The pole we use in the 5×5 system is measured from the floor to the height of your solar plexus it can be made of any kind of wood but rattan is proffered for its weight toughness and flexibility.
We have two types of grip normal and reverse and the 5 basic angles of attack and blocking, parrying are first practiced to gain confidence and an ability to shift grips and change stances. There are no drills just techniques practiced against other weapons.
Because of the flexibility of this weapon it can be used at all ranges with a little adaptation when working in close range.
Exercises are incorporated to strengthen the wrists and hands and this also helps with other weapons.
From a self defence point of view the pole is good against an edged weapon as you can use its range. Also a brush or mop can be used as the water from a mop can be flicked into the face of an attacker or the bristles from a brush thrust into the eyes as a distraction to then help with disarming or disabling your attacker.
We also have to practice accuracy in disarming an opponent so lots of moving and striking using padded sticks is used so that we can hit the attacker from anywhere with speed and power.