That calls for most efficient (time saving)execution of kicks and blows or gouges and plucks. Why? Very simple! Just because you are in the hot zone you dont have all the time in the world. your opponent's average reaction time to 0.27 second.
The drop punch takes by average 0.26 seconds to execute from neutral stance or walking prior lunging. However,
using unprojected stance continues being unprojected until peak of the trajectory lunge at which point you unprojected-ly extend the arm and really the only moment the target could realize it's a punch is thrown. The punch itself including retraction takes 0.13 second! This is why teaching it with the unprojecting body mechanics is crucial. It might be blockable if someone actually knows exactly what you're going to do and watches for the start of the lunge.
The beginning of arm extension occurs within the outline of the body so the retinal rods that are sensitive to motion don't pick up that motion. It is very hard to accurately gauge looming velocity. That's part of why the punch works so well.
The average reaction time is 2.7 but again it is unclear if it's being measured through catching motion and or deflecting where with catching you might slow down not to pass the target when you catch. Hitting is optimal form of measurement. Are participants been taught the most efficient approach to even just reaching a short distance with their arm prior to the test i.e. being instructed in avoiding hesitation?
Even so if the reaction time is measured for a very short distance reach of your arm it can surely represent the last resort deflection possible. If it initially positioned to the side of your body it can easily deflect most efficient center body kicks but lifting it to deflect head shot you would need to move your head to the side a bit to avoid getting straight punched.
Immi's Krav Maga was the first hand to hand Fighting Training System to apply the limits of reaction time into the tactical training!!!
The question you should be asking yourself is when you train somebody to react faster do you train him to become more efficient to be faster or do you develop better muscle twitch? Are there any other major contributors to reaction time such as neurological limitations? If most of the tests are done on youth you can assume that part of them are in excellent shape as they are in their prime and do a lot of sports.
When it comes to Krav Maga you need to have a more specific reaction time. While at times you can sense danger ahead of the time, you need to find your limits for self defense purpose. That means that when is the last split second opportunity that you have to reach your opponent's pressure point and control him before he control your pressure point.
Beyond that breakeven point it does not matter because the first that reached the adversary pressure point and controlled it by distracting touch, severe pain up to debilitating damage or death does not have to be worries from repeated attacks and the fact that his own reaction time is compromised now.
So you need to know how long it takes to lunge close enough to deliver kicks and strikes and how long it takes your opponent to reach his arm or lift his leg and put them in blocking or deflecting manner to stop you from reaching his pressure points.
Most reaction time tests are done with hand eye coordination by triggering an electrical connection attached to a measuring device with your hand. If done in the approximate distance reach and angle of approach that you need to start deflecting a kick or a punch before its too late its even better.
Then You need to compare it to the time it takes to lunge and reach with a kick or a punch.
Think! The average most efficient lunge and kick or lunge and punch is faster than the human reaction time you have to block.
Surely it is better then to attack. However, when an opponent is already charging at you he leaves you no time to charge back at him and you must conserve your motion to execute a timely accurate deflection and immediately move to counter attack which leaves him no time for repeated attack. This is possible if you start your deflection when your attacker is out of the virtual area called the hotzone.
You actually plan on your defense according to the starting distance. The kicking range you start blocking the kick as the opponent start to move when in kicking range assuming he will reach with a kick first or fake a kick or you are just assuming he is kicking following with a hand strike. You actually assuming he is following with a hand strike. If he is at the closer range you are assuming he is starting with a hand strike. If he is closer than that your reaction time is limited and therefore you might want to resort to grappling and quick soft pressure points manipulations, however if he had hit you before or had a blade you might be out of luck.
Many Boxers tend to stand in the hotzone wait and then throw punches. Their opponent's defense is having his arms up at that range knowing the glove will not pass through his window of vision and bobbing for circular punches as opponent needs to move closer allowing downward motion with the initiation of opponent's advance.