Jeremiah Smith wrote:Clearly many, if not all of the masters felt like the Krieg is the most important part of the fight, in fact the section of the ringeck gloss that says no one should learn to fence if they frighten easily is speaking specifically about the krieg.
Um. I would be very interested in how you could possibly say this. That part of the gloss doesn't say anything about Krieg at all. Krieg isn't mentioned even near it, in fact.
This is the Zettel on the Krieg (Dresden Ringeck):
dein krieg sich nicht gäch
Weß der krieg riempt
oben nÿder wirt er beschämpt
And this is the gloss
(Dresden Ringeck) Aber du solt dir mitt dem an hurten nicht zu° gauch laussen sÿn mitt dem krieg wenn der krieg ist nicht anders dann die winden am schwert
(Hans Medel's Ringeck) Aber dw sollt mit dem anhurten des kriegs nit zegach sein Wann der krieg ist nichtz anderst dann die winden in dem swert die sindt mislich zetreibenn wer die nit wol kan oder versteet
So. Both the Zettel and the glosses tell us that the first and foremost important thing about Krieg, the thing that everyone should know about it, is that you shouldn't be too hasty engaging in it (since it's extremely dangerous unless you know it extremely well).
You're absolutely right that the masters thought Krieg was very important, but my view is that it's seen as so important since it's the most dangerous and easily screwed up part of fighting, the one that you really need to train A LOT to do with any amount of safety.
The spaniards certainly train Krieg a lot and are probably quite awesome at it. But I do think that they have gone too far in that direction by now. Krieg isn't the whole of the fight, and shouldn't be sought deliberately.