I've written before about my severe criticisms of the concept of 'give and take' fighting. Your opponent attacks and then, for whatever reason pauses, and you attack. It's thought of as a strategy like a chess game with constant, precise attacks and parries till one bests the other. It's total nonsense. Fights are chaotic messes and if you're waiting for an opening or a pause from your opponent you are doomed. The very concept of this type of engagement means your opponent is controlling the fight. If you are defending he is controlling. I've said this over and over; you do not defend, you attack the attack. There's no way around it. One of the best ways to do this is with counter punching for it gets you inside of the attack. In general if you find a great fighter you will find a great counter puncher.
When I was first taught counter punching it was to actually punch the punch of the attacker, to launch inside and over his arm, actually landing your arm on his. It later evolved into punching into his attack in such a way that you divert his strike while simultaneously hitting him. I very much like this technique and use it often. It is similar to the idea of setting the bridge but is much more dynamic and destructive. Boxers like to counter punch by working off the attack and punching over or under it without engaging the opponents arm. An example of this would be to slip a right hook while simultaneously delivering a liver punch. This happens while the hook is passing you and not after it is completed. Counter punching does not allow the opponent to recover from their strike but strikes over it while it is happening. There is no thought of 'block/punch" here. It is punch/punch while evading and protecting yourself. There are many great examples of counterpunching on you tube by some of the greats. It's worthwhile to view these videos. Most people want to feel safe when they fight. They want to know they won't get hit and wait for that clear moment when they can safely attack. This is not reality friends, it doesn't happen like that. Although you might get in some stupid bar fight and it goes that way real fights are vicious and the second you stand apart from the fight to be 'safe' you become even a bigger target. You must engage fully in the fight in the moment. You cannot semi commit to it, you must fully commit or you shouldn't be fighting. If you've done everything to avoid the fight and it's still happening then you must fully commit to ending it. They started it and now you must finish it, they gave you no choice and now you must survive. I am not spouting some macho nonsense here nor am I pretending that you or I will always win but this ups your chances. Giving your opponent the benefit of the doubt in an attack is putting your life in his hands. You can't do this. If you can't get away then fight with extreme and vicious prejudice and hopefully go home in one piece. I strongly suggest you learn more about counter punching and practice these techniques.