The Mafia have learned of the construction of a new civic center, and have bought up all the land at the intended building site except for a karate dojo owned by Pop Byrd (Scatman Crothers), who refuses to give up his property. The Don contacts an indebted drug dealer named Pinky, who had laundered $250,000 from the Mafia that he'd subsequently loaned to Pop Byrd in-order to get the dojo built. The Don orders Pinky to either get his money back or repossess the property. Black Belt Jones (Jim Kelly), an expert martial artist and hand-for-hire, is contacted by his old friend Pop to help protect the dojo. Though Pinky intends to offer Pop to trade the building in exchange for clearing their mutual debt to the Don, he accidentally kills him during an intimidation attempt. Before he dies, Pop tells Pinky that he couldn't give them the building even if he wanted to, as it belongs not to him but his daughter Sydney. Pinky sends thugs to the dojo to try and intimidate the other employees. Though he was unable to protect his friend, Jones and the other students effortlessly fend off the thugs.
Sydney (Gloria Hendry) returns home upon hearing of her father's sudden death. She's told about his debt to the Mafia, but refuses to sell the building, instead seeking vengeance on those responsible for her father's death.. Sydney approaches Pinky’s men and ends up in a brawl, managing to overcome them due to her own martial arts training. As retaliation, Pinky kidnaps one of the students, Quincy (Eric Laneuville) and demands for them to turn over the school or give him the money. Jones and Sydney, with support from the police department, rob the Mafia and proceed to give it to Pinky, framing him for the heist. They rescue Quincy, and Pinky proceeds to send his henchmen after Jones, who has to take them on all at once. Jones and his allies manage to subdue them, and they are subsequently arrested.
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