Michael Chidester 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 Historical European Martial Arts 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.
Michael has lectured on Medieval and Renaissance martial arts at the Historical Swordsmanship 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 including Broken Point, Fechtschule America, Fechtschule New York, the Iron Gate Exhibition of Historical Martial Arts, Longpoint, and thePurpleheart Armoury Open.
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 member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition and a Lifetime Member of the HEMA Alliance.