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Who trained Luffy as a kid?

Luffy, the protagonist of the popular anime and manga series One Piece, did not have just one single trainer when he was a kid. Instead, he learned different skills from different teachers and father figures throughout his early life. In this article, we will explore Luffy’s main trainers and mentors during his formative years and how they helped shape him into the powerful pirate he eventually became.

Luffy’s Grandfather Garp

The most significant adult influence in Luffy’s life was his grandfather, Monkey D. Garp. A vice admiral in the Marines, Garp played a pivotal role in honing Luffy’s combat abilities and physical toughness at a young age. He subjected Luffy to extreme training exercises in the woods and jungles near his hometown, designed to push his young grandson’s endurance to the absolute limit. This included tying balloons to Luffy and throwing him into deep ravines to teach him survival skills and tying him to trees and leaving him overnight to develop mental fortitude.

Garp’s Spartan training methodology was motivated by his desire for Luffy to become a strong Marine rather than follow in the footsteps of Luffy’s father, the infamous pirate Dragon. Of course, Luffy rebelled against his grandfather’s wishes and set out to become a pirate anyway. But the rigorous conditioning Garp put him through gave Luffy tremendous stamina, pain tolerance, and grit that served him well when he eventually gained his Gum-Gum Devil Fruit powers and embarked on his quest to become the Pirate King.

The Mountain Bandits

After Luffy came into possession of his Devil Fruit and acquired his elastic abilities, Garp decided that the regular Marine training regimen was not enough for his unusual grandson. So he left Luffy in the care of a group of mountain bandits in Luffy’s hometown, led by Curly Dadan. Although more akin to criminals than true martial arts masters, these bandits represented Luffy’s day-to-day trainers for several years.

Living daily life with the mountain bandits exposed Luffy to real-world fights, full-contact sparring sessions, hunting and survival skills, and learning how to control his newfound Devil Fruit powers safely. The bandits were tough on Luffy but generally loyal, protecting him from wild animals and helping increase his strength and dexterity with his stretchy rubber body. Their training was far less structured than Garp’s but gave Luffy a chance to creatively develop his skills in a live-in environment. This prepared him well for the improvisational nature of real pirate battles later on.


While the mountain bandits and his grandfather Garp trained Luffy physically, he received emotional guidance and life lessons from the kindly bar owner Makino back in Luffy’s hometown. Makino allowed Luffy to spend time in her tavern and treated him with compassion he did not always get from his other trainers. She nurtured Luffy’s spirit, intellect, and social skills during his interactions with her.

Although not a martial arts teacher herself, Makino gave Luffy a safe space to explore his interests and personality while growing up. Her unconditional support encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming King of the Pirates, rather than just blindly follow his grandfather’s path into the Marines. Makino’s influence provided balance to the intense physical conditioning Luffy underwent and helped him become more thoughtful, self-assured, and socially intelligent.


Finally, the famous pirate Red-Haired Shanks and his crew also served as occasional trainers and inspirations to Luffy during the young boy’s formative years. Shanks and his pirates spent significant time in Luffy’s hometown, and Luffy idolized their rambunctious freedom and camaraderie. Their presence reinforced Luffy’s own dream of sailing the seas as a pirate.

On a more practical level, interacting with professional pirates like Shanks gave Luffy his first exposure to real combat tactics, shipboard life, and using his powers in battle. Though reluctant at first, Shanks did train Luffy in rudimentary self-defense and weapon skills, while also teaching him about the deeper meanings of courage, determination, and sacrifice for one’s crew.

Shanks’ influence culminated in his act of selfless sacrifice to save Luffy from a Sea King attack, costing the pirate his left arm but inspiring Luffy to pursue greatness. This incident taught Luffy about the pirate code and sparked his initial efforts to master his rubber abilities and Haki in hopes of someday surpassing Shanks as a pirate.

Key Takeaways from Luffy’s Training

Though brief, Luffy’s training from this eclectic mix of teachers, mentors, and role models all contributed to molding him into the fierce fighter and loyal captain that later led the Straw Hat Pirates on their adventures. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Garp instilled phenomenal physical toughness and endurance through rigorous conditioning.
  • The mountain bandits taught survival and unorthodox fighting skills.
  • Makino nurtured compassion, intellect, and social confidence.
  • Shanks inspired Luffy’s ideals of freedom and pirate camaraderie.

Together, these influences combined to produce a well-rounded fighter and captain, with few weaknesses. Luffy took the best lessons from each of his mentors to chart his own unique path to become King of the Pirates.

Luffy’s Training in Tables

Here is a summary of Luffy’s main trainers and their contribution to his skills in table form:

Trainer Background Training Focus
Garp Vice Admiral in Marines Physical conditioning, combat drills
Dadan’s Mountain Bandits Outlaws living in the wild Survival skills, unarmed combat
Makino Civilian bar owner Social/emotional intelligence
Shanks Famous pirate captain Inspiration, pirating fundamentals

This helps summarize at a glance the broad range of talents Luffy developed under their guidance.


Luffy’s transformation into a formidable fighter and charismatic pirate captain was the result of a diverse mix of training and influences from his grandfather Garp, the mountain bandits, Makino, and Shanks. Together, these mentor figures taught Luffy physical skills, mental toughness, social skills, survival abilities, combat tactics, and the spirit of romantic piracy. By combining their best attributes, Luffy was well-prepared for the challenges he later faced on the high seas. His eclectic training gave him the power, durability, fighter’s instincts, compassion, and force of will to pursue his ultimate dream of becoming King of the Pirates.