Mick started fencing in 1973, doing all three weapons but focusing mainly on épée. He trained extensively with the British Épée squad, fencing both on the home circuit and some forays abroad. He can sometimes still be persuaded to pick up an épée and compete, coming 5th in the World Masters Championship 2010 in Switzerland.
Mick started coaching in 2001; John Llewellyn (past coach of RFC) was his first coach mentor, and this established a strong traditional French style to his coaching. Since then he has been involved with British Fencing’s Hungarian scheme under which he took his first coaching exams. Lately, Mick has qualified through the British Academy of Fencing, attaining the internationally-recognised title of Maître d’Escrime with diplomas in épée and foil. Mick believes that fencing is a rapidly evolving sport, and good coaches must always strive to learn from the world’s best. He has recently been working with Italian coaches and is developing this relationship with fencing tours to Italy.
Mick’s coaching style is very much focused on competitive fencing and his approach is that lessons should replicate the fight situation as closely as possible. He believes in LTAD (Long-term Athlete Development) as expounded by Zbigniew Czajkowski in his book Understanding Fencing, the Unity of Theory and Practice.