Their tongue, parlay before the fight is surest way of remaining safe ;)
Footwork. A shield is nice to have, of course, but not being in the path of an attack is better. Blocking with a weapon can often damage that weapon. And being hit hurts, even if the blow doesn't get through your armour.I suppose that comes down to skill, of your options.
Armour and a shield can stop a blow, but it's not guarenteed. Parrying, blocking, and redirecting the opponents attack is sometimes necessary - German longsword manuals often use the same motions for attacks and defences, intercepting and redirecting the opponents blade while simultaneiously striking your opponent."Skill" is about taking note of your assets - weapon, shield, armour, footwork, etc - and using them appropriately. Thus, it is ones skill that protects one best, but armour is good too.
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