Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

This Guy Used Coronavirus Quarantine To Perfect Swinging His Nunchucks

"A rather chunky, old-time screenwriter doing nunchucks — it makes people giggle," screenwriter Larry Karaszewski told BuzzFeed News.

Posted on April 16, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Larry Karaszewski

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.


While you were feeding that sourdough starter and anxiously waiting for it to rise, screenwriter Larry Karaszewski set the new bar for coronavirus #quarantinegoals.

On Thursday, the 58-year-old cowriter of Dolemite Is My Name tweeted videos of himself swinging around nunchucks in the backyard of his Los Angeles home, a hobby he first picked up as a kid mirroring kung fu scenes in movies he watched at the drive-in theater.

In the last week, he decided to pick up an old set after not practicing in years, thinking it'd be a good workout — and a good laugh.

"A rather chunky, old-time screenwriter doing nunchucks — it makes people giggle," Karaszewski told BuzzFeed News.

Trapped at home you’re supposed to take up a new skill to pass the time like macrame or water colors... I studied the nunchaku

When he was 12, Karaszewski made his first set of nunchucks from a broom, sawing it in half, drilling holes in each stick, and connecting them with a rope. He'd make his own movies on Super 8 mm film in which he'd chase after a thief and whack them on the head with his nunchucks.

"Then I grew up and put the nunchucks away, and I haven't done them in years and years and years and years," he said. "During the quarantine, I’ve been trying to go on hikes and trying to find some way to kind of get the heart rate up and I thought, Hey, what about those old nunchucks? And so I dug them out of the closet."

As it turns out, the martial art of nunchaku was like riding a bike, and pretty quickly he was back in the swing of it.

When I was a kid I used to see Kung fu films at the drive in... then I’d come home and saw my moms broom into pieces & drill a hole into 2 of the sticks - then put a rope between them. I’d go back to the drive in and copy what I saw on screen. I have not picked up a pair in years

And aside from some bruised fingers, he has not injured himself or broken anything while practicing. He did have to move his routine from inside the house to the backyard because his wife worried the nunchucks might slip out of his hands and crash through a window.

Until now, his nunchaku skills, which he likens more to baton twirling than the actual martial art, were a secret. Even though the main character in Dolemite tries to master some karate and kung fu, the screenwriter said he didn't whip out his nunchucks on set.

"It doesn't really make sense that [a screenwriter] ... also knows how to do the nunchucks, so even I feel that," Karaszewski said, acknowledging the shock and praise he's gotten on Twitter. "It’s definitely a cardio thing, but it also is a bit of a laugh."

To anyone who wants to give nunchaku a try, he said his only advice is to not hit yourself in the head. He cautioned that guys may "hit [themselves] in the balls at some point." In addition to attracting requests for duels, nunchaku has been another way for Karaszewski to add some routine and daily purpose to this weird, crazy time we're all living in.

"Getting yourself in the habit, like me doing the nunchucks, that's 15 to 20 minutes of a day — and me going on a hike with my wife, that’s 35 minutes. ... It releases the anxiety," he said. "You feel like you’re making some progress on something — you’re not just being a slug."

ADVERTISEMENT