Michael van Ginkel has a masters degree in conflict studies. Through scholarship and fellowship funding, he has researched conflict and hand-to-hand combat across Europe, Asia, and America. He has also worked on several battlefield archaeological excavations, including the iconic battlefields of Waterloo and Bannockburn.
Michael’s historical research projects have ranged from scrutinizing military commemoration, to reconstructing Alexander’s the Great’s Balkan campaign, to analyzing Napoleon’s operational art. Throughout his projects, a personal reconnaissance of relevant terrain features informs his desk-based research. His analysis on modern conflicts, including the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and tensions in the South China Sea, have been published worldwide.
Having read extensively about modern attempts to reconstruct the ancient Greek combat sport of Pankration, Michael first began training while studying and working in Athens, Greece. His travels since have provided the opportunity to train and compete in a variety of combat sports, including Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Judo, Sambo, karate, and Taekwondo. He continues to train six days a week and is an active competitor in submission grappling.