Ah man, I always feel like this is a trick question, but I’ll try my best to answer it.
In my opinion, a student needs an official instructor in a traditional martial arts setting to learn techniques properly, same with the philosophy. But that’s just me, I’m a person that likes organization and structure and believes it is the right path on becoming the best martial artist one can be. But I do not believe that a belt or a rank makes one better at all. You don’t need a belt rank system to be a part of martial arts necessarily, I find it as a nice way to keep track of progress (plus getting promoted is really exciting).
Now in movies we’re often shown students learning unofficial instruction with no belts and they become skilled in that way, or are self taught (examples: The Karate Kid and Chocolate). I’m not saying that instruction outside of a studio won’t work, because I’m sure it’s helpful for a lot of people. One on one teaching can be the best way of learning for some, same with being self taught by observation. Being formerly trained doesn’t automatically make a person a better martial artist or fighter.
So to answer the question, I personally believe being traditionally trained is the better way to go when it comes to experience, but everyone’s different. As cheesy as it may sound, belts are not what’s important, it’s training and hard work (also thoroughly learning the techniques). I hope this kind of answers your question, sorry I went off on kind of a tangent lol.