RE: My brief time as a amateur MMA fighter
This is what a lot of people don't get about fighting and why so many people who think they are "hard" in the streets can't hack it in a real fighting situation. It takes a TON of energy in ways that you really can't simulate until you are there.
Taking a big hit and continuing is something you get used to because especially in Kung Fu, you basically are just kicking the shit out of yourself the entire time you are there. I think my ability to take hits was probably a stronger part of my game than my striking was.
Patience is absolutely essential as well. The guys who go out there swinging for the fences from the opening bell almost always lose.