There's never enough time.
The time of provocation has passed. The time when you had any choice in the matter, the point of no return, has been and gone.
Now is the split second before the action.
There are very few options left to you. You dare not turn and run, because that would mean you have accepted defeat. You may try to form a plan of action...turn left, punch right...but you know that in the end it all comes down to instinct.
The brain isn't involved very much.
The muscles do most of the thinking. Your brain is far too busy, being overrun by a mixture of anger and fear. The provocation goes round and round in your head, and without needing any evidence you KNOW that you are in the right. This fact absolves you from any guilt, at least for the moment. The fear drives you on, because everyone knows that attack is the best form of defence.
And then there's no more need for the provocation.
No need for excuses. You just want to eliminate the opposition. You