Car-Jitsu: The Contact Sport Practiced in Cars


Combining motored vehicles and jiu-jitsu creates an epically weird contact sport that can only be practiced in cars called ‘car-jitsu.’

Car-jitsu has been gaining traction on Russian social media over the last couple of years. Originally, jiu-jitsu is a family of Japanese martial arts and a system of close combat that can be used in a defensive or offensive manner. By adding a vehicle into the mix, you’re creating a small environment, making it more difficult to subdue an opponent.

The sport was invented by Vikentiy Mikheev, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo black belt and a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He wanted to create a more challenging version of the original Japanese martial arts method.

Everything inside the car can be used to gain an upper hand in the match. These can include the seat belts, steering wheel, mirrors and chairs. Although, just like in regular jiu-jitsu, hitting is not allowed.

The rules of car-jitsu are pretty easy to learn. Both competitors start in the front seats of a car with the goal 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 driver and passenger seat sides. If they are tied after these two rounds the competitors move to the back seat for a four-minute tie-breaking round.

Points are tallied using a specific system. Four points for each mount and back control and two points for the knee-on-belly position. The key to victory in most car-jitsu matches is the creative use of its unusual environment.

“In 2020, I came up with the idea of doing competitive grappling in vehicles. 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,” Mikheev said.

Although the sport seems silly to most, it’s actually a great way to learn how to defend yourself in your car. You never know what could happen and finding creative ways to subdue an assailant in that very small place could come in handy.


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