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20130522-Black-Belt-Club-016 FEATUREMISSION — Italian, but born in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Mario Falcone brings a different perspective to karate. For Falcone, karate is much more than learning to kick – it’s a way of life.

“And that’s a good thing,” he said.

At 54 years old, Falcone has over 40 years of karate and training experience. He is also a seventh-degree black belt.

Falcone opened Black Belt Club in Mission in October. The club is in the business plaza located on the corner of Kika De La Garza and North Conway streets, 1600 C. N. Conway. While everyone sees it’s a karate club, Falcone teaches far more.

Through karate, he also teaches focus and discipline. These are two things he said could help people, even children, in their everyday lives.

Falcone recalled working with a child who was failing math and his parents worried he wasn’t going to pass. Falcone took some extra time with the child and incorporated math in the techniques he was teaching.

The child turned his math score around and ended up passing the class, Falcone said.

The art of karate helps people focus and become more self-confident, he said. Children are able to improve their grades and have been able to deter bullying with techniques they have learned in his class. It also helps them be less aggressive when in negative circumstances because of focusing techniques.

Falcone doesn’t teach his students how to fight, but he does teach them how to strengthen their minds and protect themselves. He said it also improves self-esteem.

The discipline the students learn in class carries over to school, their homes and everyday life, said the instructor.

The art he teaches is called Goju Ryu, with origins in Okinawa, Japan. Goju Ryu, formerly known as Naha-te, translates as “hard/soft or resilient and yielding.”

He is a Goji Ryu grand master. Falcone has an organization, International Hayabusa Goju Ryu Karate Do Association, made up of other grand masters and he continues to travel around the world training others in the art.

He also keeps busy teaching personal protection and teaching bodyguards and several law enforcement agencies as the creator, president and worldwide instructor of the InterAmerican Bodyguard Society. He teaches a self-defense method he calls the Falcone System, which he has taught throughout the U.S., in Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and the Persian Gulf region, and some countries of Europe and South America.

Additionally, he currently helps out at Shooter’s Alley in Mission teaching tactical training.

In past years, Falcone taught Mexican police, military officials and bodyguards for businessmen and politicians. According to a June 2010 article by CNN, Falcone spent three years training approximately 3,000 Mexican police.

The article states that Falcone said he didn’t train bodyguards to be heroes, but to protect their clients and survive. Lessons taught included kill or be killed and don’t take a client into a dangerous situation.

20130522-Black-Belt-Club-003Falcone has a long history of training and competing. He was Mexico’s Karate Do Federation Kata (form) and Kumite (sparring) National Champion from 1980-1985. He placed fourth at the World Shito Ryu “Hayashi Ha” World Championship many years ago as well. He participated and placed in a Japan National Karate Tournament with the Nippon Karate Do Rengo Kai.

He has given a master demonstration with two top world masters of karate, An’Ichi Miyagi and Aragaki Su’Ichi, in Okinawa, Japan a World Budo Sai Martial Arts Festival and World Karate Championship.

Having devoted much of his life to his karate, he said it has made him a much calmer person and taught him how not to be aggressive with others. Once established, you can use these methods for the rest of your life, he says.

Falcone believes that karate can be a positive. He has seen personally how it has helped thousands of people, and helps people in sports, activities and personal security. He has seen it establish self-esteem, self-control and focus and keep people in shape.

When asked why he chose Mission, Falcone said because the people are very kind.

His wife, Angie Falcon is a fourth-degree black belt. Daughters, Irma and Daniella, are both second-degree black belts. His son, Mario, is also working his way up to earn his first-black belt. All of them assist Falcone in running the business.

Recently Falcone went to Ecuador and Peru to offer training.

Falcone said he enjoys what he does and it’s all about passion.

“I haven’t worked a day in my life,” he said.

For more information, visit and or call 956-522-3179.

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