Michael Matsuda is the founder and president of the Martial Arts History Museum located in Burbank, CA. The Museum, which began in 1999, is the world's first Museum dedicated to the history of the arts and the home to the official Hall of Fame for the martial arts community in America.
He was the founder of Martial Art Magazine and promoter of the Southern California Regional Championships. He was a contributing editor to Black Belt and Inside Kung Fu magazine for over 20 years. He is the author of four books including Monkey Kung Fu: History & Tradition, What He Really Thinks, Museum: How it all Began, Museum Hall of Fame 1999 and co-author of two books, Monkey Kung Fu and TKC. He has also produced two dozen instructional DVDs and host of the Martial Arts Today Show. He was also the former co-CEO of Martialinfo.com.
He was selected as one of the Top 100 Producers in America twice and graced the cover of Producer Magazine. He has appeared on the cover of Martial Arts Illustrated, Inside Kung Fu, Martial Art Magazine, Martialinfo Martial Arts Magazine and Action Martial Arts Magazine.
Matsuda has been practicing the martial arts for 45 years and began with judo in 1968 at the Sun Valley Japanese Community Center. He spent a year in jiu jitsu and pursued hung gar kung fu for 10 years, mostly under grandmaster Buck Sam Kong. He took a year of jeet kune do under one of Dan Inosanto's students and full-contact karate with Cecil Peoples.
Matsuda is a grandmaster in the art of Monkey kung fu (also called Tai Shing Pek Kwar) and has studied the art for over 37 years. He is the 6th generation successor of the art and only the second non-Chinese to master the entire artform. He is certified by the U.S. Tai Shing Pek Kwar Association and holds the title of the Association's president. He currently teaches the art in Southern California and is considered the leading authority on Monkey kung fu in America.
He was inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum's Hall of Fame in 2004.
Magazines, DVDs, Books and Movies
| Author of the Book
| Self Published | 1/1900 |
Book / Publications
The History of Monkey Kung Fu
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Michael Matsuda speaks to Mike Chat at the 2016 Martial Arts SuperShow
Michael Matsuda speaks to Master Kelly Seif at the 2016 Martial Arts SuperShow
Michael Matsuda speaks to Chuck Cordova at the 2016 Martial Arts SuperShow
Michael Matsuda speaks to John Hackleman at the 2016 Martial Arts SuperShow
Michael Matsuda acknowledges the volunteers
Michael Matsuda speaks about the Martial Arts Hall of Fame
What is your final outlook for the Museum?
I want to say this. This is the one and only effort there ever will be for a Museum for the martial arts. I can tell you that without reservation. There is so much work involved and so much experience needed, it's just not going to ever happen again. So if you are waiting on the fence to see if we will succeed, now's the time join in. When this generation is gone, and all the magazines have folded, the facebook has evolved into something else, all that wonderful history, all those amazing stories, all those pioneers we looked up to and admired, will be forgotten. Let's not let that happen. The Museum has been designed to last far after I am gone, let's ensure it will continue that way. Be involved! Thank you
What is the best way someone can help the Museum?
This is question I get all the time. So many people tell me they love what I'm doing and they always say, I really support this. And that's great. I love it. People should enjoy it. But I ask for all those to take the next step, become a Museum Member. That's what makes the difference. If you love it, be part of it. This is history right now, in the making. If we all joined together. There are 27,000 known martial arts schools in America. If each one gave just $50, that would make such a huge impact. The martial arts is the only sport in which each person whats the other to be better. It is our goal to help each other become experts, to defend ourselves, to gain confidence in life, to become better individuals. The martial arts is the only sport that does this. So, let's take this opportunity right now and come together as one. In one month, with everyone's support, everything could change. Let's make it happen.
This journey is obviously not been an easy one. How has it impacted you.?
