Rob Smith grew up in the rural dairy farm community of Troy, PA on what is the closest thing to “little house on the prairie.” As a child he spent his time hunting, fishing, foraging and exploring the surrounding mountains and streams disappearing for the day. Rob’s Uncle Bill took him under his wing and taught him how to be tough and to be a winner. A trait he will carry with him always.
Rob Smith joined the United States Army Infantry in September 1990 after Advanced Infantry Training he joined his Unit The First Infantry Division C Company 2/16 Infantry “Rangers” at 18 years of age he was a M60 machine gunner in combat operations in Operation Desert Storm. His unit was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation the highest award that a combat unit can receive. Private Smith was awarded an Army Accommodation medal; one of three he would receive while serving in the Army. He was also awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, the highest award for an Infantryman. Later in his Army career as an Infantry man he became a gunner of a Bradly Fighting Vehicle as well as a dismount team leader and then squad leader of an Infantry squad. His travels took him to 17 different countries and to combat operations in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. In this operation he was a member of the command group and the right hand man of the Battalion Command Sargent Major and responsible for his safety. Finally in 1996 after 6 years of service he left the Army with an Honorable Discharge. He served with the First Infantry Division, The third Infantry Division, the 24th Infantry Division, and then, the third Infantry division a second time. Rob completed Expert Infantry training, Master Fitness Training, Primary leadership development school, Combat lifesaver training and more. His proudest moments are attending VFW events with his beloved Grandfather, Dr. James Wesley Smith a WW2 Veteran.
Shortly after being honorably discharged by the United States Army Rob Smith began training with Kelly Williams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA in 1996. MMA was new and Rob was Kelly’s sparring partner preparing him for sanctioned, unsanctioned and what we refer to as “smokers” in the underground scene in Atlanta. Rob immediately noticed the same type of comradeship that he was missing from his Army days and embraced it. Rob never looked back fighting in the underground scene in smokers, sanctioned and unsanctioned fights to test his skill and improve as a martial artist. Sadly Kelly Williams Rob's devoted original instructor and friend passed away in March 2 2014. Rob is committed to carrying on his expert knowledge and gentle spirit.
Rob has been training steady in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has had the opportunity to train countless individuals in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has also had the opportunity to train with some of the best BJJ experts in the world including Royce Gracie, Rodrigo Gracie, Eddie Bravo, Jeff Reese, Kelly Williams, Justin Filer, and more. He has always considered his time to be best spent improving people’s lives and creating memorable experiences. Rob founded the PAGC (PA Grappling Championship) a well know grappling tournament in 2009. Notable students and friends have been Mike Geurin a friend he had the opportunity to spar and assist. Mike showcased his skills at the highest level in M1 Global. He gives credit to Mike, a two time all American wrestler from Lockhaven for greatly improving his ground game in the wrestling department. Rob volunteers and helps coach Jr wrestling in Troy PA. Other notable students and sparring partners include. Vince Nance (partner at Contact Sports Club.) an MMA Champion and a BJJ Champion, Guy “Action” Jackson, Johnny Bergeson, Tracey Fetterolf, Kevin Wicks, Rich Northrup, Matt Dean, Travis “The Woodchuck” Burrows, Damien Mickey as well many others. All the Champions that Rob has trained have competed at the highest level and he is very proud of them.
Rob's attitude is "we have only just begun." He is very excited about creating new memories, improving lives, helping people reach a high level of physical fitness and personal growth. He is greatly looking forward to all the new experiences that are going to take place at Contact Sports Club in Mansfield PA! Contact Sports Club is taking it to the next level.
Rob Smith is the proud father of two boys Zachary and Roland Smith and loving Husband of Melissa Smith and resides in the Troy area.
Rob Smith's notable accomplishments in Martial Arts:
- Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt
Silver Medalist 2007 Naga World Championship
Virginia State Champion Men’s Masters Advanced 2008
First Place NE Grappling Men’s Master advanced 2009
First Place PAGC Heavyweight division 2012
PAGC Absolute Champion Oct 2012
Two time Bronze Medalist Arnolds World Championship
Fought and won on the Inaugural Operation Octagon Fight card
Trained multiple Division, World, and National Champions
Contact Sports Club Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lineage:
Mitsuyo “Count Koma” Maeda
Carlos Gracie Sr.
Carlos Gracie Jr.
Fabio Costa Three stripe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
Rob Smith Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt