He participated in the uprising since day one, and was an important oborknez of the Šabac district, and was one of the most courageous commanders, so influential as a military and political leader that he was held by many as the second only to Karađorđe Petrović, the leader, in Šumadija. In this time he learnt Turkish, which would benefit him later on. In the region the Uprising was planned аnd he joined the uprising and was appointed as the knez of one of the former Ottoman nahiyah, and as he was known for being just, prudent and heroic, he quickly became the head commander of the Belgrade nahija.
He had a good appearance, and in the assemblies he was a good speaker, and in the battles he was very adaptive, adroit and heroic chief
He was popular with the people, and his contemporaries called him "prude and heroic Janko". He was one of the most important figures of the First Uprising.
He participated in all battles since the beginning: Belgrade, Rudnik, Vrbica, et cetera He, Vasa Čarapić and Sima Marković commanded 4,000 soldiers that besieged Belgrade.
Karđorđe sent him to the fighting in Mačva, in 1806, as help.
He showed great skills, and after the burning of the Sovljak village, he killed 65 Turks and took what they had confiscated earlier. He died while fighting the Ottomans around Šabac, in the village of Krnić, just before the Battle of Mišar. His death was a huge loss for the Serbian revolutionaries.
Several more revolutionaries came from his family.