Michael Thompson

CONTACT: michael@shintaido.org

Michael was born in 1938. He received a B.A. from Hamilton College in 1960, an M.A. from Middlebury College in 1963, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 1969, specializing in French literature.

He taught high school French (and German!) for three years before becoming Assistant Professor of French at Hobart College from 1969-71.

While in France in the fall of 1971, he began his study of Shintaido with Marc Bassis, a student of Aoki-sensei and Egami-sensei. He first met Aoki-sensei in France and then, a year later, went to Japan to study with him and the Rakutenkai group.

After two years in France, he returned to the U.S. and started to teach Shintaido at Hobart College where he stayed for two years. He then joined with H.F Ito in San Francisco where they established the first national Shintaido organization, then known as Rakuntenkai-Shintaido of California.

He went to Japan to study and teach Shintaido in 1978 and stayed for two years.

In 1981, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he started a group comprised of some Harvard students and others, including Bill Burtis who had begun to practice in Geneva. There was also a group practicing in Worcester, Mass. with Tom Abbott, and most of them would come to Cambridge for a weekly joint keiko. He remained in Cambridge and taught under the auspices of SNE (Shintaido of New England, later Northeast) for around 20 years. Several of his students have gone on to become instructors and to form their own groups.

In 1988, he was appointed Head Instructor of Shintaido in America by Aoki-sensei and remained in that role for four years.

He became a Shintaido Master Instructor in 2004 and, at present, is the only non-Japanese to hold that rank.

Michael is the author of “UNTYING KNOTS: A SHINTAIDO CHRONICLE” available in the store.