COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) - A former FBI agent once had the job of collecting valuable information from a dictator but now he trains in martial arts and uses his past skills to help him succeed in his competitions.
George Piro, 55, has always had a plan to react in any situation while he competes in jiu-jitsu.
Next month, Piro will be in the master’s world championship.
“As you’re training and you get on the bottom, you have a guy who is on top of you,” said Piro. “They’re driving their knee into your face, they’re trying to choke you and all that and you have to become comfortable with that as that translates professionally when I’m at work.”
Piro was the head of the Miami field office, but after retirement, he found his comfort zone on the mat for the past seven years.
In 2004, he was the lone special agent to interrogate Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“It’s intellectual combat,” said Piro. “It’s me against you. My mind against your mind. One of us is gonna win and the other one is going to lose. [It’s a matter of] who’s going to be able to assert their will onto the other person.”
The tactics he used to get information for Hussein is the same mental approach he used in his matches.
“I research my opponents, I study their style, their game plan,” said Piro. “I know what my first move is going to be. I know what I’m going to do. I played it out in my mind. I see the victory in my mind and then when I step on the mat it’s time to execute that.”
Former UFC MMA fighter, Wilson Gouveia, trained Piro since he started.
“He is the type of guy that has a very strong mindset,” said Gouveia. “He has the ability to turn that switch on and off like nobody.”
“My bureau experience definitely has allowed me to be much more confident, focused [and] disciplined,” said Piro. “As you know, I’ve done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those experiences really shape not only my discipline but my drive and now I utilize those in my new career.”
Piro is popular on his social media accounts and the Jiu-Jitsu Dummies podcast.
He plans on writing a book about his life in the FBI and how he got Hussein to admit he destroyed his weapons of mass destruction which was later confirmed by the U.S. government.
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