Podcast: Season Two

Shintaido of America podcast: Season 2

Audiobook performance of

Untying Knots: A Shintaido Chronicle

written by Michael Thompson

And a collection of interviews with long-time Shintaido practitioners

Begin by watching the Season Two Trailer.

Watch/Rewatch the release party for season 2 of the podcast and the presentation of an award to Michael Thompson on February 5, 2023 here.

Episode 1 of season 2 of the Shintaido of America podcast will be published on February 6, 2023. Find the podcast on most of the major podcast applications, our YouTube channel or listen directly from our website here. Links are to be provided in due time.

This Shintaido of America podcast series was produced by a group of volunteers. Technical support funding was generously provided through the Joe Zawielski Memorial Fund and Shintaido of America membership dues.

If you are not already a member, please consider a Shintaido of America membership today, or help support us by making a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) organization.  


Episode 1   :   Episode 2   :   Episode 3   :   Episode 4   :   Episode 5
Episode 6   :   Episode 7   :   Episode 8   :   Episode 9   :   Episode 10
Episode 11   :   Episode 12   :   Episode 13   :   Episode 14

Season Two Trailer


Season Two Trailer:

In Season Two of the podcast, we will read from a book Untying Knots: A Shintaido Chronicle by co-founder of Shintaido of America, Michael Thompson. By reading from this book, we wish to celebrate Michael´s contribution to the Shintaido community and his 85th birthday.

Each month will have a reading from the book and later in the month will be followed by an interview. David Franklin will talk about Shintaido-related topics with various people who are familiar with our practice. Among our guests are visual artists Mario Uribe, rock musician Amanda Palmer and many others.

Top of Page

Episode 1: Untying Knots chapter 1 and an interview with artist Mario Uribe

Section of the Book: Chapter One
Interview with visual artist Mario Uribe

Episode 1:

In the first episode of Season Two, you’ll hear a reading from Untying Knots by master Shintaido instructor Michael Thompson and an interview with artist and Shintaido practitioner Mario Uribe. While Micheal sets the scene for his first encounter with Shintaido in France in the early 1970s, Mario discusses his education as an artist/activist and his interest in tea ceremony – also set in the early 70s.

In the first episode of Season Two, you’ll hear a reading from Untying Knots by
master Shintaido instructor Michael Thompson.

Michael Thompson is one of only four master instructors of Shintaido in the world
today, and significantly, the only master instructor who had no background in
martial arts prior to starting to practice. He studied Shintaido in Japan with the
founder of the discipline, Hiroyuki Aoki, but his story begins in France shortly
before his encounter with this unique movement discipline.

Mario Uribe is an artist who has explored a wide range of media, including
animation, painting, performance art, video, printmaking, drawing, murals,
sculpture, Asian calligraphy, Japanese tea ceremony, illustration, and graphic
design. His paintings, prints, and drawings are in both museums and private
collections, and his mural designs for public spaces have won international

Top of Page

Episode 2: Untying Knots and an interview with orchestral conductor Kent Nagano

Section of the Book: Chapter Two
Interview with orchestral conductor Kent Nagano

Episode 2

Episode Two Season Two includes an interview with renowned conductor Kent Nagano, who discusses the leadership skills needed to conduct an orchestra and their application to other aspects of life. He also describes the time he invited master Shintaido instructor H.F. to lead his orchestra in a Shintaido practice during their rehearsal in the concert hall.

We’ll also hear Chapter Two of Untying Knots: A Shintaido Chronicle, master Shintaido instructor Michael Thompson’s autobiographical essay. In this episode, Michael returns to France with the intention of throwing himself into “…a hedonistic bohemian lifestyle, succumbing to decadence if need be.” His plans are thwarted, however, and he ends up quitting both alcohol and cigarettes – without suffering a religious conversion.

Top of Page

Episode 3: Chapters 3 and 4 of Untying Knots: a Shintaido Chronicle

Section of the Book: chapter 3 and 4

Episode 3:

All of Marc Bassis’ students had been affiliated with the French branch of Shotokai karate and when he left to join Shintaido, they had to make a choice. Most of them were not much interested in artistic or philosophical explorations, so most parted ways with Marc when he decided to follow Aoki. The latter’s creation, Shintaido, no longer looked much like a martial art and featured bizarre and unrecognizable forms that seemed of little practical use. As a result, only a handful of Marc’s students decided to follow him, influenced mostly by his strong and charismatic personality, because they really had no more idea of what Shintaido was about than I did.

Top of Page

Episode 4: Interview with Shintaido instructor and interactive media developer Brad Larson


Episode 4: David Franklin interviews Shintaido instructor and interactive media developer Brad Larson. Brad has worked at the M.I.T. Media Lab as well as the Boston Children’s Museum, and has worked on exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s Zoo and the American Museum of Natural History, among others. You’ll hear about his first impressions of Shintaido practice when he was a graduate student at Harvard’s School of Education, and we talk about how he sees connections between Shintaido, ecstatic dance, haiku poetry, running through the woods carrying a stick, and interactive media design for museums.

