Sheriff Irwin Carmichael

Re-elect in 2018

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 of karate into a business and oversees several karate schools. 

In 1986, Irwin joined the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and was elected the 44th Sheriff of Mecklenburg County in November 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 serial killer Henry Louis Wallace, Van Brett Watkins, and Rae Carruth. 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 presents 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 defense 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 for him to impact almost every segment of our society as he teaches kid’s karate classes, women’s self-defense classes and ground defense seminars. 

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.

Sheriff Carmichael has a wife, and a son, Rodney, who is already following in his daddy’s footsteps.


Current and Past Employment and Certifications

Sheriff of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office
(1986 - present)

Deputy Sheriff -1986

Sergeant - 1996

Captain - 2013

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 (1984 - 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 transports and interviews of high profile criminals such as serial killer Henry Louis Wallace, former football player Rae Carruth and Van Brett Watkins, to name a few.

Training Experience

Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Central Piedmont Community College and North Carolina Justice Academy

*Advanced Reserve Law Enforcement Certificate 

*Advanced Reserve Service Award

* 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

* North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Instructor

*NRA Basic Pistol Instructor 

*2011 Instructor of the Year-Central Piedmont Community College Basic Law Enforcement Training 

* 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


Charlotte Rotary Member

*North Carolina Sheriff's Association Legislative Commiitee

​*Board Member of Mental Health Americas of Central Carolinas

​*American Correctional Association

*American Jail Association

*National Sheriff's Association

​*Major County Sheriff's Association 

Contact Info for Sheriff Irwin Carmichael

Phone:  704-336-2543

Email:  Irwin.carmichael@mecklenburgcountync.gov​