first things first

you are given a choice of 3 items a helmet, a shield and sword
most poeple would  grab the sword first and not a bad choice if you know how to use it
but a shield would protect you sword arm so you can use it
but the helmet will protect your most important weapon
your head that controls both the shield and the sword

if your head was a computer is would be a very large 5 storey building
if it was a building this big then it would be important right

if its important then you need to protect it

best way not to be there leave the area before trouble starts then you need none of the above items
next best way position your self so that if the stranger approaching is going to attack you have the best chance to defend yourself
next use your head to talk and buy time and space.  At the same moment prepare bring you hands up to your head in order to start the protect
it means if something happens it only a shorter distance to cover you best weapon you head
4 stances to use
                          hands ups (the international sign for i dont want any trouble please dont hurt me)
                          arms place on top on one another ( not folded just resting and ready)
                          the thinking man (hand resting on chin, rubbing eye even playing with hair anything gets hands up)
                          talking hands (moving your hand up high as you talk, waving point and moving them around)

if the encounter goes bad then you need to protect your head
you may be the best swordsman ( fighter in the world) but if you get knocked the f*** out you can use none of your skills
and the most critical time in a fight is the first 3-5 seconds

keep your hands up if you throw any defensive tactics you need to bring the back to your head
i can teach any one to throw eye poke or punch, do strike, kicks, locks or takedowns
but only after you weathered the initial storm