Getting choked never felt so good

John Wood, Founder of Rageheart

by John Wood

The feeling of someone’s fingers wrapping around my neck while I’m breathing heavy, writhing around on the ground, doing my best not to pass out…



Not THAT kind of choking… though that’s fun too 😏

I’m talking about Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ for short).


  • Martial arts
  • Self-defence
  • How to not lose your wallet and phone on the wild, untamed streets of Medellín, Colombia (formerly “the murder capital of the world” – see Narcos on Netflix) at 2am in the morning while walking home drunk from the local salsa club 🤷‍♂️

That’s what’s great about BJJ.

You learn to defend yourself against attackers large and small while staying as cool as a cucumber… by letting people choke you until you’re on the verge of passing out… all so you can learn to navigate and manage the nervous system’s survival response.

That’s the tricky thing with defending yourself.

If you don’t know what it’s like to get punched or choked by your friends, you probably won’t do very well in a real life situation with a thief because your system will ramp up into some serious fight-or-flight energy. 

This shuts down your neocortex (your thinking brain) and puts you into instinctual, survival mode… but unless you’ve programmed the correct instincts into your system, it won’t turn out so well.

That’s why it’s a good idea to get to know those fight-or-flight energies BEFORE you actually end up in a do-or-die situation.

This is why I train BJJ.

It’s also what I teach people inside Rageheart:

Not BJJ specifically but rather how to navigate and manage the various fight-or-flight energies that run through our systems in times of stress (as well as how to not hold onto stress for years and decades at a time).

If you’re not used to dealing with these sensations, energies and emotions when it’s EASY, how do you think you’ll go when shit hits the fan and all hell breaks loose?

That’s why I’m so BIG on the tools inside Rageheart.

Just like BJJ, they could literally save your life one day because you’ll know how to stay calm under pressure (as well as how to not let Aunt Nelly piss you off at Thanksgiving with her BS stories about you as a kid).

This makes you stronger, more resilient and more unfuckwithable.

It turns you into a tree:

It gives you deep roots and makes you emotionally flexible so that when everyone else is losing their mind, you’re the calm oak tree in the storm… bending (but not breaking) with the wind.

Sure, part of Rageheart is about getting in touch with your feelings… but don’t make the mistake of thinking it makes you soft, vulnerable or weak.

In my experience, it’s the exact opposite 💪

That’s Rageheart.

If you’re already a member, hit the sign in link and do another rage (only if you’re actually in the mood of course):


If you’re not a member, well… you’ll have to wait until it opens again in a month or three.

A’ight. That’s it for today. I’m off to do a podcast on Rageheart with Felix and Al of Beyond Words (I train BJJ with both of them here in Peru).

John Wood

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