Get your point Lyndon - but i am not sure you are getting mine. At the moment - because of the rules and approach - it appears (to me that) you must be* tall, slim, supple and gymnastically skilled to exceed.
Well - we had those and i shall name them if necessary BUT we also had people of all shapes and sizes and levels of suppleness and agility who were equally - if not more so - effective because they developed speed, timing and strategies etc to enhance their karate.
BUT most importantly - in order to do that they had to be very courageous and brave and willing to understand that they must 'commit' (despite the inherent risks) to deliver those techniques/strategies/tactics etc. As a result they often - very often - overcame the more physically gifted. Karate is meant to be physical and mental - wouldn't you agree.
I fear it is becoming reliant on physical.
here is a thought - look at the line ups now - similar sizes weights etc (never mind open categories) - look at the line -ups back then =
SHAPES AND SIZES. did the biggest most athletic win - yes but not always
Steve Cattle, Billy Higgins, Bob Rhodes, Gary Harford Andy Sherry etc etc etc
worth a thought i would respectfully suggest - oh and Lyndon - would you (if starting now and looking at the 'champions) think - yes this is something I could excel at?
but you did back then.