Maitre d’Armes Michael A. O’Brien
Michael A O’Brien
The namesake of our club, Michael O’Brien has a long and distinguished career in Fencing as both a competitor and coach.
|1927||Born Nambour, Queensland, Australia. Educated At St. Columbus College, Albion, Brisbane.|
|1943||Joined the U.S. Merchant Marines. Served on U.S. Liberty ships carrying ammunition, troops and supplies throughout the various Pacific campaigns.|
|1945||Served on The Albert A. Robinson, one of the first vessels to enter Nagasaki only days after the war ended and less than two weeks after the Atomic bomb was dropped.|
|1946||Served on the Bardestown Victory repatriating German prisoners of war from New York to Bremerhaven.|
|1948||Returned to Australia, commenced competitive fencing|
|1951||Queensland Champion – Epee, 2nd Foil
Australian Finalist – Foil, Epee
|1952||Selected for Helsinki Olympics. Omitted from team in London and officials queried amateur status. Reinstated after Olympics and pursued Fencing Master’s Diploma.|
|1954||Awarded the Brevet of Maitre d’Armes from the British Academy of Fencing. Also sabre semi-finalist World Summer Games in Buda-Peste.|
|1955||Competed for “Cercle Hoche” Paris in the “Spinosi Bourbon”. A 5 man team event: 2 foilists – Claude Bancilhon, Adrian Rommel, 2 Epeeists – Claude Neter, Roger Crosnier, 1 Sabreur – Michael A. O’Brien.
Winner “Challenge Bruner” Paris.
|1955||Won the Australian Sabre Title, 2nd in Foil. Turned professional, won Queensland Open Foil and Sabre titles. Winner of the inaugural & last national amateur professional championships in both foil and Sabre. 1st – Mtr. Michael O’Brien. 2nd – Gerald Michael Sichel. Equal 3rd Laurie Smith and Ivan Lund.The Epee event was not held.|
|1956||Coach of the Australian Olympic Foil team, Melbourne. Australia took Hungary (the current World Champions Team) to an 8 all draw. Australia lost on indicators – the match results were: Michael Sitchel 3 wins, Brian Mc Cowage 3 wins, Tom Cross 2 wins, David McKenzie 0 wins.
Introduced Fencing into Melbourne schools – standardized instruction throughout all Australian States excepting New South Wales.
Was appointed Coach to the Melbourne University Fencing Club.
|1960||Co-founder of the professional body in Australia:- The Australian Academy of Fencing.
The president was Charles Stanmore, Secretary – Jock Gibson, Technical Director – Michael A. O’Brien, Overseas Representitive – John E. Feathers and Patron – Roger Crosnier.
|1962||Coached the English Fencing team at the Commonwealth Games in Perth.|
|1964||Introduced Fencing into Monash University, Melbourne.
Left both Monash and Melbourne Universities in 1968 to coach overseas.
|1968||Coached in the Tampa Bay area, Florida, after attending the Olympic Games, Mexico City.|
|1970||Coach of the Australian Commonwealth Games team in Edinburgh.|
|1974||Regional Coach for the four Western Provinces of Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) stationed in Edmonton, Alberta. Appointed Coach to the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.|
|1975||Coach to Australian Junior team members at Mexico City for World Junior Championships.|
|1976||Coach to Canadian team, World Junior Championships, Poznan Poland.
Montreal Olympics Coach to pupil Greg Benko – 1st Australian Olympic Finalist. Greg came 6th.
Returned to Melbourne as State Director of Coaching for the Victorian Amateur Fencing Association.
|1978||Coach to Australian Commonwealth team – Glasgow and subsequent World Championships – Hamburg, Germany.|
|1979||Coach Australian Team (Foil) World Championships – Melbourne.|
|1981||Australian Team World Championships – Clement Ferrand, France.
Graduate Diploma in Sports Coaching Sciences from Rusden College, Melbourne
National Development Director for the Australian Amateur Fencing Federation.
|1985||Requested by the AAFF to draft and submit a syllabus for Level 2 and Level 3 coaching. This was accepted by Laurie Woodman of the National Coaching Accreditation for Sport.|
|1988||Returned to Queensland to “semi-retirement”.|
|1991||Coach to the Qld Pentathlon team.|
|1993||Coach to Australian National Pentathlon Team to Santiago Chile.|
|1999||Award from the British Olympic Association in recognition of services rendered at the Gold Coast preparation for their Olympic quest.|
|2000||Awarded the Australia Sports Medal for contribution to FencingMade Life Member of the Australian Fencing Federation in recognition of a life time contribution to the sport.Made Life Member of the Qld Amateur Fencing Association for contributions to fencing.Volunteer Official at the Sydney Olympic Games fencing events.Appointed Fencing Master at Bond University, Robina Gold Coast.|
|2001||Participated in the restoration of the Australian Academy of Fencing; the governing body, guild and union of Australian Professional Coaches and Masters.|
|2005||Attended World Championships – Leipzig|
|2006||Attended World Championships – Turin|
|2011||Appointed Fencing Coach to Modern Pentathlon Queensland|