As we know mostly all of the vital characters in OP have some sort of tragedy, specifically about their past.
Mihawk was introduced as the worlds greatest swordsmen. He was already at the highest possible level meaning all the hardships, struggling and ordeals he had to deal with in his youth up to this point have all been dealt with and he is where he is now standing at the top of the swordsmen class.
When you see Mihawk what do you think? I’m thinking confidence, strength, experience etc…
This man walks around with his torso just hanging out of his cape. He must have the utmost confidence thinking he’ll never get cut.
But what if he’s already been cut?
To get to the point, my theory is that Mihawk has a scar on his back. Which is, according to Zoro, the absolute shame among swordsmen. He leaves his entire torso wide open yet he covers his back with a long cape and an open vest.
As you can see here in the monologue for the death of WB, it says that he lived his whole life without running away. His back, which suffered no wounds proves his courage. Mihawk has his front wide open because he lives with the regret of having a scarred back. So in order to run away from his greatest shame he tries to prove his courage by doing the exact opposite, which is giving any swordsmen an opportunity to cut his front side. Which has obviously never happened yet.
This is paralleled through this panel
Where he cuts Zoro’s torso after Zoro stated how shameful it is to have a cut on your back. Zoro parallels Mihawk yet they are polar opposites. Zoro is foreshadowed to be a demon and his ultimate technique “Asura” Is based off of a demonic hindu spirit.
Asura, (Sanskrit: “divine”) Iranian ahura, in Hindu mythology, class of beings defined by their opposition to the devas or suras (gods).
^This right here shows how Asura, AKA Zoro, opposes his own parallel, which is Mihawk. Zoro has a cursed blade and Mihawk has a blade in the shape of a cross which oppresses demonic forces. Zoro has a huge scar on his front and if my theory is correct then Mihawk has a scar equally as severe on his back. They’re so similar yet so different.
Mihawk is a character who’s flaws have yet to be shown. But as we know every important character has some sort of tragic past. Why hasn’t Mihawk shown any signs of heartache or discomfort? What motivates this man?
This is Mihawk in his youth. You can see he’s all beaten up with tattered clothing. Using a kendo sword he most likely trained in a Dojo similar to Zoro (unintentional rhyme ;D). He of course HAD to struggle in order to reach the top. There’s no way he just breezed through his entire life without fighting some of the toughest opponents in the sea.
That is my short theory! Thanks for reading!
*Theory by Adimas