AL CARTER at westside COACH

Carter, Al

 Al Carter was the 1989 Under 19 US foil champion and is coaching in the Los Angeles area.
Photo by Andy Shaw

AL CARTER at westside COACH

Al Carter was the 1989 Under 19 US foil champion and is coaching in the Los Angeles area.
Photo by Andy Shaw
Young student, Top Ranked in U.S. Under 10, our 2nd year training together
Student, Division 2 Finalist, our 1st year training together

Jr. Olympics, pool bout – Carter on left


1991 Pan American Games – Havana, Cuba – Foil Team, Coach Cadre


2011 National Championships, Student – Division 1 Bronze Medalist, end of 2nd Season for Xcel Fencing


Al Carter began fencing, coached Ted Katzoff.  In just a year and a half he became an International Medalist and earned a place of his first U.S. World Team.  He remained on the U.S. Team throughout college until semi-retiring.  After an 8 year break, Al resumed training and once again represented the U.S. in World Competition for 3 more years.

After fifteen years of his competitive career, his top results included: Top 8 & Top 16 World Finishes, A Pan-American Silver Medal, and National Titles, including: Defending Under 19 National Champion, US National Team Champion.

Al has been coaching since 1999.  Just 2 years after he began as a coach, he had created 3 National Medalists, including one National Champion, and another student who became a Nationally ‘A’ rated in just 18 months.

Al is the owner of Xcel Fencing in San Francisco, CA.  At Xcel Fencing, Al not only produces top ranked fencers, but has a unique program to help mentor them to succeed in life.

He has an extraordinary ability to relate with kids.  Al treats his students in a very nurturing, respectful, yet firm manner, and is able to establish a vital student / coach chemistry which he believes is a critical part of their success.

Al was a very creative and analytical competitor, which is reflected in his coaching. Particularly, in the latter part of his career, as a fencer, he was constantly pushing the envelope with innovative tactics and actions, many of which subsequently, quickly became universally adopted. He frequently challenges tradition to prove itself more effective than a different approach, which he also believes is responsible for students’ rapid rate of progress.

As a coach, he believes it is equally important to teach and learn from students, and encourages creative expression on the strip.   Al also has a unique ability to communicate the most complex tactical ideas in ways that even very inexperienced students can grasp.  He believes this is partially responsible for many students achieving Top National Results within just two years.

During the first 5 years of his coaching career, Al developed the ‘Xcel Training System’. His system now has a reputation for creating students who, ‘Accelerate to Excellence’.  2 years after Xcel Fencing opened, and their first year attending the National Championships, 2 students were bronze medalists in the Division 1 and Division 3 events. Other top results since Xcel Fencing began, include 2 under 17 students who became top ranked Jr. and Sr. Fencers in the U.S., within one year.  One of the two became a world medalist, his first year competing internationally.

Throughout his career as a fencer, Al also had the privilege of working with legendary coaches.  He credits many of them for his success as a fencer and as a coach including:  Ted Katzoff, Ed Richards, Mike D’Asaro Sr., Dave Michanik, Abdel-Monem Salem, Viktor Bikov, Yefim Litvan, Alex Kunetsov, Andrea Borella and Livio Di  Rosa.  Maestro Di Rosa made the most significant impact in his fencing and coaching in the latter part of his career.

Al also thanks and credits his friends and teammates – Geoff Russell and Derek Cotton for their support as training partners throughout high school.  He extends a special credit to his training partner throughout high school and college, Nick Bravin, who worked diligently with him in the U.S. and while training together in Italy.

The support of Teammates and training partners – Tim Chang, Alex Wood, and Eli Miloslavsky, Dan Kellner, Jon Tiomkin, Jed Dupree, Cedric Anen & Clinton Kershaw made it possible for Al to duplicate his competitive results as he returned to compete the later years of his career.

A list of all of his students top results can be found at: