A Battlefield Inside

Jonathan - Los Angeles, California
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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“Life is like a jigsaw, with the pieces out of place.” –Fiji

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear these lyrics streaming from Fiji’s voice is the mess I’ve been through in my past. It all reminds me of my own “war” I fight inside of myself.

I believe, life is a battlefield that you have to control from the inside through self- discipline and self respect. Fighting against the forces that might change me into the reflection of my father, who fought all the time, hurting himself, I never want to become like him, and let my enemies get the best of me. Everyday I wake up with the same problems, and through these problems, I’m learning to control my anger and frustration.

Yearning to have a father figure in my life, I got in and out of so much trouble. Leaving my mother, older brother, younger sister, and I, my father went to start another family, and I was really angry. I was mad at him for what he did to us, mad at my mom for letting him leave, mad at the family that he ran off to. I couldn’t believe how much of an animal I became. When my father left, my brother and got closer than we ever were before. Of course, we got in and out of trouble together as well.

My brother and I bother learned martial arts techniques and styles together, which go us into more trouble, with more fights. As I said before, life is a battlefield. We’re just ready for the fight. Well, the battlefield took control of my life, and couldn’t be controlled from exploding. One fight after another, I would get sent to the principal, dean, or counselor’s office one day, to expulsion from school.

Then sixth grade came around, and I still was looking down the road of negativity. In the darkest of times, noticing that the pain of my past was taking control of my future, I decided to do something about my anger. I met one of my best friends at the time. His name was Danny Page. Danny taught me everything I know about respect when I fight. He was a young professional MMA and boxing two-time welter-weight champion and I loved this guy like he was my brother.

Danny was one of the best men I have ever met, a person who always encouraged me to try my best in everything I do. No matter what I did, he would believe in me and, though I didn’t always listen to him, he knew I had the potential to do great. I admired this man and decided to use my talent and skill in martial arts, boxing, and kickboxing for something positive. I made the decision to still fight, but only in sport, and with respect for my opponent and myself.

Now, in the eleventh grade, I look back at my past and thank God that I made this decision, joining boxing clubs, martial arts teams, and a kick boxing league with my brother. At age 29, my friend Danny Page was killed. It happened on March 28th 2006 in a drive-by shooting, but his memory in my heart will live on forever.

My struggles helped me to believe that life is a battlefield, a war, but you can win that war if you stick your mind in the right place and put your heart where it belongs. I will never stop fighting, because it’s what I love and what I do best, but I can say I am winning this war and taking over the battlefield.