New Jiu Jitsu magazine seeks perfect balance
Nor is it that you lose virility when you lose your hair. The line of power donuts in the octagon stretches from Matt Lindland to Kimbo Slice and beyond. Just because you take your hairstyling cues from George Jefferson doesn't mean you can't throw down.
No, the biggest thing we've learned from watching the Prodigy at his peak, as opponents tried and failed to take him down, is that fighting -- like life -- is all about balance.
Toronto entrepreneur and Brazilan Jiu Jitsu practioner Dave Menceles reached a similar epiphany about balance last year when he and business partner Matt Soroka embarked on a pilgrimage to Brazil. Mornings they would train, afternoons they would relax and evenings they would socialize, and by the end of his six weeks in Brazil Menceles was intrigued by what he calls the "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle." Basically it's the ideal daily mixture of work, fun and working out, and when Menceles returned to Toronto he was determined to find the best way to promote this lifestyle here.
His solution hits the market this week.
Thursday marks the official launch of Jits Magazine with its website and initial press run of 10,000 copies. The magazine's purpose, Menceles says, is to explain and promote the "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" lifestyle he discovered in Brazil, and he hopes to reach a pool of potential readers that grows as BJJ's popularity does.
"It's all about finding a really great balance in your life and balancing training with the rest of your life," Menceles says. "Getting all the positive effects that training Jiu Jitsu has on the other parts of your life...There's a worldwide community of people who do BJJ and it's very supportive."
Have Menceles and his staff of roughly 30 volunteers enocuntered hurdles on the way to publishing their first issue?
Of course they have.
Though Brazilian jiu-jitsu as ridden the UFC's rising tide to an unprecedented level of prominence, and though the number of dojos teaching BJJ has exploded in the last five years Menceles realizes that the martial art is still largely misunderstood.
To the uninitiated BJJ looks at best like a blend of judo and amateur wrestling, and at worst like a homoerotic fantasy run wild. Menceles is acutely aware of how people outside the BJJ community view the sport and hopes he can change peoples' perceptions.
"When I talk to people to people who aren't familiar with the sport and try to explain it they say 'so it's basically dudes rolling around on the ground with each other, right?'" Menceles says. "It's much, much more than that. It's really a beautiful sport."
But Menceles says his magazine doesn't aim to convert mainstream sports fans to BJJ faithful. Instead, the magazine speaks directly to people who already participate in the sport, and it's available for free at various at BJJ gyms, amateur tournaments and stores that sell martial arts gear.
For readers outside the GTA Menceles offers subscriptions, and says requests came trickling in even long before the magazine's official launch.
Menceles plans to keep the quarterly magazine's circulation steady at 10,000 for the first year, nudging it upward later as readership and revenue increase.
For more information on Jits Magazine's premier issue click here.
And to follow the Star's Morgan Campbell on twitter, click here