Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown may have been grabbing headlines with his controversial views on the coronavirus pandemic in recent months – but he has ended up trending on Twitter thanks to something rather more unexpected over the weekend.
For the Fools Gold star, who has been a vocal Covid-sceptic, showed off an unexpected video on social media that left Twitter users gobsmacked.
Altrincham-raised Ian posted a short video clip on Saturday night that swiftly racked up 700,000 views and thousands of likes, retweets and comments.
And for many viewers it left them seeing the rock star, who has become known recently for his staunch anti-vaccine views, in a whole new light.
In the video, a bearded Ian is seen wearing a jumper with the slogan “Own Brain”, as he brandishes a karate stick known as nunchuka or nunchucks which he feverishly whips around his body.
The martial arts weapon was popularised by film star Bruce Lee and mastering the connected sticks is said to improve reflexes and hand control skills.
And it appears Ian has well and truly mastered it – as the video shows him swirling the sticks around at high speed inside his home before finishing the video with a karate kick to the camera.
Nunchucks are classed as an offensive weapon in the UK and are not allowed to be used in public settings, but those with a martial arts licence are able to use them in a private setting.
Self-styled “King Monkey” Ian has been passionate about martial arts since his childhood, and he started karate at the age of 11 at the Red Dragon club in Sale, going on to achieve a brown belt.
It’s not known if he has since gone on to achieve the ultimate “black belt” grading.
However the rock star’s swirling movements certainly startled social media users on Saturday, and the comments soon came rolling in about the video.
One tweeted: “See lockdown was worthwhile, you learnt a new skill”
While another said: “Does that protect you from Covid pal?”
A third said: “Mad to think Ian Brown had time to learn nunchuks while studying his epidemiology doctorate. Hard worker.
While one cheekily added: “More impressive than your singing.”
Others were surprised by Ian’s altered appearance in the video – with his long brown hair and greying beard.
Some compared him to Howard Donald from Take That, others the character of farmer Jim in Sky comedy Brassic.
One viewer said: “Ian Brown is like when you go round your mates and their 8 year old son goes “watch this”.”
Manchester band The Stone Roses, who first found fame in the 1980s, have been on an indefinite hiatus in recent years, after their triumphant comeback to the live scene with their huge world reunion tour which kicked off with their legendary Heaton Park concerts in 2012.