One Piece: Here’s When & Why Mihawk Trained Zoro!

One Piece: Here’s When & Why Mihawk Trained Zoro!
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Zoro’s relationship with Mihawk is one of the more intriguing rivalries in One Piece, as it starts off with Mihawk trashing Zoro with a simple knife but also praising his determination in hopes of Zoro, one day, becoming strong enough to be his rival. During the time skip, Zoro begged Mihawk to train him so he could become stronger, and while Mihawk initially refused, he ultimately accepted. Why? Keep reading our article to find out.

After the crew separated before the Time Skip, Zoro came to Mihawk’s castle and begged him to train him. Mihawk initially refused because he believed that Zoro had failed to beat the Humandrills and then retreated, but Zoro proved him wrong, still begging for Mihawk to train him. Although the idea of Zoro asking him to train him while, at the same time, he was planning on taking his head in the future amused him, he nevertheless accepted to train him, but only after Perona healed the pirate’s severe injuries. The two of them trained for two years, during which Mihawk taught Zoro how to imbue his blades with Armament Haki, thereby turning them into Black Swords during that period.

The rest of this article will provide you with yet another aspect of Zoro’s and Mihawk’s shared story. There are several important elements in their shared story, and the training that Zoro undertook with Mihawk is one of its most important ones. This article will tell you all the known details about this training, although we have to warn you that there are not many of them, seeing how the time skip has only been explained rather than narratively analyzed by Oda, so we know some details, but not many. The article is, of course, going to have spoilers, so be careful how you approach it.

Mihawk agreed to train Zoro because Zoro convinced him that he was worthy

We all know that Zoro considers Mihawk to be his biggest rival, but the two ultimately train together, and it is one of the more interesting narrative moments in One Piece. But before we get to that part, let us go back to the Baratie Arc, as we will recount the initial meeting between these two characters.

Mihawk is determined to finish sinking the Dreadnought Sabre, which he had been interrupted from a few days before, while the Straw Hat Pirates struggle with Creek and his troops. But Zoro challenges Mihawk to a duel as soon as he recognizes him.

Mihawk successfully fends off all three of his opponent’s blade assaults with a single simple knife before stabbing Zoro in the chest at the very last second. However, the Seven Warlords of the Sea member is moved by his rival’s spirit and gives him the privilege of witnessing his Black Sword in action. Zoro is about to make the strongest move, but Mihawk manages to smash two of his swords with one strike, leaving only the Wado Ichimonji intact.

Zoro concedes defeat and positions himself to be stabbed by the adversary, exposing his chest in the belief that a back wound is an embarrassment for a swordsman. Mihawk smiles and stabs him in the chest, but he pauses long enough for him to survive. Then he issues him a challenge to ascend to the position of the greatest swordsman in the entire globe:

“My name is Dracule Mihawk!! It’s too soon for you to die. Discover yourself. See the world!! And grow strong, Zoro! However long it may take… I shall await you at the top. Strive with your whole heart and mind to best this blade, fierce one!!! Strive to surpass me, Roronoa Zoro!!!”

– Chapter 52, One Piece manga

Not much later, Mihawk decides that it is time to go back to the Grand Line. Nevertheless, when Creek tries to attack the swordsman, the swordsman’s slashes split the ship in half. And this is where their story started, i.e., how they became rivals. While Mihawk was aware that he was far superior to Zoro at the time, he saw some potential in him, and he thought that Zoro might, in time, become strong enough to replace Shanks, who was his former rival in the series.

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Zoro, of course, because of the childhood promise he had given his late friend, wanted to become the best swordsman in the world, and knowing that Dracule Mihawk is the greatest swordsman in the world, it only makes sense that he accepted his challenge and began training to become the best in the world.

Namely, to gain that title, Zoro knew that he had to defeat Mihawk first, and to do that, he would have to become much, much better, which is what he has been doing all this time. But, while their stories developed separately for most of the plot, the two reunited once again just before the two-year time skip, during which the crew disbanded temporarily. So, what happened?

During the Post-War Arc, Mihawk returns to Kuraigana and runs into Perona and Zoro, who are fighting the Humandrills. He then gives a boat to the boy to sail from the island and then returns to the castle. After reading about Gecko Moria’s supposed death, Perona begins to cry. The girl’s displeasure is of no interest to the swordsman, who reveals to her that he saw Moria still alive at the end of the hostilities. However, he also tells her he cannot know the truth.

Later, he leaves the castle and notices that the fight between Zoro and the Humandrills is still ongoing, that the boat he gave to the boy has been destroyed, and that the guest is having difficulty dealing with the beasts that infest the place. He thus tells him the island’s history and suggests that he return to the castle to rest, but Zoro refuses. Mihawk walks away, letting him do whatever he wants. Shortly afterward, Zoro returns to the castle and begs him to be his teacher so he can become even stronger.

At first, Mihawk refuses to comply with his request, believing that Zoro has failed to defeat the Humandrills infesting the island. The boy explains to him that, in reality, he managed to defeat them all, but despite this, he realizes that he needs further training to be able to face the dangers of the New World and, therefore, to protect his captain.

Mihawk understands that Zoro put aside his pride to make this request and therefore grants him his wish, being, at the same time, quite amused by the fact that he was going to train the person who wants to take his head.

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Not many details are known about this training, but we know that Mihawk taught Zoro how to imbue his swords with Armament Haki, a very complex and powerful technique. In fact, it requires so much concentration and willpower that Mihawk forbade Zoro to drink even a drop of alcohol (and Zoro likes alcohol) until he masters this technique, which Zoro adhered to in the end. After the time skip, a much stronger Zoro rejoined his friends and crewmembers, knowing he still has much to learn before he can eventually face Mihawk.

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