Car-jitsu – The Goofy Contact Sport Only Practiced in Cars

In case the name ‘car-jitsu’ wasn’t clear enough, this new contact sport that’s getting a lot of attention on Russian social media is basically jiu-jitsu in a car.

If you were to make a list of the most awkward places to grapple and wrestle in, the car would probably rank pretty high, and that’s precisely what makes car-jitsu so intriguing. Invented a couple of years ago by Vikentiy Mikheev, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo black belt and a professional mixed martial arts fighter, car-jitsu challenges practitioners to subdue their opponent in the small confines of a car. Everything inside the car – including the seat belts, steering wheel, mirrors and chairs – can be used to gain an upper hand in the match, but, just like in regular jiu-jitsu, hittinh is not allowed.

The rules of car-jitsu are pretty straightforward. Both competitors start in the front seats of a car, and, just like in jiu-jitsuu, the goal is to submit the opponent or gain an advantageous position and score more points. A match consists of two rounds of three minutes each, where competitors switch the drivers and passenger seat sides. If they are tied after these two rounds the competitors move to the back seat for a deciding four minute round.


The points system for car-jitsu is as follows: four points for each mount and back control, and two points for the knee-on-belly position. Apparently, the key to victory in most car-jitsu matches is the creative use of this unusual environment.


“In 2020, I came up with the idea of doing competitive grappling in vehicles,” Vikentiy Mikheev told Grappling Insider.  “Since October of 2020, my friends and I have been running small tournaments of car-jitsu to study the aspects of jiu-jitsu application in such a confined space.”


Although the premise of car-jitsu sounds silly, some say that it could have some real-world applications. Who knows when you might need to defend yourself in your car? Maybe finding creative ways to subdue an assailant in that very small place could come in handy.


For now, car-jitsu has yet to transcend Russian borders, but it’s popularity is growing there, so we might see it adopted somewhere else in the near future.