Coaches

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.

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.

Bogdan Gurinenko - AFM Foil Coach

Bogdan Gurinenko

Bogdan Gurinenko is well known in the fencing circles in the USA and worldwide, and you might met him referring at Nationals, NAC’s and regional tournaments. Bogdan’s experience goes back the to Ukraine where he was a 6 time national junior foil champion, won World Cups, and been in the finals of World Championships, European Championships and the World University Games.

As a ref, Bogdan is a certified FIE referee and has called matches at such high level tournaments as Grand Prix, Cadet and Junior World Championships, Panamerican Championship and World University Games.

Bogdan comes to us from the East Coast where he worked in such prominent US fencing clubs as the Manhattan Fencing Center and the Fencing Academy of Westchester.

Slava Zingerman - AFM Epee Coach

Slava Zingerman

Slava Zingerman is only the second man in United States History to with NCAA titles 3 times in a row. He’s also a four time All-American fencer. During his undergraduate studies at Wayne State University, he managed to squeeze in time to get his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, make the Dean’s List, and fenced for the Wayne State University Fencing Team. All while breaking fencing records and climbing to a rank of #3 in the international fencing rankings during his competitive career and frequenting international podiums. From 2000-2009, Slava was a member of the Israeli National Team. In 2016, he was inducted into the Wayne State University Hall of Fame.

After moving into coaching, Slava continued to show incredible talent and dedication to the sport of fencing. He spent two years coaching at the Manhattan Fencing Center in New York before moving on to a coaching position at the famed New York Fencing Academy. Through those years he led his students to many national titles and placed athletes on the national team. His mentees garnered eight medals and two champion titles at the 2016 US Fencing Summer Nationals. Last season Slava coached the Duke University Fencing Team, where he served as an assistant coach and two his epee fencers made All-American in 2017 NCAA Championship.

AFM Epee Coach Dima Chumak

Dima Chumak

Dima comes to us from New York were for the 10 years after retiring from sport after Beijing Olympic Games 2008 he was an epee coach in highly successful fencing club Fencing Academy of Westchester. Dima’s students won many national and international level medals, including NAC’s, July Challenges, Summer Nationals, and Cadet World Cup and World Championships.

An Olympian himself in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, were Dima finished 13th, Dima was a member of Ukrainian National Epee Team for 10 years, and was 2 times World Championship Medalist, European Champion and two time European Bronze Medalist, World University Games Champion and many more world titles.

Andrei Kuryshka - Fencing Coach

Andrei Kuryshka

Andrei was a member of national team of Belarus from 2006 till 2011. He is many times national champion of Belarus, finalist of Junior and U23 European Championships. Andrei is a student of legendary fencer Alexander Romankov, who was Olympic Champion and ten times World Champion. Andrei started his coaching career in 2012. Within short period of time his students started to achieve significant national and international results and in 2017 he became to be a head coach of national cadet team. Andrei is an FIE referee and he officiated at many international tournaments such as World Cups, Grand Prix and World and European Championships.

Xiaoyan (Bonnie) Bao

Xiaoyan (Bonnie) Bao

Coach Xiaoyan (Bonnie) Bao was a member of the Chinese National Epee Team herself and participated as a fencer in many world-level competitions. In 1996 she became a Master of Sport awarded to her by the General Administration of Sport of China. Coach Bonnie has 20 years of extensive experience in training of high-level epee athletes including five athletes who won the top three places at the Chinese National Fencing Championships and the World Junior Championships.  More than 20 years she was a leading epee coach in Xuzhou Sports School in China and won many national level awards as a coach! Coach Bonnie also was a head coach of Fensen Fencing Club in China for five years raising many national level fencers. 

Coach Bonnie has had over 20 years of extensive experience as a fencing coach, training athletes for competition at the highest levels.  She began her career as a professional fencer herself, earning a spot on several national and international teams. She was a member of the Championship Team at the 8th National Games of China and the second-place team at the 1996 Asian Fencing Championships in Thailand.  He students performed well at international level placing in top 8 positions in World Championships and Military Games.

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.

Andrey Morozov

Andrey Morozov

Coach Andrey Morozov started fencing since 1978 and in 1985 he earned Master of Sport of Soviet Union, the highest rating in the country. He was a member of the Junior national team of USSR in 1987-1989 and was multiple medalist of national and international tournaments.

As a member of the veteran national team of Russia coach Andrey was multiple winner of many international tournaments, including 2 times Bronze in European Championships in 2010 and 2011.

Coach Andrey holds a Masters Degree in Coaching and Physical Education from the National State University of Physical Education from Moscow, Russia.

Mark Wheeler - Academy of Fencing Masters Fencing Coach

Mark Wheeler

Mark Wheeler is AFM adult and veteran fencing programs coach in our Sunnyvale facility. Mark brings over 35 years of fencing experience and 10 years of coaching experience to AFM.  Mark is an active competitor on the veteran epee circuit. He’s maintained his A in epee for over 10 years as a veteran fencer and won the Veteran Epee Championship at the Summer Nationals in San Jose in 2015, earning a spot on the 2015 national veteran team for the world championships.

Mark is experienced in developing and leading developmental conditioning and fencing programs as well as working with students one on one.  Mark earned his Moniteur certification in epee and foil in 2011 and received a USA Fencing Coach’s Medal for his student who won the 2011 National Vet 40 Women’s Epee Championship.

Mark is the Director of Operations and President of The Bay Cup, a nonprofit organization that developed and runs the largest local fencing tournament circuit in the United States.

Being a huge fencing enthusiast, Mark is well known for his passion for sport of fencing and for his dream to raise interest to this sport in the US starting from the Bay Area.

Jere Bothelio

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 six National Championship titles and has earned 30 national medals. He’s also won one of seven 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 two coaches medals in 2011.

Jere has taught classes at two Bay Area clubs plus Harker Academy and Hillview Middle school. Jere is also a President of the Central California Division, to which AFM belongs.

AFM is welcoming both Mark and Jere as a part of our coaching team! We hope that veteran and adult fencing in the Bay Area will become more popular and active. 

Coach Assistants

Bryce Chen - Coach Assistant

Bryce Chen

Bryce Chen is one of our first students and he is recipient of USA Fencing Spirit of Sport award for his great willpower and enthusiasm to  overcome any difficulty toward reaching a goal. Bryce helps with to beginner fencers who are starting their fencing journey