What Mental Toughness in sports, work and life have in common with Self Defence

Quote: "Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance." - Military Adage

Mental toughness is a term used to describe the determination that is required to achieve goals and overcome obstacles in difficult circumstances.   Whether it is a sport such as rugby league, work in a high pressure corporate environment, or wanting improve your financial situation, determination coupled with a plan will help you achieve your goal.


You may ask, “What does mental toughness in sport, work and improving your financial situation have to do with self-defence?”  When it comes to self-defence, most of us do not like physical confrontations nor like being physically harmed.  We are told not to fight back and to give the attacker what they want.  That is very noble, but there are times when you have to fight back and having the mental toughness to fight back is a very important aspect of self-defence.

When it comes to mental toughness in self-defence, it means being focused and being able to absorb physical punishment under attack and then successfully defending yourself by taking your attacker out.  In other the words, the ability to keep calm, put together a plan, remain focused under pressure and achieve your goal is what sport, work and improving your financial situation has with self-defence.

Examples of Mental Toughness

Rugby League
For those of you that are not familiar with the sport, rugby league, it is a physically demanding full contact sport where the person holding the football is often tackled full contact by more than opposing player.  The person being tackled will be in physical pain, but mentally they will be thinking I have to maintain possession of the football, hold my ground, maintain my discipline for the team and not give away a penalty and grind the opposition into the dirt.

High Pressure Work Deadline

You are in a high level position at work and you have to complete a high level deal by a certain date.  The most important thing is to communicate this with your immediate family, so that they know what is going on and can support you.

Things are not going to plan, you look at the big picture, write down a list and do the most important tasks first, break down the work into smaller tasks, delegate roles to people.   When you achieve that goal, everybody wins and you are seen as an important problem solver for your organisation that will lead to more challenging problems to solve and a significant pay rise.  Your organisation will see you a valuable asset.

Coming from a Disadvantaged Background

You come from the wrong side of the tracks, your family is poor and you have health problems.   You’re seen as a no hoper whose destiny is already spelt out for you.  But there is a deep burning desire inside you that knows life can be better.

Using your own initiative you find a ways to become successful by educating yourself, finding people that will teach you what you need to know and putting this knowledge into action to acquire experience.  Several years pass by and eventually you become successful.

How does this relate to Self Defence?

When you find yourself in a self-defence situation there is both a physical and mental element involved.  If you are not mentally tough, then you cannot carry out the physical skills to defend yourself.  Listed below are a few exercises that are used to enhance mental toughness.

  • Combat milling: Where two people exchange strikes to the head area the person receiving the strikes uses a cover guard to absorb and deflect blows to the head. This makes you less shy when strikes are delivered to the head area.
  • Coming back from the Dead: Where the person receiving strikes to the head area uses a cover guard is not allowed to strike the attacker and has to be able to place a restraining hold on the attacker.
  • Combining controlling your breathing, performing your techniques deliberately with controlled aggression, staying focused, being aware of your surroundings and utilising the skills you have been taught.
  • Performing your skills blind folded to enhance your other senses and focus.
  • Performing combat milling and various other techniques in a chaotic atmosphere.

Progressing your training to become mentally tough

With combat milling and coming back from the dead, start by learning the techniques, once you are familiar with the techniques, use light contact and moderate speed.  As you get used to performing the correct skills, slowly increase the contact, speed and intensity.  When the intensity builds up, ensure that you maintain a proper stance, being aware of your surroundings and using correct technique.  Before you know it you will feel an improvement in your ability to physical skills and mental toughness that will allow you to prevail in a violent situation.

Join Our Newsletter
Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to lose weight manage stress and become a better person.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *