Ring Sport Seminar with Herve Mavuanga

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Ring Sport Seminar:

Duration & Dates: 3 x Days, 24th, 25th & 26th May 2019

Cost: $450 Dog Spot. $300 Spectator Spot. Breakfast & Lunch included.

Service Dog Seminar:

Government Department Seminar 2 x Days, 30th & 31st May 2019 (Only Police, Military & Corrective Services) Contact us for further details to secure your spot.

Location: Ataro Training Facility Londonderry, NSW.

Contact us for further details.

Hervé Mavuanga needs no introduction to fans of different variations of Ringsport as he has been at the forefront of the modern development of the sport and at the very highest levels. He continues to elevate the practice of it all into an art form – be it decoying, competing, or training of the dog.

Here is an interview with Herve.

Q1> Bonjour Herve! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to ask you our list of 20 questions. We hope that it will give your fans a different dimension of knowledge about you and especially learn from the wisdom and perspective that you bring. Please tell us about your childhood. Where were you born? When did you make your way to France? Please tell us about your first dog.

Thank You. I’m honored to be here and see a long friendship blossoming. I was born in Zaire (now Congo) and moved to Paris when I was 4 years old – all because my dad was a diplomat. I have always been interested in Dogs. My first dog was a female German Shepherd but without any papers! In fact, I got her off the street and named her “Thesa”. Hahahahaa

Q2) When were you first exposed to Mondioring or French Ring?

Ah! I was lucky because there was a dog club called ‘Club de Montfermeil’ which was right across the street from my school. I decided to peek my head in to see what was happening there and asked a bunch of questions. They suggested that I start going to some Dog obedience classes on Saturdays and Sundays. As I started to see what it was all about, I felt drawn to it all. But, unfortunately, my dog “Thesa” was not able to compete in the sport. Nevertheless, my interest and love was piqued and the feeling has not left me!

Q3) When was your first time with the suit?

Again, it all started for me at ‘Club de Montfermeil’. There were 5 people there that were trying to be decoys. The older, knowledeable guys felt that I was the most courageous and had a natural athletic ability and very fast. I got a chance and Alex Saia and Momo started to train me. It was very hard for me at the beginning as they really pushed me. I trained adult dogs wearing only puppy pants. Of course, I would go home with bruises
and my mother was worried, angry and confused! So I started to train the dogs to bite me on the hand instead of a leg sleeve. I remember, one day, I took off the leg sleeve and was scooping the dog to bite me on the hand. I was successful many times but eventually a dog broke through the barrier and bit me on the leg! I was taken the hospital, got treated and headed right back to training again! Hahahahahaa

Q4) When was your first compeition and how old were you?

I passed the decoy selection at ‘Club Aulnay Sous Bois’ and won the selection to be the decoy. I was 18 years old.

Q5) Here you are as a young decoy of 18. Who was your idol when you were 18? Whose technique did you like? Who were your inspiring figures?

I was very inspired by Patrice Foucault, Michel Pechereau, Frederic Beyer, Franck Blanchard and Jean Yves Vaiasso. I hope I have not left anyone out! Hahaahaaa

Q6) Talking about technique – Why do you feel your technique is different? What has made the difference?

Thanks to martial arts. I started doing Muy Thai about 7 yrs before dog training. I was also very involved in Boxing and Kung Fu. I think that there is a direct translation of the flow of martial arts into the art of decoying. They are both a very fluid art form, of course…when executed correctly.

Q7) Can you please give us an example of some techniques you use in decoying that have been inspired by your involvement in martial arts?

Oh! The Esqueve, sudden movements by the decoy that upset the moving rhythm or balance of the dog, pushing of the Dog towards one side – my version and implementation of these movements are all inspired from martial arts. For instance, using the running trajectory of dog to push the dog in the same direction while moving out of the way is a classic implementation of a jiu jitsu technique.

Q8) How about many of the decoys today? What do u think will make the biggest improvement?

Many decoys today think that good decoying is fighting with the dog. This behavior comes from the ego. It is great decoying to go with the flow of a Dog, to use the movement of the Dog to get what you want.

Q10) Since you began, the technology to make a bite suit has changed a lot. When did you first wear a Demanet suit?

Yes, the suit has changed a lot. I first wore a Demanet suit in 1998 and I loved it as a first feel. It felt easy and natural to move in. It has great protection and great design. It just felt right and natural. When you know, you know!

Q11) You bought Demanet from Henryk Colette Demanet in 2015. What new ideas for manufacture did you bring?

Actually, not much has changed on that aspect. This is because it was a great product, remains a great product. It was designed in the right way from the beginning.

Q12) How do you see Demanet growing in the future?

I think we will concentrate on two broad areas – one, a supply and manufacturing chain that will concentrate on suit making for military and police work….and two, a supply/manufacturing process that will do custom work as now for sport work. And we have some more ideas for novel products.

Q13) To how many countries do u send Demanet suits to?

We’re everywhere. We supply suits to the Police, defense and also private citizens that do sport. In all places where there is an active protection dog involvement, we are there.

Q14) Somebody asked you and showed interest in making a movie of your life. Please tell us about your movie plans?

Hahahaha….Yes. Hahahaha. A producer from France wants to make a movie of my life. I was also given a script (a curious one!) but I don’t have much time to get involved.

Q15) What event stands out for you as a handler in a competition instead of a decoy?

It was the French Ring Selectif in 2005! My dog ‘Shaft des Contes Hoffman’ was selected for the FR Selectif and we were in 18th place. However, I was also selected as the decoy! This has never happened in history.

Q16) Wow! So, what did you decide to do? Play handler or decoy?

Hahahaa. ‘Shaft’ was a fantastic dog. Very strong with very big impact. I decided to decoy in the competition.

Q17) After all these years of decoying and training, can you give us the name of a dog that has somehow intimidated you? Have you been scared of a dog?

Nope! I have never been scared. I have not been scared in the security of a suit and I have not been scared when not wearing a suit. I am prepared to fight the Dog if it wants to fight me.

Q18) After having seen and worked with so many dogs, do you have an idea to start your own kennel?

Not myself. No time! I do some breedings with my friends – just helping them under the kennel names: roche de l’ empreur, chemin de lusitanes and des cros monsois.

Q19) What changes do you see in the dogs now compared to the past? Please tell us in a very general sense.

Ah! In the past many malinois were generally very strong probably because the decoys were harder. It was absolutely necessary for a dog to be truly strong to succeed in the sport. Unfortunately, breeding has now became a business. I think politics has also schemed in all of this by pushing out the true decoys that can truly test a dog. All of these have conspired together.

Q20) What was your best event in 2018 with your dog ?

Without hesitations it’s the selection of my dog Electra for the French Ring Cup in Narbonne. It was fantastic.