Armando Depuente is very talented Judo player with flair of living life on the edge. As he advances during the Olympic Trials Tournament, he gets an injury that goes on to cost him the final match for his division. The injury goes from bad to worse during the match and he is forced into surgery and to an early retirement. For the next few years he hits the bottle hard and is eventually arrested for drinking and driving resulting in him hitting a young girl. Armando is sentenced to serve time and community service. After prison he volunteers for a youth center in a barrio area where the community lives out harsh times. While service under janitorial duties, he helps a young man out when the kid is bullied in a fight against a much bigger guy. The boy asks Armando to train him to fight after the ordeal. Armando is reluctant but after the boy, whose name is Phoenix, becomes persistent and tormenting, Armando agrees to. Although Phoenix.