Don't confuse Muay Thai, the Thai kickboxing discipline, with muy Thai, which is Spanish for very Thai. Such cross-cultural hybridization, however, is what you're likely to find at the Yard Muay Thai, a spacious, inviting martial arts emporium offering highly accomplished fighters/teachers, a family environment and open scheduling where instruction takes place anytime enrolled students drop by. Airplane hangar–like doors let in light and air, and an enormous, blue-matted floor allows for plenty of workout space as well as a tidy roped-in ring. “We don't separate people by experience,” says Lee Garcia, a head trainer along with Joe Schilling and Mark Komuro. The more experienced work with the less experienced — unless a bout is coming up. Garcia says 80 percent of students aren't hoping to fight competitively, one reason they try to keep it light. —Adam Gropman

241 W. Avenue 26, Lincoln Heights, 90031. (213) 706-6827,

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