Indian Gada

The Gada, or heavy mace, was the weapon of choice of Hindu soldiers. Kushti wrestlers in India have trained with it for many generations. It holds a very special place with Indian Physical Culture and is common in the Akhara of North India. Gada of various weights are used depending on the strength and skill level of the practitioner. The Gada is taken, sometimes thrown, from the ground over the head to start the movement and is swung freely and smoothly behind the body.

History: The Gada is the main weapon of the Hindu god Hanuman. Known for his strength, Hanuman is traditionally worshipped by wrestlers in South and Southeast Asia.  The Great Gama was known for his excessive use of the Gada; He was a wrestler in British India and was undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years; he is considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Centuries ago the Gada consisted of a heavy stone with a hole in the middle secured to a metre length of bamboo. Today a Gada can be a steel ball secured to the end of a  shaft. Home made versions can be a cement ball or pot on a bamboo pole or even a heavy bowling ball attached to the end of a metal pipe .


  • A whole body exercise that makes you feel alive
  • Truly mind and body working together
  • They are swung for hundreds of repetitions and will strengthen the whole body,  making it a perfect fitness tool for martial artists or anybody wanting to take their fitness to higher levels
  • If your are a Judo player or MMA fighter the Gada will condition you for throwing opponents to the mat


Training with the Gada:  The two major Gada exercises are the 360 and the 10 to 2, performed in one or two hands; see the above video. Learning to use the Gada is a difficult skill to master. You have to learn to relax your grip and let the Gada swing behind you naturally, rather than trying to ‘muscle it’. I recommend learning the movement with something light such as broom prior to attempting anything heavier. I can integrate Gada training into existing training plans and even help you make your own. 

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