Yes – you guessed it – jiu jitsu in a car. “Car-jitsu” is becoming increasingly popular in Russia. Some could argue that perhaps this would be a closer form of “street fighting” compared to normal BJJ – or a more relevant competitive sport that you could apply in the “real world”.
The organizer of the event Vikentiy Mikheev is a BJJ and Judo black belt as well as an MMA fighter, he says how the idea came about, “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.”
When discussing this potentially new era of jiu-jitsu he states, “The reverse seatbelt is highly effective. It’s very convenient, even more than the jacket lapels which are usually used. This one, even if you block it, can be pulled for a long time. Also, it’s good because you know where it is located.”
The rules are simple. Both competitors start in the front seats. A match has two main periods of three minutes each, where competitors switch the drivers and passenger seat sides; and the points are awarded for gaining an advantageous position and for a submission. The goal, as usual, is to submit the opponent. If the submission score is equal after both rounds, the competitors then move to the back seat for a deciding four minute round, where points also come into play.
Everything inside the car – including the seat belts, steering wheel, mirrors and chairs – can be used to gain an upper hand in the match. The key to winning is the supposed “creative use of the environment”. The points system is four points for each mount and back control, and two points for knee on belly.
As dangerous as the idea sounds, it’s actually a really innovative way to apply jiu jitsu to a “real-life scenario” – where worst comes to worst – you need to defend yourself in a car. In particular, it could end up helping women defend themselves out of some awful, tricky situations. Car-jitsu is something that hasn’t been thought about much before in BJJ, so the fact it is getting popular (over 2 million views on YouTube) shows that clearly there is a demand from an intrigued viewing point and a self-defence point.
Will the sport expand beyond Russia?