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|Alma mater||Brigham Young University|
Michael Chidester is the Editor-in-Chief of Wiktenauer and, as Director of the Wiktenauer, an officer of the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance.
Michael has been studying historical European martial arts since 2001. He was a member of the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts until 2006, where he achieved the rank of general Free Scholar, and he acted as the ARMA Provo Study Group Leader from 2007 until its dissolution in 2009. Michael co-founded the True Edge Academy of Swordsmanship in 2009, and until late 2010 was senior instructor at its Provo, Utah branch.
In 2012, Michael was appointed to the newly-established position of Director of the Wiktenauer by the HEMA Alliance general council, formalizing the role of principal designer and editor that he had assumed in early 2010. As Wiktenauer lead, Michael has assembled the most complete catalog of HEMA manuscripts currently available, including such resources as scans, transcriptions, and translations, and is currently laboring to assemble a similar catalog of printed treatises. In 2013, these efforts earned him a HEMA Scholar Award for Best Supporting Researcher.
He has authored or edited various books, including The Flower of Battle: MS M 383, “…eyn Grunt und Kern aller Künsten des Fechtens”: The Long Sword Gloss of GNM Manuscript 3227a (2020), The Illustrated Meyer (2019), The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer (2015), and The Flower of Battle of Master Fiore de'i Liberi, Volume I and Volume II (2015). In 2019, he founded the publishing company HEMA Bookshelf, whose primary mission is to produce full facsimiles of fencing manuals (so far, MS Thott. 290.2º (1459), MS Ludwig XV 13 (1400), and Cgm 582 (1482)).
Michael has lectured on Medieval and Renaissance martial arts at the Historical Swordplay Symposium at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, Life, the Universe, & Everything: the Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium at Brigham Young University, and numerous HEMA events in Europe and America including Blood on the River, Broken Point, Fechtschule America, Fechtschule New York, HEMAC Dijon, the Iron Gate Exhibition, Longpoint, Meyer Symposium, the Purpleheart Armoury Open, and Swordsquatch.
In 2010, Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Brigham Young University, with a minor degree in Military Science and additional coursework in Italian and Spanish. He developed a degree of fluency in the latter while living abroad in Mexico between 2002 and 2004. He is a Research Scholar of the Meyer Freifechter Guild, a founding member of the Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies, a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition, and a Lifetime Member of the HEMA Alliance.