One of the common defensive tools used from 1100 AD to about 1600 AD was a small shield (anywhere from six inches in diametre for the smaller varieties, up to about 18 inches across for the biggest ones) held in the left hand and used to deflect, parry and bind your opponents weapon, or weapon arm.
It was probably more common than the larger versions popularized by Hollywood -- particularly amongst the folks more likely to engage in individual scuffles, rather than mass combat.
In fact, this little shield became quite the favourite among young rowdies out for a bit of pub-crawling, brawling, wenching, duelling and generally giving the local gardai an excuse to bust heads.
They would carry this shield -- called a buckler -- suspended by a leather cord from the frog of their side-swords, and as it dragged and rubbed on their clothing during movement it would make a swashing sound.
This has been your LawDog Files Trivia for the Day.