Martial Arts Museum wins Daily News Award

BURBANK, CA – The Martial Arts History Museum was honored this month to receive the Los Angeles Daily News “Readers Favorite Choice” award for museums in the Los Angeles area. The Martial Arts Museum relocated from the city of Santa Clarita to the city of Burbank just over two years ago.


Founded by California native, Michael Matsuda, the museum was founded in 1999 and traveled across the country as a touring exhibit. Matsuda points out that the museum is not a structure about sports, nor is it a who’s who of the martial arts, rather, it is a cultural facility revealing how Asian history became part of American history through the martial arts.


From Japanese samurai, Chinese dragons, Hawaiian shark-teeth weapons to Filipino stick dancing, the museum focuses on the impact the martial arts has played in each Asian culture, tradition and history.


“Few people realize how kung fu helped shape China, how the samurai became the ruling power of the Japanese empire,” notes Matsuda. “The museum is timeline of Asian history becoming a vital part of American culture. From the impact of martial arts in films, animation and more, Asian traditions are an important part of the martial arts.”


It is noted that there are over 13,000 martial arts in California and 9,000 of those are in the Southern California area. In the city of Pasadena, there are 27 martial arts schools and only three McDonalds.


Through martial arts in the movies, the influence of the UFC and the evolution of the soccer mom’s to karate mom’s, the martial arts continues to grow into a thriving industry with the Martial Arts History Museum as its central point for history and resource.


In addition to its artifacts, the museum hosts a variety of seminars including sushi seminars, Chinese Lion dancing, Asian cultural performances, samurai sword cutting, history courses, animation events and special exhibits. “The museum is a good way to bring the community together. It is through this awareness that we can break down racism and prejudice by allowing ourselves to understand each other better,” adds Matsuda.


The Martial Arts History Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is open for donations and grants. Museum hours are from Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm. For more info, visit

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