Maybe its because I am deadlifting 220kg and benchpressing 150 and squatting 200.
Muscle over mind ...
I don't think that power/muscle is connected with hard and stiff and poor technique but many traditionalist do.
But the rants over "modern sport-judo" and the idealizing of the old are old - for example this interview with Feldenkrais in 1977:
Now, anybody who goes to a club, in a year or a year and a half, they get to be a black belt. It doesn't mean much any more. A black belt today is a second rate achievement. You can see even the higher grades in the Olympic games, it's the ugliest sight I've ever seen, worse than boxing, worse than wrestling. Both of them are nicer than the Judo performed in the Olympic games. Kano, if he saw that, he would die.
Why has the quality of Judo gone down?
Because so long as Kano was alive, he didn't allow Judo into the Olympic Games and he didn't allow weight distinctions. Skill is the final thing. In the Olympic Games you have weight categories. Because, there, like in wrestling, they believe that a lightweight cannot beat a heavyweight. Now they have that weight system which requires a small man fight a small man, never a big one. So you see those fellows using strength to push each other and they don't do any Judo, they do a parody of Judo. It's against the grain of Judo. It's ugly to see and inefficient. And Kano said, “So long as l am alive, Judo won't have weight distinctions and if the day comes that it becomes a part of the Olympic Games, it will become a wash-out. Judo is finished with inclusion into the Olympic games.” And, unfortunately, he was right.
Is the entire body of Judo teaching very different now than it was?
Completely, even in Japan. Because, you see, the Japanese are very proud of their Judo. But now it's all a question of violent power, which is against the grain of Judo. Judo is a school where you use your opponent's strength and therefore, it's based on moving, not on resisting, not on pushing back against a push. Who's going to push someone stronger and get somewhere? Kano was a tiny little man who could throw any wrestler who pushed him, any time, immediately. And that's the principle, that if someone pushed him, he would sink under him and the chap who pushed would fall over Kano's body only because he's pushing. Kano would come under his hips and help his push. He disappears from under the push so smoothly that the other person goes over without knowing how or why. Nowadays, they push back, and nobody is nimble enough with that tai-sabaki, you call it in Judo – it means the mobility of the hips, turning the back to the front – nobody is nimble enough to do that. They are not trained any more like that.
The real champions, they never fought. They came there to beat you, not to fight you. They were there to show you that you are no match for them and that was the idea. They didn't go in for fighting. One of them would go there to show you that you were nothing, that his skill is so much greater than yours that you have not a chance in a million. In fact, he will let you do whatever kind of hold on him, just to show you he can get out of it. My teacher would lie on the floor and leave his throat exposed and a stick would be put to his throat with two people holding the stick down, pressing the stick onto his throat. Anybody would be dead in a second. He would lie there, and before you knew it, he was out from under the stick, out of their hold. He could do that ten times running and you still couldn't stop him from doing it. And the thing is extremely simple, but you have to have the skilI, the stamina to do it. He would do it to the right and the left, anytime he wanted. It looks like a god-like ability, but then he teaches you how to do it. Now any Judo man today if you put a stick to his throat, he will die. (chuckle)
Are there still people who do teach it in that old style?
Oh yes, there are some shimizo, old men in Japan, who are just as peeved about this as myself. They look at these young, silly idiots, who are spoiling their Judo heritage, which was unique in the world, and who make out of it shit. There are many people who …