Experience Description

Our judo club met in a gymnasium where we simply pulled our judo mat out onto the gym floor under the basketball nets. Our instructor, aka ‘Coach,’ was blind, and he was also a medalist in the Paralympics. On the night in question, Coach started grappling with a brown belt named Marc on the north end of the mat. I grappled with a brown belt named Andy on the other end of the mat, right beneath the basketball net. As we grappled, I quickly established the mount (the top position) and positioned myself to move into an arm bar, forcing Andy to tap out. Andy was not defending against a possible arm bar, nor was trying to escape from his inferior position; he simply reached up with his long arms, grabbed the lapels of my uniform, and used his knuckles to put pressure against my carotid arteries. Foolishly, I didn't try to defend my neck, thinking his attempt to choke me from a mounted position would prove futile.

I almost had the arm bar. But then, suddenly, I'm looking up at the basketball net. I seem to be in the center of the mat. I hear Andy: ‘Coach! Coach! Something's wrong here!’

‘What happened?’ I wonder. ‘Did I break my neck? I can't feel anything. I must be paralyzed--I can't even feel myself breathing. But I can't panic. I can't feel anything. Oh, this is great. This is just great. What are they going to tell my girlfriend? Where's Andy? Why hasn't he run over here?’

I woke up, staring down at Andy. I was still on top of him, staring down. Andy was still pinned. ‘What happened?’ I asked.

‘Your eyes rolled back in your head and you just went out.’

‘How long?’ I asked.

‘Just a few seconds.’

‘You need to tap out sooner!’ shouts Coach from the other end of the mat.

We started grappling again. This time I defended my neck, and I got the arm bar.

Andy tapped.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: September 1999

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Being choked unconscious in a judo match. A Judo match.. In judo, carotid artery chokes are employed to cause an opponent to tap out. If the judo player does not tap in time, the choke will produce unconsciousness due a lack of blood flow to the brain. If such a choke is held for more than a few seconds, death may result.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time seemed to slow down dramatically.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

Did you see an unearthly light? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm My hearing seemed more acute.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Panicked thoughts, but without corresponding panicked feelings.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control

Did scenes from the future come to you? No

Did you come to a border or point of no return? No

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal

What is your religion now? Liberal

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe in out of body experiences.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The worst part was thinking I'd been paralyzed. The best part was realizing that out of body experiences actually occur.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? No

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No