Mu husband offered me this book. There is a wide spread belief that traders and warriors ( or samurais or martial arts experts) have something in common. I received last year as a Xmas present some dvds ( by Clifford Bennett I think – not sure) where he displayed his skills to show how much discipline and self control are neccessary ( by actually cutting a fruit on his son’s throat with an extremely sharp Samurai sword). The aim was to show that fear has to be conquered, that practice was paramount and that execution had to be precise and flawless. I was not impressed. I still don’t understand why you should risk cutting your son’s throat to show how tough you are. At the end of the day, he would be the one who’d pay the price. Where is the metaphor for the trader’s responsability in all this?
Anyway, back to The five Rings. Written in 1643 it is still in use today for its potent metaphors. I enjoyed certain passages, such as: “The large scale is easy to see; the small scale is hard to see. To be specific, it is impossible to reverse the direction of a large group of people all at once, while the small scale is hard to know because in the case of an individual there is just one will involved and changes can be made quickly. This should be given careful consideration.” Anyone who has been against the trend knows what this means. Also any trader who’s misinterpreted a big market mover’s move gets it. Or : ” ” If you do not pursue a genuine path to its consummation, then a little bit of crookedness in the mind will later turn into a major warp.” Stick to the strategy? Rings a bell?
The main rules are the following:
1.Think of what is right and true.
2. Practice and cultivate the science.
3. Become acquainted with the arts.
4. Know the principles of the crafts.
5. Understand the harm and benefits in everything.
6. Learn to see everything accurately.
7. Become aware of what is not obvious.
8. Be careful even in small matters.
9. Do not do anything useless.
Isn’t this just a perfect way to display the cardinal rules in trading? any points forgotten and you’re dead meat. A last one for the road: ” ” If you think of catching, think of hitting, think of blocking, think of tying up, ot think of obstructing, you will thereby become unable to make the kill. It is crucial to think of everything as an opportunity to kill.” Do you remember Nike’s motto : ” Just do it” ? Now you can add the final touch, the one that has been written more than 350 years ago: focus.

Now, if you were to read this book and is able to explain – making sense- how to apply ” The body of the short-armed monkey” or ” The sticky body” to something else than street combat, please let me know, I shall be interested.

I have high hopes that somebody will buy me as a Xmas present ” the art of War”, if possible in French. I promise to make the review of it…

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