Seems I forgot to mention - I usually use what You'd call limited third person. I refer to all characters as he/she/it/whatever and use verbs in third person but at the same time my narrator notices directly (not in dialog) only those things the current "central character" would. It's the worst possible choice of perspective but the only one I can write well enough for a longer time and feel it's fine. Whenever I adapt first person I feel strange - the word "I" belongs only to me (author) not to them (the characters). On the other hand I almost despise standard third person - I can actually see the narrator standing in the middle of a battlefield and...well just standing making speeches. A sudden urge starts to develop in my head at that point and I feel like making one of the fighters hit the narrator with anything heavy they have within reach. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devil.gif" alt="" />
Glance = death.

Not always - if the protagonist does not believe his/her rival to be a real danger they might actually have time for that. Especially is the enemy is drunk/blind with rage and tends to run into walls. Someone might ask: Why should anyone write a combat scene with an unskilled drunk? Well who said he/she is really drunk? He/she might be pretending...
In writing, everything is a plot contivance. The trick is making it look as if it isn't.

In my case when the stories and characters start to have a life of their own paying little attention to me shouting at them to get back in place some stuff is just plain plot inconvenience <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />