Virgen's View: Mendes Bros. Academy grand opening on Sunday

The RVCA family is excited for Sunday. That's the day of the grand opening for the Mendes Bros. Academy, a jiu jitsu gym, in Costa Mesa.

The Mendes brothers, Rafael and Gui, will be offering a free seminar during the grand opening, starting at 1 p.m. The new gym is located at 411 East 17th Street.

Gui is a six-time world champion (all belts, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) and Rafael is a five-time world champ (all belts, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011).

"I'm very excited to start teaching the class," Gui said. "It will be like a party with a free seminar."

Pat Tenore, the president of RVCA, will also be in attendance. He has sponsored the brothers for the past eight years.

"It's a great demonstration of jiu jitsu," Tenore said. "They have gone all over the world, learned from the best and then taught the best. Our focus will be the kids, high school and college. It will be phenomenal. We are really lucky to have this in Orange County. We're excited to share this with the community."

Sunday's free seminar isn't the only complimentary lesson the new Mendes Bros. Academy will have. The gym will also offer a free anti-bullying class July 28.

Laird Hayes, the NFL side judge, Newport Beach resident and Orange Coast College retired professor, is keeping himself busy this summer.

He was a guest speaker at the coaches conference at Concordia University in Irvine on Wednesday. He was in Ewing, N.J. Thursday directing his fourth of six Quarterback and Receiver Football Camps, as he's the president of the company. He'll be in Columbus, Ohio next week for another camp before his final camp at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks July 12-15.

Later this summer he is expected to be a featured speaker at the National Assn. of Sports Officials Annual Summit in Portland. He will be speaking about his impressive call in the Super Bowl, when New York Giant's receiver Mario Manningham caught a 38-yard pass along the sideline, a crucial play in the Giants' win.

Chandler Harnish, Mr. Irrelevant XXXVII, comes into town this weekend, as Irrelevant Week begins Monday with the Arrival Party at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

Harnish, a quarterback taken by the Indianapolis Colts as the last pick in the NFL Draft, is expected to visit Disneyland Monday morning.

Tuesday night is the signature event of the shortened Irrelevant Week, as Harnish will be toasted and roasted during the All-Star Lowsman Banquet at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Harnish will stick around for the Fourth of July on Wednesday and will be featured in a boat parade in Newport Beach.

For more information on the events visit,

A happy belated birthday to John Mann. The Corona del Mar High former water polo standout celebrated his 27th birthday Wednesday.

It had to be a special birthday. It was announced Monday that he made the U.S. Olympic men's water polo team.

The Olympic roster spot seemed to be the only thing missing from an impressive career. Mann led the Sea Kings to three CIF Southern Section championships before graduating in 2003. He later earned the Cutino Award as the top men's water polo player in 2006, when he led UC Berkeley to the national championship.

As a 6-foot-6, 250-pound center, Mann will be the backup to Ryan Bailey, the former UC Irvine All-American making his fourth trip to the Olympics.

I guess the only feat left for Mann is a gold medal.

Sharon Day, a former Costa Mesa High standout, begins competition in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

She competes in four events Friday, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters.

On Saturday she concludes with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters.

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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