[QUOTE]Originally posted by haibara_iaido:
Well for all of you who want to know the truth, The ninja were hired assassins. They were usually hired by either the local Yakuza or neighboring councilmen (samurai)(daimyo)to knock off and enemy near by.

[/QUOTE]

Don't believe everything you read online, and only half of what you read in books. And practically nothing about ninja. Far too much misinformation in all sources.

[QUOTE]

To answer the question of who is a better swordsmen, well who practices harder in the art? There were many art styles that were used in the past. Like, muso shin den ryu jukiden ryu, Shinshin muso ryu, yagyu ( very famous style by the way) and so many more.
[/QUOTE]

Not sure what jukiden Ryu is supposed to be. Not a style name I recognize.

[QUOTE]
Keep in mind the term Sayano-Uchi which is defined....

Sayano-uchi is another name for Iai. A sword should never be drawn easily. The mystery of Iai is that defeat an enemy before drawing your sword. Donít put someone to the sword and do not be put to someoneís sword. Just drives out any evil thought of self-interest keeping self control. The best time to draw your sword is that after defeating an enemy....
[/QUOTE]

Well... not exactly. Saya no Uchi is a key concept in iai, but it is not another word for iai. Saya no Uchi is one of those terms that has a hundred different interpretations. A direct translation is "inside the saya". One intepretation is that if you develop your skill and presence to a sufficiently high enough degree, an encounter with a potential opponent becomes unlikely. Your phsyical presence and reputation are sufficient to intimidate your oponent into backing down. A philisophical take on the same idea would say that the best encounter is one where the sword is never drawn. A less idealistic interpretation is that you dominate your opponent through means of superior presence and force of will, and once his will to fight is broken, you strike him down. A practical and technical interpretation is that the initial cut begins while the tip of the sword is literally still inside the saya.

There are a variety of other interpretations as well.

[This message has been edited by Charles Mahan (edited 02-25-2005).]