Sheriff Irwin Carmichael

Biography of Mecklenburg County's 44th Sheriff Irwin Carmichael

Irwin Carmichael was born in rural Long Creek, a few miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

He started karate lessons at an early age, and through hard work, practice, and training, earned his first Black Belt at the age of fourteen. Since then, he has achieved a master level, ninth degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate. He has put his knowledge, love, and expertise for karate into a business and oversees several karate schools.

In 1986, Irwin joined the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and was elected Sheriff on November 4, 2014. Through his work, he has had the opportunity to interview hardened criminals and analyze the minds behind crimes. He has gathered information for his crime prevention programs through high profile transports of prisoners such as Henry Louis Wallace, Van Brett Watkins, and Rae Carrouth. He saw a way to merge his skill in the martial arts with his knowledge of crime to develop a personal safety and awareness program, Women's Awareness Response. As a courtesy of the Sheriff's Office, he presented this program to organizations, businesses, and groups throughout the county and state.

In an attempt to further educate the public on crime prevention and self defense, Sheriff Carmichael has written a book, Women's Awareness Response, and has produced a child safety and abduction video, Kid's Awareness Response.

In addition, he uses his martial arts proficiency to teach defensive tactics and ground fighting at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office Training Academy, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy, and other law enforcement agencies, including the North Carolina Justice Academy and the North Carolina Highway Patrol Training Center. The class that took him the farthest from home was the one he taught the Australian Federal Police.

Sheriff Carmichael's knowledge of karate has made it possible to impact almost every segment of our society as he teaches kid's karate classes, women's self defense classes, ground fighting seminars, concealed carry and active shooter classes.

He is also a retired Engineer/Firefighter for the city of Charlotte. He has fulfilled every little boy's dream of becoming a policeman, fireman, and karate master.

Current and Past Employment and Certifications

  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (1986 - 2018)
  • Engineer for Charlotte Fire Department (1986 - 2012)
  • Owner of Martial Arts Training Institute (1983 - present)
  • Instructor in Kempo Karate of several public and private schools in Charlotte Metro area (1997 - present)
  • Author of nationally released self-defense book (Success For Safety - 2nd Edition)
  • Video producer/manufacturer/distributor of several nationally released martial arts/self defense videos as well as his most current video, Success for Safety for Children, which examines child safety methods and abduction prevention measures
  • Dynamic Speaker who has taught self defense to more than 100,000 individuals nationally and internationally - His seminars include valuable knowledge gained from the transport and interviews of high profile criminals such as Serial Killer Henry Louis Wallace, Former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth and Van Brett Watkins, to name a few.​

Training Experience

Mecklenburg County Sheriffs Office

  • Advanced Reserve Law Enforcement Certificate
  • Advanced Reserve Service Award
  • Crime Prevention and Child Safety Seminars as community service
  • Spontaneous Self Defense for Detention Officers
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor/BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training)
  • Unarmed Self Defense Instructor (Jailer Certification)
  • Subject Control Techniques/SCAT (Full Limited Lecturer for Detention Officers Certification)
  • High Profile Prisoner Transports
  • CPR & First Aid Care in the Jails (Instructor)​
  • Crime Prevention and Child Safety Seminars as community service
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor/BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training)
  • First Responder Training Instructor
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Defensive Tactics Instructor/BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training)
  • Unarmed Self Defense Instructor​

Martial Arts Training Institute

  • Owner of several martial arts schools
  • 9th Degree Black Belt in Shorinji Kempo Karate
  • 4th Degree Black Belt in Modern Arnis
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt in Shorinji kubodo
  • Full Qualified Instructor in Balintwak Cuentada Arnis
  • Member of I.S.K.K.F. Board of Directors
  • World Head Sokeship Council 2002 Hall of Fame Inductee- Lifetime Achievement Award
  • United States Martial Arts Association Hall of Fame Inductee-
  • Man of the Year 2005
  • World Karate Union Hall Of Fame Inductee- Most Distinguished Grand Master of the Year 2006
  • Martial Arts World Magazine Hall of Fame- Most Distinguished Grand Master of the Year 2009​

Additional Agencies (who have received training by Sheriff Carmichael)

  • North Carolina Highway Patrol
  • FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • SBI (State Bureau of Investigation)
  • FAMS (Federal Air Marshall Service)
  • Iredell County Sheriff's Office
  • Lincoln County Sheriff's Office
  • Gaston County Sheriff's Office
  • Cleveland County Sheriff's Office
  • Union County Sheriff's Office​

Certifications / Training / Awards

  • North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training Instructor
  • North Carolina Defensive Tactics Instructor
  • North Carolina Sheriffs' Standards Commission Full Limited Lecturer for Detention Officers Certification
  • North Carolina Criminal Justice Instructor
  • North Carolina Justice Academy Specialized Defensive Tactics Instructor Training
  • North Carolina Dept. of Corrections Unarmed Self Defense Instructor
  • Dept. of Justice Law Enforcement Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction Training
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Instructor Training
  • Tactical Arrest and Control Training for Law Enforcement Officers (Prof. Pedro Sauer)
  • North Carolina Fire & Rescue Commission Emergency Vehicle Driver
  • North Carolina Fire & Rescue Commission Emergency Rescue Technician
  • North Carolina EMT - Defibrillation Technician
  • North Carolina First Responder Technician
  • Basic Rescue Training Certification
  • Advanced Rescue Training Certification
  • North Carolina CPR/First Aid Instructor
  • North Carolina Heart Association CPR Instructor
  • PPCT Management Systems, Inc. Baton Instructor
  • PPCT Management Systems, Inc. Defensive Tactics Instructor
  • Ninth Degree Black Belt in Shorinji Kempo Karate
  • Balintawak/Escrima Qualified Instructor
  • Modern Arnis Instructor
  • Certification of Membership with the National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA)
  • Certification in tactical street survival training with Calibre Press, Inc.
  • Certification of Achievement with Rickson Gracie Law Enforcement Course - Basic Level
  • North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Instructor*NRA Basic Pistol Instructor
  • 2011 Instructor of the Year-Central Piedmont Community College Basic Law Enforcement Training
  • Front Sight Firearms Training Institute-Certificate of Achievement-Defensive Handgun Course
  • Front Sight Firearms Training Institute-Certificate of Achievement-Rifle (AR15) Course

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