Who Are We?

The War Room is an online two week summer intensive program for LD debaters aiming to make you a more flexible debater with improved strategic vision. We believe that succeeding on the national circuit requires the ability to adapt to several argumentative styles and feel comfortable executing various strategies on the fly. Our curriculum pushes you out of your comfort zone, forcing you off the doc and teaching you to think about your arguments two steps ahead of your opponent. Whether you are a seasoned national circuit debater or a newcomer just getting started, our program will improve your strategic thinking and ability to answer and execute any strategy at will.


  • An experienced staff
  • Competitive pricing
  • Low student-teacher ratio
  • Flexible curriculum

Our philosophy

Our goal is to improve your own "war rooms" or pre-round prep by increasing your arsenal of arguments you feel comfortable reading, building depth on some of those options, and improving your strategic vision to know which tools to use at any given time.

To do that, The War Room takes a drill-centered approach to camp, building these skills through daily practice. We will drill a vide variety of arguments while giving students the flexibility of deciding which arguments to build depth in. Lectures are meant to supplement your ability to execute and make decisions in round.

Our Team

Leadership Team


Aimun Khan

Director of Debate

Aimun debated in LD for 4 years, qualifying to TOC his senior year. Aimun has coached 28 bids to the TOC across 8 students, none of whom had a bid round before working with him. His students have won bids and reached semis or better at every Texas bid tournament, as well as multiple finals appearances at TFA State, the Kandi King Round Robin, and the Strake Round Robin. Aimun has coached students across several styles of debate including the kritik, theory, policy arguments, and philosophy arguments. Aimun is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mathematics and a minor in History.

Elmer Yang

Assistant Director of Debate

Elmer debated in Policy for 3 years. He qualified for TFA state twice, breaking to double-octofinals his senior year. He has coached 8 bids to the Tournament of Champions in both LD and Policy. His students have broken to late out rounds and won speaker awards at nearly every Texas TOC bid tournament, made it to finals of TFA State, and advanced to octafinals and quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions. Elmer’s interests include all aspects of Kritik debate including Anti-Blackness, Orientalism, Baudrillard, and Necropolitics, as well as LARP debate. Elmer is currently in the Business Honors program at The University of Texas.

Nevin Gera

Head of Marketing and Public Relations

Nevin has debated in Lincoln Douglas for 4 years, achieving 5 career bids, qualifying to the Tournament of Champions twice, reaching late elimination rounds at bid tournaments such as the Longhorn Classic, Grapevine, Strake Jesuit, and Colleyville, winning the Middle School TOC, qualifying to TFA State three times, and earning invites to the Strake Jesuit, Greenhill, and Kandi King Round Robins. As Head of Marketing and Public Relations, he handles social media outreach, recruiting strategy and advertising, conducts the instructor interview series, and consults over a wide range of camp affairs such as contributions to the NAACP and inclusivity policies.

Sanika Phanse

Head of Inclusivity

Sanika debated in LD for 4 years, serving as the president of the Dulles High School debate team her senior year. She is the founder of Re-sonate, an organization aimed at empowering collegiate women pursuing careers in technology. She has received Title IX training from The University of Texas at Austin and will be taking the lead on our camp's inclusivity efforts. Sanika is a senior at The University of Texas and is currently studying Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Rahul Kolla

Head of Operations

Rahul debated in Policy for 4 years for Hebron High School. He qualifed for TFA State 3 times, breaking to Double-Octafinals his Sophomore year and Octafinals his Senior year. Rahul received 2 bids to the Tournament of Champions during his senior year, reaching the Quarterfinals of the Longhorn Classic and Semifinals of the Cougar Classic. Rahul's interests include Postmodernism Kritiks such as Baudrillard and Cybernetics as well as the Politics Disad. Rahul will be attending The Univerisity of Texas at Dallas in the fall.

Instructors (experience in LD)


Michael Kurian

Michael competed in LD debate at Dulles High School. He earned five career bids, reaching elimination rounds at Harvard, St. Marks, Winston Churchill, Holy Cross, Strake Jesuit, Colleyville, the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and Valley. He qualified to the TOC twice, getting to the bubble round as a junior. He has coached students to late outrounds of TFA State, out-rounds of the TOC, and bid rounds at the University of Houston, Yale, Bronx, Strake Jesuit, Greenhill, and Grapevine tournaments. His debate interests are moral philosophy and critical theory with a focus on Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis, and Post-Structuralism. He currently studies Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Houston.

Aditya Iyer

Aditya debated in LD and Policy for 4 years. Aditya earned 1 bid to the Tournament of Champions and is a 3 time qualifier to TFA State, breaking to outrounds 3 times. During his senior year, Aditya broke at every TOC bid tournament. He broke to the bid round at the Heart of Texas, Cougar Classic, and Harvard Invitational, earned Round Robin invites to the Kandi King and Strake Round Robin, and finaled at both the Strake Round Robin and TFA State. He also made it to Round 10 of NSDA Nationals in Policy Debate. His debate interests include Critical Race Theory, I-Law, LARP, and Theory. Aditya will be attending The University of Texas in the fall.


