1. A trained boxer puts in the time and the focus to become skilled at his craft: As someone who wants to enter the ring of debate you will need all the focus, and training time that a trained boxer requires to be effective.
2. A trained boxer knows his skill level and weight class: It’s not necessarily a good thing to always stand up for what you believe. You can damage reputation and your cause if you get onto a stage that you’re not ready for. You need to test your debate skills in an arena appropriate for your skill level, and know when you are ready for a larger stage and when to go back into the dojo.
3. A trained boxer has a good sparring partner and a good trainer: As someone who aspires to be effective debating, you will need a qualified person to bounce ideas off of who can give you constructive criticism, different perspectives, play devil’s advocate, and role play. You will also need mentors who can help you consider points of view that you did not consider and who can help you hone your focus.
4. A trained boxer studies current champions and those champions who came before: You will need to read and keep yourself informed and study those past and present who are engaged in the same or similar debates.
5. A trained boxer studies his opponent: You will need to become a careful student of those you are debating against, what their mindset is, what deeper questions are they trying to answer, what historical events led to their way of thinking, what they get right in their thinking and what they get wrong and why.
6. A trained boxer knows how to connect punches from many different angles: You will need to understand what you are debating from the perspective of many different topics, being knowledgeable on those topics.
7. A trained boxer does not get distracted from executing his fight strategy in the ring: You will need to know how to avoid red herrings, misdirects and tangents and be able to refocus the debate back to the point you are trying to make. The more successfully you can do this, the more power your point will have.
8. A trained boxer never trades slop for slop: You should never stoop to the level of a lesser opponent in a debate by trading sarcasm, name calling, ad hominem attacks, making assumptions about your opponent, etc… Your power comes from executing logic correctly the same way that a trained boxer executes punches with good boxing form. Like a trained boxer, you should trust in your training and remain above reproach in the ring of debate.
9. A trained boxer never lets negative emotions get the best of him in the ring: Your ability to succeed in a debate will take emotional toughness and mental toughness that comes from always taking the right risks, and always avoiding the wrong risks.
10. A trained boxer knows how to use his opponent’s movements to his advantage: You will need to be able to take the things your opponent says and use it to your advantage. It is far more powerful when you can accurately describe what your opponent believes, based on what they have said, than saying something negative by making sloppy generalities. Precisely exposing a contradiction in your opponents position, based on your opponents own words, will do the work of sarcasm without you having to stoop to being "snarky" to make your point.
11. A trained boxer is prepared to go all 12 rounds: you won’t win a serious debate in a single “haymaker" statement. Your effectiveness in a debate will take a demonstration of skill, persistence, determination and patience. In a debate your goal is not to convince your opponent so much as it is to sway those on the sidelines who are watching, and embolden and encourage those who believe as you do but may not have the words or the courage to debate. As for your opponent, your goal is to wear out his arguments. He will know that you are a worthy opponent.
12. A trained boxer does not win every match: You must care enough about your long term success in arguing for what you believe to lose a debate sometimes. It’s your opportunity to grow and not allow a fear of failure to keep your from your ultimate goal of being able to influence others toward what you believe.