The gada is the Indonesian equivalent of the baton or short stick.  Whilst it can be used individually, it is commonly used in pairs.  It is not necessary that each stick in the pair be identical.  It was often the case that a heavier stick is used for blocking and a lighter and more maneuverable stick for striking.

The fact that the two sticks can operate independently, provides a substantial benefit when matched against longer sticks.  It permits for simultaneous blocking and striking.

The sticks are used not only as weapons but also attractive training substitutes for cabang, golok and similar weapons, also often used in pairs.  The lack of sharp edges and prongs makes for safer practice until confidence and competence allows the addition of such complicating factors.

As a combat art, the methods employed with empty hands easily lend themselves to a weapon structure to be built on the fundamentals.  The basics of the gada are introduced after first four grades.