One idea in self-defence is to hit from where your hands are, as this makes any follow-up more efficient and likely to land.
It is a very simple Wing Chun concept.
The idea is two-fold:
It avoids telegraphing your punch
It maximises efficiency of both the punch AND the follow-up
Pulling your hands back when punching telegraphs your movement, the bad guy can literally see your punch or strike. Knowing how to throw a punch is crucial in any street fight. What’s more important is knowing how not to telegraph your strikes in the first place.
If you’re telegraphing your punches or strikes, it may mean that you are moving your shoulders before you punch. The problem with this is that if the bad guy sees your movement, then your punch doesn’t stand a chance of landing.
Furthermore, you must understand that people punch in punches, or “mill” punches. In a fight where this is happening, if you wind your own hands back between punches, this causes a trade where both parties are both giving and taking punches.
This is not an efficient fight strategy!
Avoid this by moving in and hitting from where your hands lie.
The most important thing is to remember that the bad guy will punch in punches; but if he DOES give a single shot, you can capitalise on that. Jam the space, control the guy and make multiple hits from where your hands lie.
The good news is that a bad habit of pulling your hands back between shots can be fixed relatively easy by practising your punching from a low hand position. This is a specific striking drill that improves your ability to not telegraph your punches.