Possessing a lifelong passion for martial arts and combat sports, Zafer Roback was initially inspired to become a boxer following his high school graduation. Perfecting his skillset under the guidance of the late Ace Miller, a renowned boxing trainer in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mr. Roback then matriculated in the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence. During this time, he was assigned to various military posts within South Korea and Japan, where he was afforded opportunities to undergo training in martial arts. To wit, he is expertly trained in the arts of judo, karate, aikido and traditional jujutsu.
Following his military tenure, Mr. Roback attended the University of the Cumberlands, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences in 1965. While studying toward his undergraduate degree, he developed an innovative judo club at the university, which would later be recognized across the nation as one of the most state-of-the-art collegiate judo programs in the United States. Three years after graduating from college, Mr. Roback completed additional coursework in mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville while concurrently teaching and coaching judo and karate at the university. Most notably, both of his martial arts teams garnered an undefeated record in collegiate competitions in an 11-year span.
Outside of his excellence in judo, Mr. Roback is an accomplished real estate agent. He commenced his career in real estate in 1982 and harnessed his enthusiasm to specialize in the purchase and sale of both hotels and motels. Emphasizing that this specialization would help individuals obtain and hold jobs, he became renowned in his local community as the “Motel Man.” Likewise, Mr. Roback has often helped home buyers and sellers in obtaining financing, as well as negotiated contracts and advertised a myriad of commercial and residential properties.
Throughout his career in the real estate market, Mr. Roback served the judo team at the University of the Cumberlands, having achieved nationwide recognition following his teams’ acceptance of over 15 Midwest Collegiate Judo Championships and three National Collegiate Judo Championships. Likewise, many of his students secured victories in the FISU World University Games and Pan American Games. Mr. Roback himself has competed in the Senior Olympics eight separate times and, as a result of his success, achieved more than 50 medals.
In light of his exceptional undertakings, Mr. Roback was inducted into the University of the Cumberlands Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2014, he was also honored by the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Atlanta, Georgia, with a Certificate of Appreciation. Looking forward, Mr. Roback intends to publish a book in relation to his success in maintaining excellent physical and mental health.