Beginning in 1999, the Martial Arts History Museum has continued to move forward as it celebrated it’s one-year building anniversary in their new Burbank location. Relocating from the city of Santa Clarita in 2008, the Museum had searched every city in an effort to find a more permanent location and a city council that was willing to work with us. “I was very impressed upon the way the Burbank city council welcomed us and the local film studios embraced our concept,” notes Museum founder and president, Michael Matsuda. “This is a wonderful community and I’m so proud to be part of it. In addition, our visitation has changed dramatically. Because we are so near to the airport, we bring in visitors from China, Russia, Italy, Korea, the Philippines and nationally from New York, Florida, Ohio, Idaho, Arizona and more.
A non-profit organization, the Museum is designed as an educational, cultural and artistic experience in which visitors and young people can learn about each of the different Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, etc.) and how martial arts played a significant role in their culture, history and traditions. The Museum is something the whole family can enjoy from traditional Japanese Samurai, Theodore Roosevelt studying judo, Chinese lions, our step into the Olympics to such items as the Karate Kid headband, Mortal Kombat shield, etc.
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The Museum is not designed as a “kick and punch or a who’s who” facility, it is a timeline of how Asian history became part of American history. It is developing a better understanding of diverse cultures and a wonderful outreach for the community. In addition to focusing upon the different countries, the Museum also includes a section on the media arts: films, television and print. “The studios have been great with bringing over pros. This includes a dragon from Cold Case, the actual headband worn by Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid all the way to animation such as Hong Kong Phooey and Kung Fu Panda.
Designed by artists from Disney, the Simpsons and more, the Museum also features the artistry, paintings and musical instruments as well as theatrical displays from Bunraku, Chinese opera and Philippine bamboo dancing. “The San Fernando Valley has very limited cultural facilities and having a Museum that is close by is a great experience for our schools, homeschools and more.”
The Museum also hosts a variety of unique events and seminars every other weekend. From special screenings, Samurai history, language workshops, sushi seminars, animation drawings, craft displays, martial art demonstrations to sword cutting performances, makes the facility a place to visit frequently. “We have great seminars because so many kind people want to give back to the arts that have helped them succeed in life and they are so wonderful to donate their time and effort,” concludes Matsuda.
The Museum is located at 2319 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA (cross street Buena Vista). Cost is only $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-15 years old. It is open from Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm. It is a 501(c)(3) organization so donations and support are tax-deductible and encouraged. Group rates and special tours are also available upon request. Memberships are also available from their website at www.MAmuseum.com or calling (818) 478-1722.
Martial Arts History Museum, Martial Arts Museum and Martial Arts History are registered trademarks of the Martial Arts History Museum.
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