Fighter Profile: An Interview with Dale Bannister
Hi Dale, give our members a bit of an insight into your martial arts journey so far.
Dale: I started off with LC where I was competing at good level against World class fighters. I was mainly a kicker with my lead leg but I also liked to pick and counter with my hands. Then when I went into full contact, I was much more hands first to suit the style, especially in WAKO.
What are your fondest memories so far along the way? 
Dale: Some of the people I’ve met and the students I’ve coached in my club. I’ve had so many great memories on fighting trips it would be hard to pick.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Dale: I’ve always believed the level of opponent is worth more than any event title. So I’d say my best wins are based on level of opponent, their accomplishments and how hard the fight was. On the mats they were Michael Lampart, Brendan Kenny, Luca Padoan and in the ring it’s Peter Carr, Niall McDermott, Mario Kornhass and Lars Viuff.
(Photo credit: Em's Photos UK)
Tell us about your club.
Dale: TKMA WIGAN, our style is mainly full contact kickboxing aimed at ring sports. However, we have still got good level tatami fighters and will continue to produce fighters that can do both in the future. I set the club up aged 17, 8 years ago in a church hall whilst I was in college. Whilst struggling with college for personal reasons, I ended up quitting and teaching full time, which if I’m honest was my ultimate goal anyway. We also have my dad Shaun Bannister and my kickboxing coach Jamie Chedotal, who helps us at events with the fighters. I also have Kieran Unsworth and Kye Van Zelst, who are both junior coaches.
How has COVID-19 affected you and your club?
Dale: We were moving great just before lockdown and had some good momentum with the fighters, especially the newer guys. However the positives are we can get some work done in the gym and improve our facility.
Tell us more about your boxing adventure.
Dale: I’ve been lucky to have a coach with a good boxing background in Jamie, and my boxing coach and manager, Alex Matvienko, at Elite boxing in Bolton is World class. He’s got a wealth of knowledge and has our best interests at heart. Our gym is a growing staple in British boxing and there’s massive potential at light middle so that means great sparring!
(Photo credit: Em's Photos UK)
What are you looking forward to most when we get back to some form of normality? 
Dale: Get the fighters back out there and get the atmosphere back in the gym!
Thank you for your time Dale, we can’t wait to see you back in action!
Dale bannister