Carmine Carpenito - AFM Head Coach

Carmine Carpenito - AFM Head Coach

Coach Carmine worked with his fencers competitively all over the world, and his fencers have risen to the level of international competitors at the highest levels. His passion for teaching is evident not only in the way that these students can achieve on the fencing strip but also in how they learn to become well-rounded individuals.

His students have won dozens of medals at the highest levels, including the Junior World Cup, the European Championships, and the Junior Teams World Championships. His list of accomplishments at the international level is extensive, having coached epeeists including Valerio Cuomo, and Simone Esposito all the way to gold at the World Cup and World Championships. He has also coached medaling teams at the Junior World Cup, and brings a wealth of experience in team coaching.

Besides strictly coaching, Carpenito has a reputation as being an elite video analyst at the Olympic level, having worked in this capacity for the Olympic Italian National Team on many occasions. He holds a Masters’s degree in Management and Organization of High-Level Sports from the University of the Forno in Rome.

Carmine Carpenito is the AFM Head Coach, supervising all aspects of the training process.

Zhanna Bikkina

Zhanna Bikkina

Coach Zhanna Bikkina  is an award-winning coach whose students regularly compete in national and international tournaments. Zhanna’s fencers have achieved significant awards, including multiple Masters of Sport and medals in international tournaments.

Coach Zhanna’s talents as a coach are reflected in the success of her students, and she has won awards as a coach in recognition of her role in her students’ success. Her students have won and medalled at World Championships and European Championships, Cadet World Cups and many of them have received Master of Sport awards, a high honor which is given only to the best athletes in Russia, and which coach Zhanna herself also received when she was a competitive fencer. She has had students qualify for the Russian National Team every year in the last decade.

Alexander Maximovich

Alexander Maximovich

Coach Alexander Maximovich began his coaching career in 1976 and since has coached National foil and épée teams in Kazakhstan, USSR and Turkey before coming to the USA in 2000. Since then, he has coached épée in the Bay Area and New York. Alexander is considered a true Master fencer since he has mastered all three fencing weapons.

His accomplishments include Head Coach of the National Epee Team and Junior National “Trade Union” team in Kazakhstan, Assistant head Coach Foil in USSR which won the Gold medal in 1988 Olympics and the 1989 World Championships and a bronze medal in 1990 World Championships.

Alexander has received the honor of “National Honored Coach” from his home of Kazakhstan in 1984. In 1991, he received the “National Excellence in Sports and physical culture Award” from former Soviet Union. This awarded has only been given to a select few in the history of all sports in former USSR.

Coach Alexander Maximovich immigrated to the United States in 2000.

Natasha Maximovich

Natalya Maximovich

Dr. Natalya Maximovich received her PhD in Sports Physiology and Pedagogical Science. She has been recognized by the National Ministries of Sport in the Former USSR and her home, the Republic of Kazakhstan, for her work with championship fencers. Her speicality is implementing youth development programs for fencers that are fun and engaging, but support the rapidly developing minds and bodies of young athletes.

Dr. Maximovich oversaw the Graduate Studies Program at the Kazakhstan Academy of Sport in Almaty, Kazakhstan, including coach development and recertification. She has helped developed over 250 coaches, who are actively coaching throughout the world, including Victor Svatenko, Yakov Danilenko, and Vyacheslav Grigoriev.

In addition to being a renowned developer of professional competitive coaches, Natalya is also a three time national foil champion of Kazakhstan. She coached the 1990 Kazakhstan Women’s Foil Team to the gold medal in the USSR Nationals, as well as the 1991 Kazakhstan Sport Academy team to the gold medal in the USSR Collegiate Championships. She has prepared over 1000 athletes who have gone on to become fencing champions in Kazakhstan, the USSR, the World Cup, and Olympic Competitions.

Dr. Natalya Maximovich immigrated to the United States in 2001.

Valera Naulo

Valeriy Naulo

Coach Valeriy comes to us from Cardinal Fencing Club where for 15 years he was training Cardinal fencers as well as Stanford University NCAA Varsity Team. He raised highly successful and rated fencers, and his fencers won many national level competitions, including NCAA Championship. Valeriy Naulo was ranked as one of the top five Ukrainian fencers for four years during his time in the competition.  Coach Valeriy has a Master’s in Physical Education with a focus on fencing from the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine. Prior to moving to the USA, he worked with the Ukrainian National Students Team.

Slava Novoselov

Slava Novoselov

Coach Slava was Junior Team World Champion fencing for the Russian Team. He is an accomplished fencer on the international level, as well as having a solid background in coaching elite fencers. He comes to us from Houston, TX, where he worked at Alliance Fencing Academy. This is one of America’s best epee clubs, and his experience plays a significant role in making the AFM epee program one of the best in the country.

Coach Slava’s talent and positive personality is an excellent addition to AFM’s fantastic epee coaching team!

Sergei Rassolko

Sergei Rassolko

Coach Sergei Rassolko is a representative of a bright fencing dynasty. His father, Vladimir Rassolko, was an accomplished fencer, having been a seven-time USSR Champion and a four-time European Champion. Vladimir transitioned from his success on the strip to the success of the strip as a fencing coach, leading the national team of Belarus for a decade to the world’s top placement.

Through his own talent and hard work, Sergei rose to become a worthy successor of his father’s legacy. He joined his father’s fencing school, where he adopted the positive qualities of both an athlete and a coach. He reached the podium in World Cups and World Championships, as well as becoming an Olympian in Sydney in 2000.

As a coach, Sergei went on to become the national coach of Taiwan. He prepared Champions of Asia among both cadet and junior fencers, garnering international recognition through his efforts. He then accepted a position at one of the best and most richly traditional clubs in the work, Heidenheim HSB in Germany. His students included the top fencer in Britain, Jon Willis, who won several awards at international competitions and World Cups under Sergei’s training.  He also coached the top-rated junior team member from Chile, Rolf Nickel, who trained under Sergei to win the Pan American Championship.

The level of rigor and excellence that coach Rassolko brings to AFM is truly fantastic, and we could not be more excited for him to bring it all to our students!

Aliya Zaidullina

Aliya Zaidullina

Aliya came to us from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she worked as a fencing coach after she finished her competitive career. Aliya is a Master of Sport in Epee, the Former Member of the Uzbekistan National Epee Team, studied at Olympic Reserve School in Tashkent, and possesses a Master’s degree with specialization as a fencing coach from the National University of Uzbekistan. She is a multiple champion and medalist of the National Championships in Uzbekistan, the Medalist of Asia Championships, and other international competitions.

We are excited to have Aliya joining our fantastic epee coaching team and are looking forward to seeing her helping our fencers to reach their potential.

Jere Bothelio - AFM Adult and Veteran Program Leader

Jere Bothelio started fencing with Maestro John DeCesare in 1994 at the age 43. He moved to épée five years later and was self taught, a feat in and of itself. Watching veterans fence, he was able to learn and apply what he saw. In 2003 he earned his first A, and three months later he won his first National Championship. Jere now has seven National Championship titles and has earned more that 30 national medals. He’s also won one of eight U.S. Veteran World Championship Teams spots with his best Championship results being 2nd, 7th and 9th. Jere got  his epee moniteur certificate from US Coaches Association in 2011. He also earned three coaches medals in 2011 and in 2022.

Jere is leading the AFM adalt and veteran program which becomes more popular and active. 

Coach Assistants