How can we explain the popularity of such set of weapons as “shield-sword”? First of all, it’s due to the fact the shield provides excellent protection. Secondly, you can use both hands, deliver blows with your sword or edges of the shield. Thus, the fighter is well-armed and, at the same time, well-protected. Using two-handed weapons, you give work to both hands, but strike only with one object.
Each weapon has certain nuances of use. The “Shield-sword” set is easier to use than halberd, which requirest a long period of learning. Those using the “shield-sword” set need to strike hard as well, but they always can turn to wrestling techniques. Ceteris paribus, if the fighter armed with the shield and sword competes against the opponent with a two-handed weapon, the latter is likely to lose. To use the benefits of two-handed weapons, the fighter has to keep an effective distance constantly, since he/she needs space to swing the weapon (it’s not convenient to do that in close combat). The fighter with the sword and shield has an advantage in close combat.
It’s quite difficult to defeat an experienced fighter armed with the sword and shield, because he/she hides behind the shield and the only areas for strikes are legs and head, which can be covered as well. For a novice, the sword or any other one-handed weapon, supplemented by a shield, is a basic combat set. Most people defend themselves with left hand, and they attack using their right hand. In the course of the further training, the fighter starts to train with the longsword, sword and buckler, or other weapons. But as a rule, when the novice comes to the club, the first things he/she is given are the sword and shield.