Top of Page

Episode 5: Philosophers build edifices they can’t inhabit

Section of the Book: Chapters 5 and 6 of Untying Knots: a Shintaido Chronicle

Episode 5 of Season 2 features Chapters 5 and 6 of Untying Knots: a Shintaido Chronicle, master Shintaido instructor Michael Thompson’s autobiographical essay. In Chapter 5, he describes his first meeting with Hiroyuki Aoki, the founder of this unique movement art, in France – and in Chapter 6, Micheal travels to Japan for the first time.

Top of Page

Episode 6: “His diaphragm became a red-hot glowing vault”

Section of the Book: chapters 7 and 8 of Untying Knots: A Shintaido Chronicle

Episode 6:

In Episode 6 you’ll hear chapters 7 and 8 of Michael Thompson’s autobiography, Untying Knots. In Chapter 7 Michael describes the car accident that dramatically ended his study with his first Shintaido teacher Marc Bassis in France — and in Chapter 8, we’ll hear about the unexpected personality conflicts that occurred when a group of Japanese Shintaidoists visited a Christian commune in Massachusetts on their way to California in the 1970s.

Top of Page

Episode 7: “People in motion – to San Francisco”

Section of the Book: Chapter 9 and chapter 10

Episode 7:

In Chapter 9 of his autobiography Untying Knots, Michael Thompson describes how he first introduced Shintaido in the US at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, but then returned to Japan to deepen his practice. In Chapter 10, Michael and Haruyoshi Ito formally establish Shintaido in California and together begin to confront the challenges posed by profound cultural differences in the context of transmitting somatic teachings.

Top of Page

Episode 8: “David Palmer, the ‘father’ of on-site seated massage”

Interview with David Palmer

Episode 8:

We interview David Palmer, known as “the father of seated massage” and founder of the TouchPro organization. After a stint as director of the Amma Institute, the first school in the U.S.A. devoted to this traditional style of Japanese massage, David started developing techniques for massage with clients seated in a chair rather than lying on a table, as well as inventing the specialized chair that supports the client’s arms and head. Today you can see this type of massage being offered in airports, hair salons, and in offices worldwide. He headed up the team that brought the first on-site massage to Apple Computer in 1983, and around that time he also started studying Shintaido in the Bay Area.

Top of Page

Episode 9: Untying Knots – an American samurai and his French disciples

Section of the Book: Chapters 11 and 12

Episode 9:

Have you ever lost your temper, gone into a rage, and through that discovered something about yourself that might bring you peace? Michael Thompson’s autobiography, Untying Knots, is full of such episodes, rendered with quiet dry wit and honesty. In this episode, Shintaido instructor David Franklin reads Chapters 11 and 12.

Top of Page

Episode 10: Amanda Palmer: former living statue, musician, crowdfunding guru


Episode #10:

Musician Amanda Palmer joins us for Episode 10 of the 2nd season of the podcast. With Brian Viglione she forms one half of the punk cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls, while in her solo career she is not only a songwriter, ukulele enthusiast, feminist, abortion rights activist, TED Talks superstar, and patron saint to every crowdfunded artist; she’s also been a New York Times best-selling author and a busker, earning her keep performing on streets from Boston to Berlin as a living statue called “The Eight-Foot Bride.” We talked about singing and vocalizing and what it can do to our brains, our lives, and our communities.

Top of Page

Episode 11: Untying Knots – Killing Me Softly

Section of the Book: Chapters 13 – 16

Episode 11:

Have you ever been in a safe, but nonetheless terrifying situation, comforting a friend who is even more neurotic and terrified than you are, only to find that by going through this together, you form a lasting bond with each other?

Michael Thompson’s autobiography, Untying Knots, is full of such episodes of existential unfolding, some disturbing, some light-hearted, all rendered with quiet wit and honesty. In this episode, Shintaido instructor David Franklin reads Chapters 13 through 16 (in the original book Section II, chapter 6 and Section III, chapters 1 through 3), entitled “I left My Heart…”, “The Outsiders,” “Killing Me Softly,” and “Trouble in Dodge City,” respectively.

Top of Page

Episode 12: Connie Borden on nursing, Shintaido, and caring for the dying

Interview with Connie Borden

Episode 12:

David interviews Connie Borden, Shintaido instructor and advance practice nurse with 28 years’ experience in hospice and palliative care. Connie has led a Bay Area nonprofit hospice as Executive Director and worked on inpatient services as a Palliative Consultant. She has presented Cycle of Life, the use of movement for life review at the first and second Global Conferences for End of Life Care. She and H.F. Ito presented Shintaido for Caregivers for 10 years at San Francisco and Bay Area hospices.

Top of Page

Episode 13: “ title”

Section of the Book: OR Interview:

Episode #:

Top of Page

Episode 14: “ title”

Section of the Book: OR Interview:

Episode #:

Top of Page