Saying that Middle Ages peasants were the real fighters and knights were fops is like choosing your Neighboorhood Watch over the Navy Seals. Plowing fields, cutting grain and chopping your own firewood is good exercise, but it’s not good practice for combat. Unlike spending hours a day bashing the other Squires with double-weight wood swords, which is exceptional exercise AND good practice for combat.
Or, to put that another way: you need brain surgery. Do you choose the black market cutter for his “rough and tumble” life experience, or the trained neurosurgeon? Alright, maybe if the neurosurgeon is Ben Carson.
Joking aside, I’ll be devoting my next full-length post to this idea in more detail soon. Your average peasant was no weakling, but at the risk of spoiling things: there’s a reason knightly defeats were big news.