It would be great if you had access to world-class coaches and training partners.
Most people don’t.
If that’s the case for you, does that mean you will never become a great BJJ player?
I bet it will be much easier if you can train with an already well-established team, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, especially in lower belt divisions.
You’d need to make huge efforts, use every resource you can, and have a handful of training partners who are just as keen as you are on becoming better, though.
That’s how I felt after watching the Daisy Fresh documentary series.
The Pedigo Submission Fighting team aka Daisy Fresh now has well-accomplished grapplers, but it wasn’t the case initially. And even with more relatively recent videos, it’s not like they have tons of regular black belts on the mat (or so it seems anyway). But their competitors train hard and they are helping each other become better by trying to destroy each other.
This reminds me of PSLPB in São Paulo, Brazil. They have produced multiple world champions and top level competitors, especially in lighter weight divisions. But it’s not like they had a big team in the beginning, either. The founder of the team Cicero Costha was a bronze medalist at the Worlds once, but if I’m not mistaken, PSLPB wasn’t a major force until Leandro Lo as well as the Miyao brothers started tearing up the competition scene. Their success attracted all sorts of talent from all over Brazil, and PSLPB became what it is today.
And the thing is, their success is exactly built on hard work. Who would have thought, but putting together a group of crazy jiu jitsu people and letting them train hard together is a secret to creating a world-class competition team.
And most people are simply not crazy enough to train like they do. Which is not a bad thing, of course… as I mention from time to time, there are different ways of enjoying BJJ. But if you ever claim you want to be the best, you better train like the best.
Anyway, my point is that you could become highly skilled, at least to some extent, by training with a few ridiculously competitive training partners (I must say finding such people can be the most difficult part, though). It’s not going to happen over night, but I believe it’s possible.
So… if you have limited access to high-level practitioners around you and still want to become excellent at BJJ, you know what to do. One way to go about it is to train like a maniac. Hopefully with a few other people like you.