You get hit once, twice, maybe a third...! You are thinking, “My opponent sure is landing a lot on me and that last one hurt!” Mentally breaking is nothing but just the loss of concentration of the task at hand. If you can remain in the moment and stay focused, you will never break. Some call this mental toughness. I call it mental concentration. Like anything else, you can improve your concentration through practice.
If you have been mentally broken in training or sparring, you know the feeling I am talking about. Don’t be so quick to label yourself as mentally weak! The trick to unwavering concentration and focus (mental toughness) is to accept and let all negative situations or feelings flow right through you as they enter your mind. Once you bring your attention to the pain or dwell on the strikes that the opponent is landing on you, discouragement can start to show its ugly face. Have you ever seen a fight where a fighter who has clearly lost remains convinced that he had won immediately after the judge’s decision? The fighter, despite losing on the scorecards, was never emotionally and mentally affected by anything his opponent did therefore he may have “felt” like he had won. Sometimes you win, but you feel like you have lost. Other times you lose, but feel like you have won. It is all mental.
In 1963 a Vietnamese Buddhist monk by the name of Thích Quang Duc burned himself alive on the streets of Saigon to make a public statement about equality. The unbelievable part of this story is that Thích Quang Duc burned to his death while not showing any sign of pain or discomfort. The monk was in a deep state of concentration that transcended the physical.
Ask yourself; how can I use this knowledge to make myself mentally tougher?
“If you can’t get into the mind of your opponent, you cannot break him nor his will.” -Frank