I've been in martial arts circles almost my entire life. Here's a quick refresher. I'm sure you'll be able to drawl parallels to trading. If not, they're pointed out at the end. - Approx. 15+ years ago, there were tons of martial arts "masters" with their own schools (many of these instructors were fat and out of shape, but that's another story altogether). - These "masters" told their students how "deadly" they were. The students had never actually seen their masters kill anyone, or even fight against a resisting opponent for that matter, but they were convinced they were super deadly, and that they were learning super deadly techniques. - Students learned cool-looking 15-hit combos to counter a punch, but they didn't realize that their "opponent" was throwing a slow punch that wouldn't have hit the guy anyway and leaving his arm out there while his partner does the 15 hit combo. Student thinks he's a badass and develops false confidence. Student has never been in a fight or trained against a resiting opponent. Also, the instructors never actually spar with the students (cuz if a student won, the instructor's credibility would be lowered). - Some claims were ridiculous; qi (internal energy) "masters" claimed they could knock out an opponent without even touching them! Students flocked to these teachers to learn this super deadly art. - Approx. 15 years ago, no holds barred fighting tournaments began to gain popularity. In the beginning, a small number of contestants knew how to fight, and a huge number of contestants thought they knew how to fight (usually the ones with the "super deadly" teachers) - In a very short period of time (relatively speaking), it is quickly and irrevocably established who knows how to defend themselves and who doesn't; what styles works and what styles don't. - Now, all of the previous "masters" realize they're in trouble; they know they can't actually fight. They know they can't actually knock out people without touching them. They need to come up with ways to keep students (and therefore, income), but they would never actually step in the ring and try to prove they can fight (because they can't). So they come up with a brilliant line: "what we teach is too deadly for the ring." - This continues to lure in some unsuspecting students, but more and more people are leaving these traditional schools to go study at schools run by champions and students of champions who have actually proven that they know how to defend themselves and who don't say "oh yeah I'm super deadly and can shoot fireballs. You better believe me. I'm super deadly." - Occasionally, a match gets set up between one of these "super deadly no-hit knock out" guys and a real fighter (there are clips on youtube I can link if you want, some are hilarious, some are sad because you feel so bad for the charlatan... in some cases I think they were so brainwashed that they actually believed they could knock out an opponent without touching them), and the actual fighters always win decisively. - Also occasionally, fights get arranged between super deadly fireball shooting ninjas and real fighters, but the super deadly fireball shooting ninjas come up with some excuse, or back out, as to why they can't actually fight. - In 2008 it is pretty widespread knowledge about what works in combat and what doesn't. Why? Because people representing fighting styles that actually work who know what is up have put their money where their mouth is, and win every time. Even if you're totally unfamiliar with martial arts, a bit of research on the internet and you can find out what is up. It's pretty unanimous: if you want to learn how to fight, you study Boxing and/or Muay Thai and/or Brazilian Jujitsu. If you want to learn pretty moves but get your ass kicked in a fight, you learn just about anything else. This is (almost 100%) fact. There are 1000s of documented videos in public arenas showing this. People from these styles put their money where their mouth is every single time, and win every single time. Fireball shooting ninjas do not, and if they do, they make up excuses why they lost. - Today, if someone wants to learn how to fight and how to defend themselves in realistic situations, they go find a school run by someone with a history of winning actual fights. They train realistically against resisting opponents who are trying to hit them back. I have personally seen people training for 2 months at a school like this repeatedly beat blackbelts/black sashes in karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, aikido, etc. with 10+ years of training over and over again. - Good instructors spar with their students. Why? Because 99% of the time they will win anyway, and if not, they don't make bullshit excuses. The realize even the best lose some days and they don't care because they have the UFC record to prove that they are good (remember, the fake teachers never spar with their students because they are fat and out of shape and can't actually fight and can't actually shoot fireballs, but they have to maintain and air of mysticism with their students or they will lose their guru status and their income). So how is this related to trading? There's so much bullshit out there that doesn't work coughwoodiesCCIcough: ) yet they keep bringing in more and more students who lose money (get their asses kicked) yet who honestly thought they were learning something effective. There are tons of people on this site who think they are gurus (invincible fireball shooting ninjas) but won't post a PnL statement (won't step in the ring to prove what they know). Back in the day there were billions of instructional martial arts videos from every fireball shooting ninja style out there. Now there are almost none, because no one is interested in shit that doesn't work. Look at how many trading systems are for sale out there. None of them work. Yet people don't realize this yet. The other thing I forgot to mention was, invincible fireball shooting ninjas loved answering questions with fortune cookie sounding bullshit. Why? Because a) it helped them sound even more like mythical legendary gurus, and b) they really didn't know the answer. Look at how much that happens here (or any trading forum). "Do what the price tells you to do." Uh, thanks. Good martial arts schools produce champions who can fight. Good instructors have real experience from having been there. They don't fuck around brainwashing their students into being knocked out without even being touched. Good traders produce PnL sheets before they start charging students and giving advice, and anytime during the instruction, as well. Good martial arts instructors have no problem at any time reminding their students that they are a good teacher. They are 100% real and have no issues with it because it's true. Fake ninjas get pissed if you question their credibility because they have none. Shitty trading gurus get pissed if you question their credibility because they have none. A fake ninja showing his student a 15-hit counter to a shitty punch that is left with the arm extended is the same as showing someone how to trade in the middle of a chart. Real fighters know that you pull your arm back after a punch instantly (because leaving it out there = getting it broken). Real instructors answer their students questions honestly and clearly, and say "does that make sense? Here, let me show you... see? You have to grab the elbow with your outside hand, otherwise you can't apply the choke. Here, you try. make sense now?" Fake ninjas give bullshit fortune cookie advice and get pissed if you question them. Real traders answer clearly and with concrete examples. Fake trading gurus answer with fortune cookie bullshit. If asked "what do I do here?" They might say "do what the chart tells you to do." Thanks, guru! may i have some more kool-aid? Or, they might give you a long answer full of ambiguous babble and big words to try and sound smart. But don't question any of it. They are infallible. And if you don't understand it, the problem obviously lies with you. Just like the student who asks his deadly ninja sensei "can you really knock out an opponent without touching them???