tells you why different techniques work, and it covers everything from appetizers to desserts.
They're on Issue Four now and every issue has been quality.
I really enjoy the visual consistency, the typography, the use of white space and color...
Wait a minute... wtf? Seriously! I love the content. It's like a private lesson. On twenty different things. That I can keep and refer to later. (Don't you hate privates where they don't let you videotape?)
Plus, I can access it electronically through the website "pocket mags." Or I can get it in a glossy fabulous paper version. You can even get it on itunes! This is great because I can show a friend something when I'm at their house, or pull it up online at the academy, or (shhh) flip through it on the computer while at work... on lunch break! of course!
So what's in this beauty and is it worth the 4 British pounds per issue price? (Sorry couldn't find the little cursive L symbol!) Or almost 50 pounds for the last 6 issues of this year to be delivered outside of Europe? (For us Yanks, that's $78... but each issue covers two months, so by my calculations, that means a subscription of 10 issues covers 20 months.)
Roger Gracie, the guest editor, shares some personal reflections: "I don't consider myself the best fighter, but I think I am one of the most consistent fighters over the years... Many peoples' lives change and their jiu jitsu may have suffered as a result, but for the past 15 years all I have been focused on is training, competing, and trying to be the best that I can." He notes that if he had to name one 'best,' "Wellington 'Megaton' Dias as he has been going for such a long time, way before I got my black belt. He doesn't always get gold, but he is still there fighting, often in the adult division, showing what he is all about; this guy is a better competitor than me!"
The news room shares the ADCC competitor list, a bit about the Swedish Open 2011, and a September/October tournament schedule (UK only, dammit, but they have a market focus, that's cool. And so many tournaments in the US, the magazine would be a book each month otherwise.)
Big picture: a striking image from the archives-- twins Joao and Paulo Miyao from Sao Paulo, who closed out purple light feather at Worlds.
Ricardo dela Riva- the man behind the guard-- not your typical Carlson bb, only 64kg, "Only so much crushing top game" from this legend. By our own Can Sonmez (Slidey) and photos by Seymour Yang! Interesting insights plus a graphic review of a few guards which lists a master of each. This was very useful for me as I start to catch up on all the amazing jiu jitsu that's come before my first exposure to the scene... will help me decide who to youtube for what, too.
Escapes with Nick Brooks-- Brabo choke escape to modified shoulder or wrist lock. Escaping side control into americana from bottom or reversal. Excellent phography, different color gis, no distracting backgrounds...
ADCC Preview-- listing key contenders, past multiple-champions and competitors discussed.
BJJ Globetrotter-- Christian Graugart's long-awaited article and photos from his trip around the world learning that indeed, we all are one.
Robson Moura-- by Callum Medcraft, head honcho in charge, and photos by Seymour-- red and white letters on blue background is cute but not necessarily the easiest to read. Also photos a little stiff. But good questions posed to one of the little guys I'd like to model and one of the founders of Nova Uniao.
Fluid cutting for weighins, by Stephen McKirgan, a high performance exercise coach, sports therapist and Chek (?) practitioner in London. I'm loving quality advice by someone more experienced than "I used to wrestle." Describes a flushing technique for a week out involving added salt to water-- new twist for me. 3 other methods for 0-36 hrs out, 2-48, and 20-72. Not looking forward to cutting weight but when you gotta, you gotta.
Master Class-- Meo Negao's secret moves. Single leg defense to omoplata and an adapted armlock from half guard. Like it. Like it a lot.
Roberto "Gordo" Correa-- half guard inventor and innovator. He had a serious knee injury but couldn't stay off the mats (shocking!) so, he did what any self-respecting injured jitsuka wishes they could do-- invent a new game to accomodate! He developed meia-guarda and instructor Jean Jacques Machado encouraged him to cultivate this style. "My game was half guard, take the back and make them tap, not just sweep and two points or an advantage." Sweet.
BJJ Doctor-- Doctor in the house Braulio Estima answers your questions. Escaping side control. Is purple belt too soon to teach? and advice for a new instructor. How much time spent on "weak" areas? The doctor prescribes 30-40% plus dedicated positional sparring too. Control for using open guard offensively and not getting passed (transition from spider to DLR). Whitebelt kept getting caught in triangles = open and closed tri defense.
Review corner-- DVD and app reviews-- Roy Dean's White Belt Bible, Brazilian BB app from Felipe Costa, and "Mobile Black Belt" app BJJ Chokes by Aparecido Faria. I didn't even read these because I want to watch mine with fresh eyes.
Caio Terra-- the lightest absolute champion-- the TERRA!
He says: "I rather play top than bottom. The only reason I play bottom most of the times at tournaments is because it's easier to sweep than pass smaller guys' guards. I think nogi has nothing to do with playing bottom or top and also think that it's a different sport than gi BJJ." Man got his bb in less than 3 1/2 years! "If your technique is similar or almost similar to a bigger or stronger opponent, he will win. If you have a much superior understanding than a larger or stronger opponent, you have good chances of beating him. I do not train too hard, I study BJJ." I think it was SUPER cool that the interviewer asked about the beef between Caio and Gabi Garcia (but I'll let you read the issue to hear what he says about it!)
Kit Bag- Bull Terrier New Star gi; Terere limited edition signature gi; Black Eagle Raptor; Break Point limited edition Acai gi. Not full reviews, just blurbs and photos, enough to whet your appetite.
Shedding the Gi- Nogi with Claudio Silva. Damn I need to work on my nogi! And Nogi Pans and Worlds are right around the corner!
Steve Martin-- Brazil's top Brit- 1st brit to win gold at the Brasileiros!
History 101-- Alliance Academy by Can Sonmez. Geez, I love this. So much history and politics and who went where when in the BJJ world... this column will help you sort it out.
Your connection to Rio-- live the dream by training a week or a year in Rio. (I didn't read this either, it made me sad. But I emailed it to my husband with 'hint hint' in the subject line. Ahem.)
Fit to Fight- AWESOME! Great instructions and explicit step by step pictures show you how to make a homemade sandbag and then how to make your life hell... I mean, do exercises with it-- sandbag half mile, sandbag burpees, waiter's walk, suicide shuttle etc.
Top BJJ Lists-- Seymour Yang on how to write a BJJ blog-- snark! Love it! "Better still, stamp your authority by creating your own moves and variations then video them to ensure EVERYONE knows how awesome you are. Because with one year and 4 months of BJJ behind you, there is plenty of very valuable wisdom you can dispense." DOH!
So, run out and drop a few bones on these issues, or subscribe to the whole deal. I dig this magazine and I will be subscribing to it. I really liked the personal element to the pieces, the focus on every experience level of the potential audience, and the fact that I can get it in paper version or electronic is nice, too.
Running off to class! Have a lovely evening!