Daily Archives: January 23, 2014

The Johari Window of Jiu Jitsu


Yeah, that’s right, we’re kickin’ it back to your old Psych 101 class and talking about the Johari Window- which is typically in reference to personality traits and self awareness, but what the heck, we’re going to apply it to jiu jitsu, because it just fits too well to not take a crack at it.

The first square is your known self- what people know about you, and what you know about yourself. For example, you know you are pretty good at one particular sweep from spider guard, and your teammates also know that happens to be one of your stronger games to play. Next there is the second window, the hidden self, in which you know things about yourself, but they haven’t been revealed to others. In relation to your spider guard sweeping abilities, let’s say you are beginning to see opportunities for other sweeps and submissions from the spider guard. you haven’t acted on them yet, but that part of your game is developing.

Then we have the blind self, as you can tell from the image above, which is things others know about you, but you don’t know about yourself: say you love that spider guard sweep, but other can see it leaves you crazy vulnerable to getting you back taken, and you can’t figure out why. This is also what you should think about when an instructor gives you a stripe, promotes you to a different colored belt even, or just praises you for a good training session, even when you feel like you were all knees and thumbs. They saw something that may have been hidden to you, but your instructor saw and felt deserved acknowledgement.

Finally, there’s the unknown self- which is hidden from yourself and others. In relation to jiu jitsu I see this as the potential for the player you will evolve into as your jiu jitsu journey progresses- maybe you’ll become a phenomenal open guard player, maybe you’ll move on to de la riva, or even decide screw it all, your going to become a closed guard player (I don’t know, I’m just throwing things out there).

So there you have it, the Johari window of jiu jitsu. Think it fits, or do you think another theory works better? Ooh, we could talk about Freud….on second thought, let’s not. I think it’s fun to apply this concept to jiu jitsu because much like your personality, these elements will almost perpetually be in a state of flux: as time goes on and you advance in the sport, more will become known, and the hidden and unknown self will change over time.  Let me know what you guys think-otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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