Skip to main content

Car competitions are nothing new. From racing to see who can create the best project car, people have used automobiles as a source of competition. But every once in a while, a weird car competitive sport rises in popularity. First, there was drifting; now, there’s Car-Jitsu.

What is Car-Jitsu?

Car Jitsu is the latest automotive craze to come out of Russia. It combines the grappling sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – also known as “the gentle art” — with the confined space of a car. Before a match, two contestants sit in each front seat with the seatbelts on. When the referee calls to start the match, the two competitors unbuckle and go after each other.

According to Grappler Insider, “A match has two periods of three minutes each, where the competitor switch the driver’s and passenger seat sides; and the points are awarded for gaining an advantageous position and for a submission.”

If you’re familiar with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you’ll know that a significant amount of skill and technique is needed to win a match in most cases. The ample amount of mat space and gravity are factors during a grappling match as contestants grab, push, and pull each other to dominate and achieve a submission.

However, in Car-Jitsu, the tight spaces of the car make the match much harder. The competitor’s techniques are out the window (pun intended) and replaced with pushing the opponent into the cramped crevices of the car or even choking them with a seatbelt. Although, in a few of the matches we watched, there were a few legit submissions.

Who invented Car-Jitsu?

Two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners have a match on a mat.
Two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners have a match. | Getty Images

Black Belt Magazine states, “This not-so-gentle art in a car was created in Russia by Vik Mikheev.” Of course, you may be wondering what kind of person would come up with a sport like this, and if you guessed a martial arts master, you would be right. Mikheev has a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s also an MMA fighter and has a Ph.D. in Math.

We’re sure the mathematics part comes into play somehow, but we digress. Mikheev’s idea for Car-Jitsu came about during the early months of the pandemic when the world was on lockdown. His original idea was to create an enclosed setting where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners could train.

Ironically, training Jiu-Jitsu in a car is not only a unique way to be socially distanced, but it’s also beneficial in real-world applications. By learning how to do Jiu-Jitsu in a car, a practitioner will get comfortable defending themselves in a car-jacking situation.

Why is Car-Jitsu so popular?

Two Car-Jitsu competitors are waiting for the fight to start.
Two Car-Jitsu competitors waiting for the fight to start. | YouTube

Car-Jitsu hasn’t exactly taken off to become a household name yet. But considering Miheev’s YouTube channel is growing, we’re sure that more spectators will catch on more within the next year. Also, there have been plenty of clips circulating the social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, so we don’t doubt that it will gain more popularity in the future.

Who wouldn’t want to watch two people duke it out in a car? Technically, it’s probably the most fun that two people have had in a car since drive-in movies were popular. However, it is just a little more painful.


Want to Try Drifting? Try the New Mustang’s Electronic Drift Brake