Anthony Ma

California State Champion

 

The most impactful drill sessions I ever had with Paras was right before State/National tournaments and their qualifiers.  During those sessions, we would do practice debates and through those, I would become extremely comfortable with very advanced forms of each type of round.  Every debate can go 100 different ways, and at a high level, I would begin to understand which arguments were easiest to collapse to and begin to predict the most probable end game based on the first two speeches.  Furthermore, I would learn tons of amazing responses to every type of argument from Paras, and through our iteration, continue to build on and optimize our rebuttals.  No debate with another high school debater would ever be as challenging as debating with Paras, so that type of elite preparation and confidence was critical going into state/national tournaments where there is almost no room for error.


What I found most special about Paras as a debate coach is that he really helped develop my intuition for debate.  Debate is an extremely fluid sport, and adaptability is probably the most important skill you should have in your toolkit.  Drilling with Paras taught me how to immediately break down and analyze any argument from multiple different perspectives, formulate logical responses even if you are caught off guard, and most importantly, know b.s. the second you hear it.  Furthermore, although Paras is a circuit couch, he understands traditional debate fairly well.  He was able to teach me many different ways to rephrase/contextualize arguments to make them more persuasive to a lay audience.


Paras taught strategy amazingly well.  Thanks to him, I have now learned to begin envisioning the development of my final speeches during even the first rebuttals.  Debate is a game and Paras teaches you how to efficiently and strategically use every single piece you have on the board.  But on top of that, he also covered theory, util, K, and framework extremely well.  I am not personally a circuit debater and have never been to a circuit tournament.  But whenever I hit circuit debaters at lay tournaments with circuit judges, I had more than enough knowledge to win the round.


I would 10/10 recommend Paras to any debater no matter the skill level.  He is able to teach extremely well no matter what your current debate level is and will contextualize his drills to suit your needs.  On top of that, he is very helpful; I often found myself texting him at tournaments and he would immediately respond with potential arguments/ideas).  Paras is a world class debater and coach, and being able to pick his brains for ideas, arguments, and strategy for 4 years has made me the debater I am today.  There’s nothing quite like it.  You just gotta work with him once to understand.