Last hurrah: Reardon ready for final hurdle
TAEKWONDO: For three months Brian Reardon has been in lockdown mode, literally living and breathing taekwondo.
Almost daily he completes a rigorous three-hour sparring session, and incorporates swimming, mountain runs and beach days in his program.
Now in his 40s, the father-of-two and former world champion, is battling against the clock and his own body.
The ATI Martial Arts Coolum instructor will compete in the 2019 Taekwondo World Championship in Melbourne in March.
He is determined to claim the continuous fighting championship which would complete a world title treble.
"I need to have one last push at this before I retire,” Reardon said of what could be his last hurrah.
"It has been full on, really big on cardio and endurance. But with short, explosive training.
"We have to train specifically for countering. Attack and defence is different, it takes a toll on the body and face.
"Your put yourself in the zone for months and focus your body and mind.
"In a way you have to be selfish and shut your social life down. It's 24/7.”
Reardon said adapting to the Olympic-style competition was a challenge in itself.
"You do rack up a lot of injuries, it is a battle of attrition sometimes,” he said.
"You have three to five fights a day, a change from just one.
"Sometimes you get pushed beyond the limits of what you think your body can take.
"You have to be pretty strategic too. Don't go hard too early.”
Reardon's teenage protege Jai Evans is also off to Melbourne for the titles.