We learn every moment of the day, making and strengthening connections in our head. High emotions strengthen connections more quickly.
Associated learning is when we learn to associate a set of behaviours with a stimulus.
A flash knockout is formed due to a rapid escalation of the mammalian stress response, base emotion a massive dose of fear. The stimulus is a surprise hit, creating the fear and the resultant genetic response.
This can produce a tendency to have the same response every time you are caught by a shot you don't see coming! Associated learning, quickly encoded with high emotion.
If you are a fighter who is suffering this, there is much you can do! And it isn't about your body, its about training your mind to react differently. I have worked with this several times in my hypnotherapy with fighters. We 'rewrite' the past, breaking the association and giving a new response instead - an appropriate counter! We let go of the negative emotions, replacing them with the right state of mind and body. And we build in new mental strategies that happen automatically to prevent them happening in the future.
Of course it is most important to stop the stress response happening. That means not to have the emotion of fear when you are hit. Reduce anxiety about being hit by expecting to be hit. Expect to be hit by the unexpected, and when you are hit by the unexpected, allow that hit to just trigger your approrpiate counter.
I have 'trigger' counters that happen automatically should I be hit in a particular way. For example, if I get hit by a straight punch I have trained myself to automatically react with a low kick. I'm not leaving my reaction to chance. And I'm not allowing stress to happen as a result. I'm planning for success.
If you are reading this, and you are a fighter, I hope you are putting the right training into your mind. Because if you aren't you will not reach your potential. And doesn't everyone want to be the best they can be?