While You Were Baking, Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski Used The Coronavirus Quarantine To Practice Swinging His Nunchucks

Larry Karaszewski

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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 co-writer 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 from 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 also a good laugh.

“A rather chunky, old-time screenwriter doing nunchucks: It makes people giggle,” Karaszewski told BuzzFeed News.

When he was 12, Karaszewski made his first set of nunchucks from a broom, sawing it in half and drilling holes in each stick to connect them with a rope. He’d make his own movies on Super 8 film where 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.

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 and cautioned that guys may “hit yourself 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.”

More on this

  • Kids Are Creating Masterpieces While At Home During the QuarantineAyanna Miller · April 10, 2020
  • 46 Backyard DIYs That Will Make Being Trapped At Home Suck A Little LessPeggy Wang · April 5, 2020
  • Stephanie Baer is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

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