Tigers, dogs and black belts

John Wood, Founder of Rageheart

by John Wood

I’ve been taking Ju Jitsu classes here in The Sacred Valley in Peru for the last 12 months.

My teacher Chase lives around the corner from me. 2 mins from door-to-door. Pretty cool.

He’s a black belt and one hell of a fighter.

He also doesn’t teach “Sport BJJ” – the kind of BJJ you see in tournaments and competitions.

According to Chase, Sport BJJ is bound by rules that don’t apply in a typical street fight or self-defence scenario.

That means if you train to be good in tournaments (sport BJJ), you create bad habits that make you vulnerable in the “real world”.

For example, you can’t punch your opponent in a BJJ tournament so your BJJ technique doesn’t generally account for punches. As a result, you end up with techniques and moves that only work if no one can punch you.

In a real fight, punches are 100% fair game. That means that fancy BJJ techniques that only work with no punches don’t work no more. You get hit in the face. They take your wallet and leave you bruised and bloody on the ground.

That’s what happens when you don’t train for real life situations.

Getting mugged isn’t like a tournament or competition. It’s different. Different rules, different stakes and different goals.

In my experience, meditation doesn’t train you for real life either.

Sitting perfectly still on a cushion with your eyes shut for 20 mins or 4 hours is all well and good but the real test comes during the day.

Can you maintain that calm, clear state of mind when something goes wrong at work?

What about when your kid screams?

What about after a car accident?

What about when you get a shocking and unexpected health diagnosis?

How quickly do you bounce back?

Also worth pointing out is the fact that sitting perfectly still when we’re feeling something intense isn’t natural or healthy either. In fact, it generally breeds suppression and disassociation.

Do you think a tiger sits perfectly when it’s angry? Would the tiger “sit with it” or simply “feel into it”? Or would the tiger snarl, bite and roar?

If you scare a dog, does it sit there in front you in the lotus posture and meditate its fear away? Or does it literally run away, discharging its fear through movement?

Meditation isn’t bad necessarily. It’s just incomplete. Learning to meditate is like learning sport BJJ to compete in tournaments. You might get good at staying calm and managing your emotions in a specific situation (sitting perfectly still) but it often fails to translate to the real life situations I mentioned.

That’s where Rageheart comes in.

It’s similar to meditation in that you learn to silence your mind… but instead of the clarity and peace being limited to your meditation sessions, it travels with you throughout your day.

Sign up to Rageheart on Dec 15 (next week) and you’ll see what I mean.

If you’re already a member and feeling the beastly impulse (Rage 9), hit the sign in link on the page below and get raging:


John Wood

Leave a Comment