Wyatt Hattfield

Wyatt debated in LD for 4 years at Strake Jesuit. He qualified to TFA all four years and to the TOC twice. Wyatt received a total of 10 TOC career bids. He won the Grapevine invitational, broke to Finals at the Heart of Texas, Semifinals at Blue Key, Stanford, Longhorn Classic, and Cougar Classic, and Quarterfinals of Harvard, Apple Valley and Lexington. He broke and made it to Double octofinals of TFA his sophomore year and Quarterfinals in both his junior and senior year. Wyatt qualified to NSDA three years in a row and has received numerous speaker awards. His interests include tricks, theory and LARP. Wyatt will be attending Fordham University in the fall.


Alan George

Alan debated in LD for three years. He qualified for TOC his senior year with four bids. Since then, he has coached debaters to 10+ bids. His students have debated in all styles, from kritiks to philosophy to policy arguments, and have championed quarterfinals bids and reached finals at octos bids. He is currently a rising junior at Yale University, double majoring in Statistics & Data Science and Ethics, Politics, and Economics.


Peter Zhang

Peter debated for 4 years in LD at Montgomery Blair High School. He qualified to the TOC his senior year with 4 bids, championing Blake, finaling Harvard and Penn, and reaching semifinals at Yale. He won the Maryland state championship, qualified for NSDA and NCFL nationals twice, and reached quarters of Great Communicator debate nationals. Peter enjoys debating a variety of positions, with special interest in philosophy, policy, and topicality. Peter will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall.

Angela Zhong

Angela debated for 3 years in LD. During her senior year, she earned 3 bids and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. She co-championed and received top speaker of the University of Houston tournament, was in quarterfinals of Apple Valley, and was in finals of the Colleyville Heritage Winter Invitational, along with late elimination rounds at TFA State. Angela's debate interests include Theory Debate, the Reps Kritk, and Philosophical styled positions. Angela will be attending Harvard University in the fall.

Andrew Qin

Andrew competed in LD debate for 4 years at Memorial High School. He earned five career bids, co-championed the University of Houston Cougar Classic twice, won the Harvard Round Robin, and reached semifinals of TFA State. Andrew’s debate interests mainly center around theory debate and technical efficiency; however, he is also well-acquainted with philosophy, LARP, and some critical literature. Andrew will be attending Duke University in the fall.


Rohan Rao

Rohan debated for four years at Seven Lakes High School and qualified to the Tournament of Champions his senior year. During his debate career, he has reached elimination rounds at Strake Jesuit Invitational (and reached finals his senior year), University of Texas tournament, Grapevine Invitational, TFA State, and the University of Houston tournament (winning top speaker his junior year). His debate interests include T/Theory, policy arguments, Kant, and a few Kritiks. Rohan will be attending NYU in the fall.

Zan Haq

Zan debated in LD and Policy for the Episcopal School of Dallas. During his senior year he was awarded top speaker at both Grapevine and TFA state. He made it to two bid rounds and has broken at almost every circuit tournament he has attended in both his junior and senior year including the Grapevine Classic, Longhorn Classic, Greenhill Invitational, Berkley, and TFA State. His debate interests include Lay Debate, advanced LARP-ing, Afropessimism, and Nebel T. Zan will be attending Vanderbilt University in the fall.

Jacob Koshak

Jacob Koshak is the debate coach for Cypress Woods High School. He has coached multiple national, state, and TOC qualifiers. His students have reached late out rounds of NSDA Nationals, NCFL Nationals, the Texas and Louisiana State Tournament and the TOC. Jacob specializes in Kritiks and Performance debate and is intimately familiar with Marxist, Bataille, Deleuze, and Baudrillard literature and its application in debate. He currently holds a Bachelors in Communication and Education and a Masters in Critical/Social Education.


Kati Johnson

Kati debated in LD for three years, two of which were as a homeschooled student (B&K Prep). All three years of her debate career, she qualified for TFA state, earning more than 60 total state points, as well as qualifying to NSDA nationals her freshman year. During her junior/senior year, she reached the bid round at every national circuit tournament she attended, except for one. Her debate interests include performance, Indigeneity, Queerness, Derrida, and the intersection of those four things, as well as all things kritikal. She currently studies Literature and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Dallas, with a concentration in Education.

Adnan Fatakdawala

Adnan debated for 4 years at Dulles High School and the Village School. His debate interests include T/Theory, LARP, and general negative strategy. He has reached the bid rounds of Colleyville and St. Marks, round 10 at nationals for policy, and broken at several other national circuit tournaments. Adnan will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall where he will be studying business.

Instructors (Experience in Policy)


Aashir Sanjrani

Aashir debated in LD and Policy for 4 years at Hebron High School. Aashir recieved 3 bids to the Tournament of Champions in Policy, reaching Semifinals as the 1st seed at the Grapevine Invitational, Octafinals at the Heart of Texas, and Quarterfinals at the Longhorn Classic. Additionally, he qualified for TFA State twice, breaking to Quarterfinals his Senior Year as the 3rd overall seed. His debate interests include Kritiks (Anti-Blackness, Settler Colonialism, Baudrillard), Theory/T, and Framework. Aashir will be attending The Univerisity of Texas in the fall.


