Ben Sharp, 39, protects his city and health as a fit officer in the Germantown police force. 

Ben grew up in Germantown as an athletic kid, playing almost all sports and eventually wrestling in high school and college. While he enjoyed the physical combat aspect of wrestling, he was mostly drawn to the team mentality and camaraderie in the world of team sports. These same pillars of teamwork and a family-like environment, as well as the ability to help others in need, called Ben to a career in law enforcement. 

Ben served on the SWAT Team for the Germantown Police Department for 10 years. Now a Captain of their Investigations Team, he is passionate about encouraging sustained fitness for all law enforcement officers. “There is lots of physical training on the front end, but there are no requirements for sustained physical fitness training after becoming an officer,” Ben says. “I want to advocate for my peers to understand that exercise is their best insurance and can help you serve yourself, your family, and your community the best you can.” 

Ben takes his health seriously and enjoys lifting weights at his home gym and at the Germantown Athletic Club. When he works out at his home gym, Ben encourages his two young daughters to come hang out and play in his gym. “I want my daughters to see early on that exercise is important and that it’s a big part of life; I also want them to know that their dad is strong and can handle anything,” Ben says. 

In addition to lifting weights, Ben also practices Jiu-Jitsu at Memphis Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) involves a focus on strategy and conditioning, and those who practice learn to defend themselves with proper technique and movement without using excessive force — all skills that have benefitted Ben during his career in law enforcement. Ben is a regular in the 5:30 am “breakfast club” training group at Memphis Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, where he and a group of other dads stretch, participate in instructional training, and then do short rolling (sparring) sessions on the mat for the remainder of the class. 

Ben encourages the practice of Jiu-Jitsu and general physical fitness to all of his fellow officers and emphasizes that general BJJ skills and other exercises are offered as part of their Defensive Tactics program. “As an officer in a potentially dangerous situation, if you aren’t conditioned and used to having your heart rate up, you will be in a complete panic. If you exercise regularly, and your heart rate is used to being elevated, you are going to be more comfortable in the face of a challenge,” Ben says. General physical fitness paired with the gentle art of BJJ, which teaches no punching, hurting, or repeated strikes, are tools that can help all law enforcement officers. 

For other dads looking to stay fit, Ben offers the following advice: move your body daily, pay attention to what you eat, and find something that encourages and inspires you. “If you don’t value your fitness for yourself, then think about it as a way to be there for your family and loved ones,” he says. 

Interested in trying BJJ? Check out Memphis Judo and Jiu-Jitsu at

By Zoe Harrison 

Photo by Tindall Stephens