4 min read
What is Car-Jitsu and Where Did it Come From?
4 min read
See what all the craze is about and find out of you would even like to give Car-Jitsu a shot
Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Photo by: Vik Mikheev
Advisory: Some Strong language in videos… discretion advised
“Car-Jitsu.” What a crazy and exciting concept that’s gaining popularity among fans in Russia and the U.S. YouTube views continue to climb with this crazy or innovative adaption of Jiu-Jitsu, depending on you see it, with some new brutal chokes and submissions at the ready. For example, a seatbelt choke with an actual seatbelt.
This new Jiu-Jitsu competition seems to resemble more of a car-jacking/street fight concept than a typical BJJ match. But all things considered, it is entertaining, at least at first, to see all the creativity at work and the new ways you can dominate your opponent’s… seatbelts, the steering wheel, window seal, etc.
How Car-Jitsu was invented
So how was this idea dreamed up? This not so gentle art in a car was created in Russia by Vik Mikheev. His YouTube channel has about 80 videos and millions of total views. Mikheev is a black belt in judo and BJJ, an MMA fighter, and even holds a Ph.D. in Math.
His vision for this new type of competition is to develop jiu-jitsu for smaller spaces, and I imagine growing it to a major international tournament venue too.
From the creator of Car-Jitsu himself: “In 2020, I came up with the idea of doing competitive grappling in vehicles. Since October of 2020, I and my friends run small tournaments of Car Jitsu to study the aspects of jiu-jitsu application in such a confined space.”
This said, defending yourself in a car with BJJ was already something the Gracies thought of and had researched before Car-Jitsu went mainstream.
Rener and Eve Gracie actually go over a very comprehensive set of scenarios for defending yourself again car abductions in the video below:
Their video seems to cover most everything… from being abducted by multiple people in the back seat to an aggressor in the front seat with just the driver inside trying to survive. They even get very detailed with arms behind the back, numerous seatbelt chokes, and most of these techniques are practical for real-life application.
Their approach looks effective and utilizes several of the car’s interior features… most notably the seatbelt… a brutally excellent tool. Also, please make sure you’re not practicing these moves while driving, as per their instructions. You’re not on the Jackass set; use common scene, please.
The rules of Car-Jitsu
By now, your curiosity is probably peaked as mine was. You may even be thinking of how to try it out yourself. But is there a method to the madness or even any rules? As it turns out, there are. The rules are simple, the Russian way.
Both competitors start in the front seats with seatbelts fastened. Generally, a match has two main periods of 3 minutes each. After each period or round, competitors then switch the drivers and passenger seat sides.
The goal, just like nearly every BJJ match, is to submit your opponent. However, competitors can also gain points for achieving advantageous positions while frolicking around in the seats. Now, if the score is equal, the competitors then move to the back seats for a final 4-minute round, where points also come into play.
Point system in Car-Jitsu
The point system is straightforward, with 4 points for each mount and back control and 2 points for knee on belly. As mentioned before, seat belts are considered a legal tool and are used to gain submissions or stabilize positions, adding a new meaning to a seatbelt choke.
The key to winning in Car-Jitsu
According to Mikheev, “creative use of the environment” is the key to winning. And with seat belts, a steering wheel, the seats, the window seal, etc., at your disposal, you can get quite creative. As unconventional as this new type of competition/training sounds, it’s actually a great way to practice self-defense in our ever-increasing urban lives… especially for women’s self-defense.
Would you try Car-Jitsu?
Car-Jitsu is undoubtedly not traditional Jiu-Jitsu, but isn’t that the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu, that it’s constantly adapting and evolving as an art? It may not compare to our “on the mats” BJJ but for us at Rolling Times, it may just turn out to be a new change of pace in the competition landscape, even if only done once with your buddies.
It seems like Car-Jitsu is on the uptrend, and I am more than willing to give it a try! Why not live a little and strive to win on every platform. What do you think… Would you try Car-Jitsu? Time will tell, but we think this new sport is here to stay and who knows, larger tournaments, seminars, and specific classes could even be on the horizon.
See you on the mats or on the seats soon!