These are instructions for making a Gada or Mace in the ancient and traditional way used in Indian wrestlers akharas (gyms). The process is quite simple and easy to follow and can be made cheaply by anyone wanting to train with one of the oldest pieces of training equipment around.
From the left, Kiwkset Concrete, Trowel, Scissors, Cable Ties, Clay Pot (Ceramic Pot) or Large Plastic Container, Bamboo Pole (diameter 1.5″ or 4cms), Steel Rods (3/8″ or 1cm), Bucket of Water, Cup, Stirring Stick, the following are not shown, Empty Bucket (to mix concrete), Breathing Mask, Vinyl or Plastic Gloves, Safety Glasses, Hammer, Sand Paper and Tape Measure.
Depending on where you live the Kwikset Concrete maybe called by a different name, you will need to buy a premixed product that sets and dries relatively quickly, to avoid waiting. Using a Breathing Mask is recommended when you measure out the dry concrete into the Clay Pot. Vinyl or Plastic Gloves are good for smoothing out the wet concrete. Safety Glasses should be worn before the Clay Pot is smashed with a Hammer.
This is a close-up view of the bamboo with two holes drilled at right angles, the holes should be at least 2″ or 5cms apart. The holes will house the Steel Rods and need to be a tight fit, the Steel Rods in the photograph are threaded, drilling a slightly smaller hole ensured that the Steel Rods fitted tightly to stop them moving when the bamboo pole is pushed into the wet concrete.
A visit to the local garden centre, tape measure in hand, should provide a selection of pottery suitable to act as a mold for the Gada Mace. Choose something cheap and cheerful, remember that you will be smashing the Clay Pot. Starting with the dimensions INSIDE the pot, 8″ wide x 6″ deep imperial or 20cms wide x 15cms deep metric, should produce a Gada Mace head weighing approximately 20lbs to 22lbs, or 9kgs to 10kgs. Try to find a pot that has a flat bottom inside of the bowl, this will mean that the Gada Mace will be able to stand upright.
Make sure that the Bamboo Pole with the steel rods firmly positioned, will fit through the opening of the Clay Pot. Just as a reminder you will be using Kwikset Concrete and you do not want to discover that something is wrong at that stage.
Mix the Kwikset Concrete
Let say for example that you want to make a 10kg Mace. Put on a Breathing Mask and Vinyl Gloves. Make up the concrete and water mix to the right consistency in a plastic bowl or bucket. Make sure that everything is well mixed. Next, weigh the bucket and adjust the contents by adding or removing the concrete mix to the required weight, eg.10kg. or the weight of your choice. Shot can be added to increase the desired weight.
When you have finished weighing, you are ready to fill the Clay Pot, make sure that you do not trap air inside the Clay Pot, it is better to transfer the concrete in small amounts, to avoid air pockets. Use a trowel, go around the wet concrete, by pushing the trowel into the concrete to release any trapped air.
Failure to avoid air pockets can result in the mace head weakening and possibly splitting open.
Position the Bamboo and Steel Rod handle
Time is limited as you are using Kwikset Concrete. Take the prepared handle and push it firmly into the mixed concrete, slightly twisting it as it sinks into the Clay Pot.
As the concrete is still soft, you need to secure the Bamboo Handle whilst the concrete dries. This photograph shows two cable ties securing the handle to a spare pole leaning against a wall.
Your new gada Mace is taking shape, and now you have to let the concrete dry and cure, read the information on the concrete packaging to make sure that you allow the appropriate time. This will take a lot longer in colder climates, the illustrated Gada mace dried for 48 hours.
Tip from Nathan Baxter, Western Australia.
A little trick I learned from years of making Atlas Stones. First soak the terracotta pot overnight. Once you pour the cement, wrap everything in a damp towel and keep it wet for a few days. Once out of the pot, keep the mace head wrapped in a wet towel for the first few days.
Lay the Gada Mace on the side and carefully hit the Clay Pot, it will offer no resistance, very satisfying none the less.
More Drying time
With the Clay Pot gone into oblivion, the Gada Mace head needs more drying time, check your instructions on the Kwikset Concrete packaging.
Any concrete has a sandy residue that can be easily sealed with paint. A white undercoat, followed by a couple of applications of your favourite colour. Finally cut the handle to your preferred length, if you are not sure, a good starting length is 4’6″ or 140 cms. This measurement is from tip to toe, the full length including the head and handle. Rub the handle lightly with Sand Paper to remove any splintering of the bamboo, apply clear varnish to finish.
For instructions on how to swing a Gada Mace
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