MFC was established in 1994 by Richard Emmerick, founded on a simple philosophy of supporting participation in sport.
Richard's approach recognised the importance of grassroots participation, "we need community clubs, run by volunteer coaches who run warm ups, footwork and drills while emphasising that participation is a fun and social activity" he says. Such participation opens fencing to a wide range of people which ensures that it not only caters to the needs of those who want to engage for fun and fitness, but also builds the sport in general so that it has the resources to support those who want to pursue high level competing.
MFC became an incorporated association on 31 May 2010, and continues as it began – a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. Membership fees are kept as low as possible and all training, fencing, coaching, club competitions and equipment are provided at no additional charge. The Club supports members to gain skills and experience in all aspects of fencing, supports experienced fencers to develop coaching skills, and offers high quality coaching for fencers at all levels.
To acknowledge Richard as founder, and to celebrate MFC's 25th anniversary, in 2019 the Club inaugurated the annual Richard Emmerick Shield competition. In 2020, Richard's contribution to fencing was recognised with a Sport NSW Distinguished Long Service Award and he was featured in local media.
In 2020, MFC appointed Joe Raciborski as head coach. Joe’s qualifications in coaching, HPE, and rehabilitation counselling, as well as his own successful competitive fencing career, gave him a unique set of skills with which to support coaching for social, competitive, and all-abilities fencing. Joe expanded the club to include all three weapons, and as well as coaching all of MFC’s fencers, he also spent time building and training the Club’s coaching team, including inaugurating coach development days covering pedagogy, sports psychology and practical skills. A highlight of the year was Joe being appointed as a coach on the Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Pentathlon team, and accompanying modern pentathlete Marina Carrier to the Tokyo Olympics.
From small beginnings, the Club continues to grow and is committed to inclusivity and accessibility – welcoming participants of all abilities, aged from 7 to seniors!
"My proudest achievement is in the creation of MFC as a community club which can coach both social fencers and international competitors."
After a competitive fencing career I formed Mountains Fencing Club, using the Blaxland High School Gym, and began coaching. When the Australian Fencing Federation commenced its coaching accreditation scheme I became a Level I foil coach. Years later the New South Wales Fencing Association employed a Head Coach and I took up the position of State Foil Coach working for him. This role involved coaching state level fencers and coaching and managing teams in national events. When a need arose for an Assistant National Epee Coach in NSW I accepted this position and coached the national team members and athletes who wished to obtain national team selection. During this time I attained a Level II coaching qualification in both foil and epee. In 2013 I attended an FIE epee coaching course in Uzbekistan and in 2017 I attended an AFF epee coaching course in Melbourne which was run by a prominent FIE coach. I coached, at MFC, two national title winners and three fencers who have represented Australia. I have coached an Australian Under 23s Team which I took to an Asian Championships in Kuwait. My proudest achievement is in the creation of MFC as a community club which can coach both social fencers and international competitors.
– Richard Emmerick, founder
"While I enjoy coaching athletes to the highest levels of the sport, what I love most about MFC is that it is a fencing club for all ages and abilities."
I first held a weapon in 1998 at a school camp and in 2000 began training with MFC, then located at Blaxland High School. I very quickly fell in love with the sport and went on to represent NSW and Australia in Men’s Sabre, winning state titles, national medals and as a personal highlight, a Junior Commonwealth Team bronze medal. I have been coaching since 2003 and have held the roles of Assistant National Coach (epee) and NSW State Coach (epee). I completed my coach diploma with the FIE at the University of Physical Education in Budapest in 2016 and was awarded NSW Coach of the Year. Athletes I have coached have successfully competed at all levels, including World Championships, and have won state and national titles in foil, epee, sabre (individual and team) and Modern Pentathlon. I have been pentathlete Marina Carrier’s coach since 2016 and in 2021 travelled with her to the Toyko Olympics. I am committed to inclusiveness and accessibility in fencing, and while I enjoy coaching athletes to the highest levels of the sport, what I love most about MFC is that it is a fencing club for all ages and abilities.
– Joe Raciborski, inaugural head coach