Complexity variables. Complexity is anything that changes the situation from that of a simple reactime time where the same signal appears on each trial, requiring the same response.
- Multiple options. Where there is a choice of reactions depending on the signal, reaction time increases. For example a punch only requires you to block the upper body, but a kick may require you to block either the upper or lower body.
- Indirectness. Any introduction of indirectness or incompatibility between signal and response will increase reaction time. For example, a slight movement of the left fist may increase you reaction time to a right cross.
- Prior involvement. If there is an unpredictable succession of two signals, each requiring a response, reaction time to the second signal may increase. For example, it requires more time to react to a combination attack than to a single attack.
The main thing to learn from this discussion is that reaction time may be decreased through practice. If you have ever sparred with veteran, greatly experienced fighters, they seem to be bored while sparring with you. However, they react so quickly to your attacks that it seems as if they are reading your mind and reacting before you even move. The years of practice have honed their reaction time down so far that there reaction to an attack appears instantaneous. If you want to react quicker, you must practice reacting quicker.
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