Trading Price Action and The Zen In The Art of Archery
Trading Price Action
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I have written numerous articles on price action trading and the psychology of price action. Although similar at first sight, those articles are inspired by different occasions and thought-processes.
For the more advanced traders, this first paragraph might be boring, so you might skip to the next one. But if you are a beginner and just found my website, what is price action?
Before I brief you, here is a more detailed article on Price Action.
Here are a few more articles for intermediate traders on price action:
Price action trading is usually trading devoid of trading indicators.
Traders that use price action trading usually look at candlestick charts.
There are different ways to read the charts, but in the end most price action traders are looking for a way to read the market.
Nota Bene: In its purest form, price action trading is reading the market as opposed to trying to predict it.
In reading the market behaviour, price action traders are using levels of Support and Resistance.
Market participants do also use alternative techniques such as Supply and Demand Zones.
Price action trading is more than just a trading method. It is a way to follow what the market dictates as opposed to using lagging indicators.
Price action trading is as controversial as any other trading approach. What matters is consistency and the right money management mentality.
Below are given two charts- one of a pure price action trading chart and below it a chart cluttered with trading indicators. Which one does appeal more to you?
That’s what I thought- isn’t chart 1 much more simple to read and less distractive?
That is what price action trading is all about…
The Art of Archery
The art of archery is more than just about archery.
The art of archery is more than just about bow and arrow.
By archery in the traditional sense, the Japanese do not understand a sport but, strange as this might sound, a religious ritual.
Consequently, by “art” of archery, the Japanese does not understand the bodily exercise, but an ability whose origin is to be sought in spiritual exercises and whose aim consists in hitting a spiritual goal.
The marksman aims at himself and may even succeed in hitting himself.
Although this sounds puzzling, for the experienced archer, the bow, arrow and the target are of almost no use.
Zen in Trading Price Action and The Art of Archery
Just like professional archers, professional price action traders do not really use indicators. Our only way of reading the market is the market itself.
Remember: There is no holy grail and what traders should be looking for is a method that helps them understand what other market participants are doing.
Like the art of archery, the art of trading price action is so close to it. Successful traders should look deeper inside of themselves and try to understand their motives for taking (or not taking) a trade better.
As I usually say, the biggest enemy of the successful trader is the trader himself/herself.
There is no bigger obstacle in trading than our own fear, greed or emotions in general. Nobody says that traders must be emotionless, but they (YOU) need to know how to control them and also use them in your favour.
Like the master archer, the professional trader must be patiently waiting for the best trading setups and maximising their potential, making sure he/she extracts the most of each profitable move.
One Knows It By Not Knowing It
Nobody can beat the market by trying to outsmart it. Mr. Market is always right!
But so many are trying so hard out there.
Good traders know how to trade by knowing what NOT to do.
Remember: Price action trading is all about knowing what to do when all stars align.
There is no one answer for any trading setup. Ten different traders using the same trading system will react in 10 different ways to a trading opportunity.
The professional trader knows it by not knowing it. Successful traders know that they don’t really know anything and they just follow a pre-defined trading strategy by implementing great money management skills.
You don’t get those skills overnight. It takes time, experience and sometimes costly mistakes to get to consistency. Some say it takes 10,000 hours of practice.
They are probably right!
I know one thing about markets and that is to not take anything for granted! Although the same, markets are always changing.
The Great Doctrine of Price Action Trading
As Herrigel wrote himself:
“The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull’s-eye which confronts him. This state of unconscious is realized only when, completely empty and rid of the self, he becomes one with the perfecting of his technical skill, though there is in it something of a quite different order which cannot be attained by any progressive study of the art (…)”
What this book manages to achieve is show through real-life example that after years of practice the art of archery becomes rudimentary and the activity becomes effortless and what matters is the habit that has been built throughout the years.
Herrigel claims that difficult movements are navigated without conscious control from the mind.
According to the work of Herrigel, in order to make himself intelligible at all- for even a preparatory school holds riddles enough- he has no alternative, but to recollect in detail all the resistances he had to overcome.
All the inhibitions he had to fight down, before he succeeded in penetrating into the spirit of the Great Doctrine.
Again- successful archery is more about overcoming inner barriers than any other outside obstacles.
There is also one common point here and it is that nobody can stay in the course without conscientious guidance from a skilled teacher.
Successful Trading and Archery
Successful trading just like successful archery does require a lot of hours of practice and strong discipline.
It is no coincidence that both do require you to master your own emotions and perceptions first.
No matter how great an archer or trader you are, if you cannot master your own psychology and aim at yourself first, then you won’t be successful in the long-term.
You should start with the end in mind and then build on top of that.
The more I delve into trading and other sports disciplines, the more I keep on finding the same pattern:
great psychology is what stands behind every successful trader or athlete.
Just like the master archer says that the right breathing is much more important than the right technique; so I am convinced that the right set of rules and discipline are more important than just a trading strategy.
After hours of dedication and mental sweat, you will undoubtedly reach new heights and realise your potential!
***This article is inspired by one of the most amazing short books I have ever read called Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.
Check out how I see the market myself.