This has not been an easy journey. I have given up so much for this. I have sold my home, left my job and committed to a rocky lifestyle in order to make this a reality. I believe the Museum is a wonderful thing for the martial arts and I am commited to make the museum a place for future generations. This is our 17th year and through that journey, we had many setbacks. We've had city officials make us promises they never kept, people who have pledged funds and never paid. We've had threats, we had doors slammed in our face, we had this one individual make it his effort to prevent the Museum from even happening. I can tell you, its been a very hard journey. But on the other hand, I look at the journey as a positive chapter in my life. It was through the journey that we made so many wonderful friends who have continued to help us along the way. It is the journey that made it all worthwhile and for that, I am truly grateful.
Can you explain what you feel, is the focal point of the Museum
There were many options in which direction we could go for the Museum. Rather than a who's who of the martial arts, rather than another sports museum, my goal was to feature the culture, tradition and history of the martial arts. Where it came from, how it played a key role in many Asian countries, how Kung fu influecned China, how the Samurai was a major part of Japan, how the Filipino's used Kali to fight for its freedom. Then, how each arform made it way to America and became part of Western history. How different forms of martial arts changed our animation, our films and our way of life. It's sad when we have a tour group from a martial arts school and they don't even know what country their art came from. So I believe, focusing on culture, art, tradition is very important for all of us.
What do you feel inspired you to take such a bold step and create a Museum?
Everything starts with one individual. They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. People say, can one person change the entire world, yes, yes they can. Is the Museum is monumental task, yes it is. In the 150 plus years the martial arts has been in America, this is the real, first, all encompassing established Martial Arts Museum. This is a place where people come from all over the world to visit. Why, because its about our history, where we came from, what we and all those before us, did to impact history. I wrote for many years for Black Belt, Inside Kung Fu magazine. I've written many books, but by the next month, that piece of history is gone. What better way to preserve our history than a Museum. A museum brings validity, a museum reconnects with history, a museum keeps the accomnplishments and the sacrifices of so many people, to never be forgotten and to be appreciated. That is my inspiration.
Giving back to Martial Arts by supporting the Martial Arts Museum
A lot of people believe that those who have made it, those who are financially well off as a direct result of the martial arts should be contributing. And this I agree. But let me point out, the Museum was made completely by the martial arts community. It is made up of those that bought tickets to a Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan movies, it those who paid good money to Dana White and the UFC to watch the fights. The Museum was paid for by regular martial artists who buy uniforms from these big companies. Would it be nice if some of those gave back to the community that supported them? Yes, that would be fantastic. But until that happens, it is up to us. For the past 17 years, and it's been 17 years, we, the martial art community, you and I have created the Museum. It's not about me, it's about preserving our history. It is these people that keep giving back.
Martial Arts Museum making an impact on the martial arts community
Even though the martial arts had been here in the West for well over 50 years, it wasn't until the movies that brought real awareness to the arts. And it has through those films that Americans started enrolling in martial arts schools. The Museum is a place where the martial arts is celebrated everyday. The Museum brings a validity to the martial arts. It shows to the world that martial arts is part of all our history. The Museum opens new doors to Sponsors, to non-martial artists, to history, to products and it encourages people to study the martial arts. It is a place where we show movie premieres, special events and days in which we honor our pioneers. Can a Museum change our future? Yes, we are doing that now and with continued cooperation, we will have an even bigger impact in the extreme near future.
Michael Matsuda talks about Pete Cunningham Personal Life
Michael Matsuda talks about Pete Cunningham's Biography
Michael Matsuda welcomes everyone to Pete Cunningham Day
Michael Matsuda introduces Master Jun Chong at the Martial Arts History Museum
Master Steve Sexton is presented with the - Steve Sexton Day - certificate from Michael Matsuda
Master Steve Sexton is presented with the "Steve Sexton Day" certificate from Michael Matsuda, president of the Martial Arts Museum on Saturday, Jan 12 2013
Solomon Kaihewalu talks about Hawaiian Weapons Part 1 of 2
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