Jiu-jitsu champion Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) teaches martial arts, but he doesn't want to fight for money. Yet to save his school, he finds himself in the world of promoters, and because he must pay off his debts and regain his honor, he enters the ring for the first time in his life. Martial arts teacher Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who runs his own jiu-jitsu school with his wife Sondra (Alice Braga), teaches his students the basics of the fight he has dedicated his life to. However, the school is not making money and he is dealt another blow by a nervous lawyer who, in an act of temper, shoots one of his students with a pistol.
Mike is eventually forced to apply for a loan to keep the school afloat, but gets involved in a bar fight between movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen) and several locals. The grateful actor then invites him home for dinner, offers Mike a job on the film, and also arranges for Sondra to work with Chet's wife at a fashion company. Little does Mike know, however, that this encounter will cause him to change the way he sees the world he lives in, and that he will get a glimpse into a world he never wanted to be a part of. His ideals of martial arts and learning, however, must go partly by the wayside in order to save what's left.