Jiu Jitsu

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About us

We are one of the leading Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools in the Plymouth area, we became affiliated with Checkmat in 2018.

Checkmat is one of the leading, recognisable Brazilian Jiu-jitsu teams, with affiliates worldwide. The affiliation was started by Leo Vieira in 2008 and we are now proud to be part of this BJJ family. Our black belt instructor is Marco Canha (head of Fight Zone London) who is under 9 x world champion Ricardo Vieira.

Lead instructor Ian Harrop trains up in London regularly with Marco, where other members are welcome too. Marco is also invited down for seminars.

Ian Harrop

Ian Harrop has been training and competing in various martial arts from a young age before discovering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2007 and falling in love with the sport.  From here on he brought all his focus on to this new passion, travelling the world competing and training, relentlessly pursuing new ideas and excellence and learning from some of the greatest names in BJJ.

Ian is one of the lead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt instructors at Ocean BJJ, earning his black belt under Marco Canha (Head of Fight Zone London). Ian has vast experience in coaching BJJ to adults, juniors and kids, initially working as a coach across various clubs and schools before deciding to further develop his athlete-focused approach through opening his own BJJ school which we now know as Ocean BJJ.

Ian has also worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Plymouth Performance Gym whilst studying for his BSc in Strength Conditioning & Sports Coaching, thus giving him a wider coaching experience along with a broad set of tools that are incredibly useful for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


  • Awarded Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in June 2019
  • BSc Strength Conditioning and Sports Coaching
  • Plymouth BJJ Open Purple Silver Medallist
  • Bristol BJJ Open Blue Belt Bronze Medallist
Ian Harrop
Amy Winterson

Amy Winterson

Amy Winterson has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since November 2009 and has been coaching since she opened her own BJJ school in 2016 alongside Ian Harrop. Amy often travels both nationally and internationally for competitions, seminars and training camps, continuously looking to develop her understanding and skill-set through training with the very best in the world. After receiving her black belt from Marco Canha (Head of Fight Zone London) in 2019, she became one of the lead black belt instructors at Ocean BJJ. As well as heading up the coaching at Ocean BJJ, Amy organises and runs events to help women get into BJJ, seeking to make it less intimidating whilst encouraging broader participation in a sport she loves. 

Amy has also been training ‘Yoga for BJJ’ since 2017, completing a course specifically designed to give her the skillset required for teaching yoga to BJJ practitioners. Amy is the lead ‘Yoga for BJJ’ instructor within the club, running classes to help keep everyone mobile and healthy.


  • Awarded Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in June 2019
  • IBJJF European, White Belt Gold Medallist (2011)
  • Bristol open, Blue Belt Bronze Medallist (2011)
  • IBJJF European Blue Belt Silver Medallist (2012)
  • Bournemouth, Blue Belt Gold Medallist (2012)
  • Hereford Open, Blue Belt Gold Medallist (2012)
  • Plymouth Open, Purple Belt Silver Medallist (2015)
  • Plymouth Open No Gi, Purple Belt Silver Medallist (2015)

Ricky Bellingham

Ricky Bellingham is one of the main instructors here at Ocean BJJ. He is a keen and accomplished competitor representing both The Checkmat Team and the British Army Team. Ricky started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu here at Checkmat Plymouth with Ian & Amy back in 2016 and his passion and drive inevitably lead to him joining the coaching team in 2019.

As a former PT in the Army he brings a great experience of coaching along with a disciplined approach to strength and conditioning. Ricky still has an active role within the Army, leading training sessions and competition camps.  At Ocean BJJ Ricky tends to lead the early morning sessions and has the responsibility of teaching our youngest members; instilling discipline and positive behaviours that will benefit them for the rest of their lives both in and out of martial arts. 

Ricky received his black belt from Ian Harrop & Amy Winterson in 2023. 

  • IBJJF Europeans, White Belt Silver Medallist
  • Bristol Open, Blue Belt Double Gold Medallist
  • Abu Dhabi Worlds Masters 2, Purple Belt Gold Medallist
Ricky Bellingham
Nathan Haynes

Nathan Haynes

Nathan Haynes joined Ocean BJJ in 2018 bringing with him a broad background from various other martial arts.  He clearly relished competition, achieving great success in 2019. Following this competition success Nathan began to focus more on teaching and personal development. After being promoted to purple belt in 2021 Nathan continued to progress his coaching journey, initially teaching classes here at Ocean BJJ before opening his own BJJ school (Launceston BJJ) closer to his home. In a short period of time Nathan’s club has grown phenomenally, a success driven by the inspirational and inclusive coaching ethos he developed at Ocean BJJ. Now a brown belt Nathan continues to advance techniques and grow his team. 

  • Devon Open NoGi, White Belt Gold Medallist
  • Devon Open, White Belt Bronze Medallist

Andy Harris

Andy Harris started his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2017 and soon fell in love with the sport, performing brilliantly in many competitions both nationally and internationally. Andy couples his great depth of coaching experience from previously running his own fitness coaching business (IFT)with an incredible passion for the sport of BJJ. This drive and determination along with a genuine care for his students, Andy is a highly valued member of the coaching team. 


  • Devon Open, White Belt Double Gold Medallist
  • Newquay Open, White Belt NoGi Gold Medallist
  • Bournemouth Open, White Belt Gold Medallist
  • Devon Open, Blue Belt 4 x Gold & 3 x Silver Medallist
  • London Open, Blue Belt Gold Medallist
  • Welsh NoGi Open, Blue Belt Silver Medallist
  • Bristol Open, Blue Belt Gold Medallist
  • Midlands Open, Blue Belt Double Gold Medallist
  • Welsh Pro Open Purple Belt Double Gold Medallist
Andy Harris

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