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User:Michael Chidester

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Michael Chidester
  • Independent researcher
  • MediaWiki developer
Nationality American
Education B.A. Philosophy
Alma mater Brigham Young University
en-us This user is a native speaker of American English.
es-4 El nivel de este usuario corresponde al de un hablante casi nativo del español.
it-2 Questo utente può contribuire con un livello intermedio di italiano.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer hat grundlegende Deutschkenntnisse.

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, UT 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 Foundational Description of the Art of Fencing: The 1570 Treatise of Joachim Meyer (2023), The Flower of Battle: MS M 383 (2021), “…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 facsimiles of fencing manuals—to date, MS Thott. 290.2º (1459), MS Ludwig XV 13 (1400), Cgm 582 (1482), Gründtliche Beschreibung der… Kunst des Fechtens (1570), and Cod.I.6.4º.2 (1420s/70s).

Michael has lectured on Medieval and Renaissance martial arts at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI; Crossing Swords, Crossing Boundaries at the Museo dell'Arte Marziale in Botticino, Italy; the Historical Swordplay Symposium at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies in Amherst, MA; Life, the Universe, & Everything: the Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT; and HEMA events across North America and Europe including the Ars Gladii Open (AGO), Blood on the River, Broken Point, Combat Con, Fechtschule America, Fechtschule New York (FNY), HEMAG Dijon, the Iron Gate Exhibition (IGX), Longpoint, Meyer Symposium, Oktoberfecht, the Purpleheart Armoury Open (PHO), Shieldknock, SoCal Swordfight, Swordsquatch, and the Western Martial Arts Workshop (WMAW).

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 from 2002–04. He is a Research Scholar of the Meyer Freifechter Guild (MFFG), a founding member of the Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS), a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition (WMAC), and a Lifetime Member of the HEMA Alliance. He currently trains at Athena School of Arms in Watertown, MA.

Wiktenauer contributions

As principal editor of Wiktenauer, Michael has worked on virtually every article on the site, including writing descriptions, building concordances, and editing the work of others. In addition to these efforts, he has made the following larger contributions.


The following articles include Michael Chidester's translations.


Michael Chidester has transcribed some portion of the following texts.


Michael Chidester has produced or contributed to the following books and journal articles.




For questions about the Wiktenauer or his research, or to inquire about donating content to the wiki, Michael can be contacted either via email or on his talk page.