Sruthi Ilangovan

Sruthi competed in policy debate for 4 years at LASA High School. Sruthi qualified to the Tournament of Champions, reaching the out-rounds of several national tournaments. She qualified for TFA 3 times and has reached the late elims of the tournament. She has received numerous speaker awards at tournaments like the Southern Bell Forum (MBA), University of Houston Cougar Classic, Damus Hollywood Invitational, and the Colleyville Heritage Winter Invitational. Sruthi’s debate interests include framework, Process CPs, and impact turns. Sruthi specializes in policy argument refinement and improving speaker points. Sruthi will be attending The University of Texas in the fall.
0+ Total Bids Coached/Earned
3+ Instructors on Staff
Meet the team

Our Podcast

Interview with Michael

Our first podcast highlights Michael Kurian, who will be a lab leader.

Interview with Aimun

Our second podcast highlights Aimun Khan, who is the curriculum director and will be a lab leader.

Interview with Elmer

Our third podcast highlights Elmer Yang, who is a co-founder and will be a lab leader.

Payment Information



Payment details upon registration


June 14th

11:59 PM CST

Apply Now!


"Being mentored by Aimun has been critical to my success in debate. When I met him as an 8th grader, I knew almost nothing about the activity. From helping me win rounds as opposed to arguments, to enhancing my strategic vision, to introducing me to debate concepts, to engraining in me the mindset necessary to take on tough opponents, working with him has made improvement quicker and simpler. While many instructors can teach you what to say against a given position, Aimun’s unique pedagogical approach emphasizes the development of a broader strategic vision that goes beyond individual arguments."

-Nevin Gera
Plano East '21
2019, 2020 LD TOC Qualifier

“Elmer is an incredible strategist. With only two days before the TOC, he took me from a 2-4 debater to a quarterfinalist. He was more than willing to call for several hours, and come up with the best strategies all free of pay, and out of the good of his heart. I think perhaps the greatest reason Elmer’s advice is good is because he doesn’t just do all the work himself and give you a doc to read, but instead gives you all the tools necessary to put ideas together into your own work. This, coupled with an extensive background knowledge, Elmer makes an incredible asset!”

-David Herrera
Strake Jesuit '21
2020 LD TOC Quarterfinalist

“Elmer Yang has been the catalyst to my improvement in debate. His coaching has led to me going from barely qualifying to TFA state junior year to winning locals and qualifying for the TOC senior year. He specializes in knowing not only how to bring out your strengths but is an expert at targeting your weaknesses. Elmer thinks about debate at a deeper and more nuanced level than most and he’s an expert at tying flows together in a cohesive story. I highly recommend working with him as even a few weeks under his training can bring months worth of improvement.”

-Krish Patel
Hebron ‘20
2020 Policy TOC Qualifier

"Aimun is one of the best strategists I have met during my time in the activity. Many coaches’ teaching skills are limited by the weaknesses they had as debaters, but Aimun is able to tailor his coaching style to the specific interests of any student in any style or format. He is also extremely skilled at anticipating and preempting opponent strategy, which eventually helped me develop my own strategic vision. Without Aimun, my success in debate would not have been possible."

-Nate Galang
Klein '18
2018 LD TOC Qualifier

Misconduct Policy

The War Room is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all of our students free of discrimination and harassment. The War Room will operate on a zero tolerance policy with regard to any form of discrimination or sexual harassment and will promptly investigate all allegations. Any staff member or student found to have harassed another will face immediate disciplinary action and removal from our camp. All complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment will be taken seriously and treated with respect and in confidence.

Discrimination is unwelcome conduct based on any individual’s identity which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, and/or intimidated. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, and/or intimidated. It includes verbal harassment and non-physical situations which create an environment which is hostile, intimidating, and humiliating for the recipient. Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, regardless of the gender of any involved parties. Examples of conduct or behaviors which constitute misconduct include, but are not limited to:

Verbal conduct, such as:

  • Comments on a student or staff member’s appearance, age, private life, etc.
  • Sexual comments, stories, and jokes
  • Sexual advances
  • Condescending, paternalistic, or otherwise offensive remarks
Non-verbal conduct, such as:
  • Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material
  • Sexually-suggestive gestures or other non-verbals

Anyone who experiences a situation that makes them feel unsafe may contact Aimun Khan, Michael Kurian, or Sanika Phanse anonymously through a channel sent out to all students and staff members at the beginning of camp. All complaints will be investigated and reviewed by Sanika, who will function as our third party investigator if an allegation occurs. The individual making the complaint will be asked if they would wish to break anonymity and have a discussion to detail their account beyond a description provided anonymously. They will also be asked if they would like our aid in reporting the occurrence to law enforcement. Irrespective of whether the individual chooses to break anonymity, all discussions and communication pertaining to the complaint will be in confidence. Sanika will make a decision in regard to the removal of the accused party from the camp based on her investigation.

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