What's the market doing today?
If you know the answer to that question, then you "trade the trend" and increase your probabilities for success. That's common sense. With Ichimoku, we go further than this. We add multiple layers of probabilities.
Most traders in the U.S. have never heard of Ichimoku. Let me tell you a little about it. Roughly translated, Ichimoku is Japanese for "man standing on mountain top". The idea is that when we are standing on a mountain top, we are able to see things more clearly. Our perspective of time and history are enlarged. Since we see more, then we can also make better decisions.
I discovered it by accident in 2009 and I started applying it to my trading. Rather than merely looking at past data (as is the case with most "western" indicators), Ichimoku looks at past data as well as future projections of Support and Resistance. Knowing the past and peering into the future, we are able to make smarter trading decisions with higher probabilities for success.
Here's an example of an Ichimoku chart. The following chart is a 30-minute chart of the S&P-500:
The above chart tells a big story...if you know how to interpret it. I learned most of it by the "seat of my pants" because there was very little written in English about it at that time. But I've been actively studying the Ichimoku charts since 2009 and this suite of indicators has helped me in trading stocks, options, and currencies.
I also utilize "western" indicators. These are the more common indicators that traders utilize in the U.S. For my research and trading, I combine both forms of analysis (Eastern and Western) and distill it into various heat maps of the market. These heat maps enable me to see, at a glance, the stocks that are the highest probability trending stocks at this time. Hours of research are culled into several "heat maps" each day. The best trending stocks (bulls and bears) can be viewed at a glance, saving the trader a ton of time and money. Let me put it this way... if you had a list of 10 stocks each day that were showing strong trends at this time, stocks that were beating out the rest of the market by a landslide, do you think you could make a profit in your trading?
One of the problems that many traders have is their lack of objectivity. Traders tend to attach themselves and their hopeful profit on things unrelated to probabilities and technical analysis. The result is mediocre results...at best. Just because we "like" a certain company has nothing to do with whether this is a good stock to buy right now. The heat maps are a great way to objectively bring the best of the best to our immediate attention.
One of my uses for the Ichimoku suite of indicators is using those indicators to see longer term trends in the market. If you are using TC2000, the chart service I recommend, then you can build Heat Maps for currencies, stocks and ETFs.