Carrying on from the previous post, his article on The Martial Art is an interesting read:
When you are taking this look consider simple things, like "could I really throw a roundhouse kick anywhere in this place"; "will going to the ground only expose me to every pointy or steel toed boot in the room, while making extricating myself from this mess impossible"; "Is it more likely any of the stuff around me can trip me or my opponent better than either of us could trip or throw each other in the dojo? What you will start to see is that no matter what your skills, half or more of them are useless or a detriment already. You will see that your environment can do-you-in likely far quicker than your opponent. Throw a crowd in an area that is already an obstacle course who become "hostile obstacles" if excited and now you likely just can't
imagine what to do. Cops hate this sort of situation, but police have something of a solution. They can order up more police, which is a luxury you likely don't have.
When martial arts schools start training in areas set up more like restaurants, crowded parties with furniture and sporting events, then the art is alot more complete. This is a whole lot more than just "keeping up your SA" (situational awareness). It is learning to use a situation to your advantage with what you have and wherever you happen to be, in fast and fluent detail. If that isn't "art" in every sense of the word, then what is?
Understanding the enviroment and how to use to your advantage what it contains is at least as useful a tool as decent oil paint, a fine leica camera or a good right hook. Without developing the understanding of where you are and what to do with where you are, no art of any kind is possible.