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Changing Someone's World

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Museum President Michael Matsuda

(NewMediaWire) - September 02, 2023 - Burbank, CA – The Martial Arts History Museum is not large, in fact, it's just under 2,000 square feet. It doesn’t bring in the millions of dollars the Natural History Museum, the Japanese American Museum, or the Autry Museum enjoy every month. It doesn’t bring in the thousands of school children every year and the museum doesn’t earn enough funds to qualify for large grants. However, what they do best is make a difference in a young, challenged adult's life.

Each week, without any charge whatsoever, groups of young adults who are mentally challenged make a trip to the museum and for 1 hour, they are excited about everything they see and leave with a little reminder of their visit. Field trips for these young adults are something they look forward to, even if they have visited the museum before.

“First of all, it is our honor to do what we can to make a difference. It may not make a difference to you or me, but to them, it makes a huge difference, I think it makes an impact on their lives,” says museum President Michael Matsuda. “These centers don’t always have the funds for the parking and the bus trip and the cost of visiting the larger locations and I feel that if we have, we should give back. I always hear people say that but rarely do they mean it.”

The museum, now in its 24th year, is the only museum of its kind in the world. Its goal is to celebrate Asian art, history, culture, and tradition and how it connects with the martial arts. It was created to keep history alive by opening new doors to different cultures.

“I designed the museum so that young people could learn just enough to explore on their own. We don’t overwhelm them with tons of paragraphs, but just enough to encourage them. I remember attending a local museum and there was so much to read, I didn’t read a thing. I grew up in a family with those who were mentally challenged so I considered that in the design of the museum. Our colors are pleasing, our type sizes are just the right size, and our layout is flowing and not confusing. These are things that must be considered so that hopefully everyone can enjoy their experience. I wish we had the funds to do more,” says Matsuda.

The museum is reaching out to those who enjoy museums, those who feel it's important to make a difference in a challenged individual's life, those who have benefited from the martial arts, or those who truly want to give back, to make a tax-deductible donation to the museum.

“I understand we could make the extra funds by charging all those groups, but that’s not the point. If we are here to make a difference, then let’s make a difference. No one has accepted a salary for the last 24 years, it would be nice, but our group of volunteers have continued to give of themselves for a great cause such as the museum. Let’s come on board and make an impact on someone’s life,” concludes Matsuda.

The Martial Arts History Museum is located at 2319 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506. The website is or call (818) 355-1109 or click here: