How Macaque monkeys from Indonesia, have attributed, and "sharpened" an awareness in my mentality, and the behavior of my martial practice. By observing them, I learned that they have filled "a loose end", in my sub-consciousness for the reality in combat.
It was their behavior of primitiveness, often lacking in man, that the primates have guided me through physical encounters with them. I had often endured my true behavior in anger, with clear avoidance of being deceived by my own consciousness, and clear "imagination" in the science of real practice.
Truthfully, I am expressing my feelings, in essence, that no human teacher was ever able of teaching me, an introduction to reality the way these monkeys did.
Growing up on plantations in my native country, was a rich experience in commemorating the past. Incongruous as it may seemed between man and beast, the environment of nature's purity, allowed the growth of a free spirited life for the living. It was unlike living in cities, where the inhabitants were ruled by city politicians.
A coffee plantation was per perhaps, in my opinion the best suited for an environment to live in. Much better to endeavor health, there were fewer staff employees, and less plantation workers. The plant where coffee was processed was rather small by comparison to a large sugar cane factory.
Our form of transportation was mostly by a small motor driven railway car (lorry), on horseback, or automobile. We shared the same elementary school, together, with kids from other plantations. And a small hospital was staffed with doctors and nurses, managed by the Amsterdam Trade Corporation. The Corporation built the school near the health care facility, to benefit the employees and families.
The lorry station was just a few kilometers within a walking distance, and we had to go through the forest, before we could board the railway car. A lorry was only capable of transporting 6 passengers, and several runs by railway car drivers had to be made, of providing a daily ride for 26 kids.
Most of the kids were escorted to the station by the plantation guards. Plantation guards function like policemen, and were armed with fully automatic rifles, against possible attacks of rebel extremists or ambush of tigers. I always felt purely un-comfortable to have someone trailing behind me, as an escort, and decided to take another path by myself leading to the station. The road I chose had several obstacles, and one was the terrain that was very slippery and full with lava mud.
During my walk through the muddy path, that was 3 kilometers longer then I had anticipated, I was suddenly was shocked by the big roar of a tiger. Sound of the echo, the large cat had, glued me almost to the mud. And I was just thinking about the idea of becoming an early breakfast meal for our big kitty.
A roar of a lion is scary, and a tiger on the other hand, when this cat opens up his lungs with self-containment, will outdo in range any king of the jungle. I could sense from the distance, where the cat might be roaming around for his prey, he must have been miles away by the rubber trees in the jungle. I was safe for the moment, and had to hurry with my walk to the station.
Finally, I was able to overcome my most un-pleasant experience of mud walking, and followed a path that would lead me to my objective. Continuing my journey through the forest, I was taken by curiosity when I discovered of passing by an old Hindu ruin. The temple was built 800 years ago by an Indian Maharaja.
The magic secrecy of old ruins, summoned a highlight in many thousand and one stories, that I began to feel, like I was playing Ali Baba and the forty thieves together with John Hall and Sabu. I felt that I had gone back hundreds of years in history, and almost missed out on my ride to school that morning.
There was always a certain charm to old ruins of and temples in the forest; they sheltered snakes to nest, in particular the king cobras, and leopards, tigers, and the black macaque monkeys.
Black macaques are one of the most aggressive and fierce of the primates. They were once observed by hunters of jumping off trees on a deer in full run, and smashing the antelope with brute force to the ground. The deer was knocked out by impact A very large male weights 70 to 95 pounds of pure muscles, and always provokes a confrontation. These Macaques live in groups between 40 or 60 monkeys, and fear nothing, that even tigers avoid of being attacked by a group that size. Large males are capable of pulling a weight of 600 pound with one arm.
My story with them began that morning, when my mind wandered off, so involved with the past, that it was to late for me to notice - I was encircled by the black monkeys who inhabited the temple ruins.
I should have known, I shot myself in the legs, and put myself through an un-predictable situation I brought upon myself. I had no one to turn to for comfort and was forced to handle the adventurous endeavor with control.
The monkeys were screaming, hitting, jumping and tearing my nicely pressed shirt into ribbons. Despite their physical tormenting abuse of my body I remained calm, and stood very still watching their continuous attacks.
After a while things started to simmer down, the primates were checking me out with wearied looks. They left me alone with high-pitched screams, and the big males showed me their venomous fangs in a display of territorial behavior. I was not about to show them any fear but respected them as individuals like I would other humans. They sensed my impulse; I felt that my presence was being accepted.
The pain inflicted upon parts of my body was indescribable, having lived through worlds of pain, it was not bothering me and instead, I learned a great lesson about feeling in combat. I thanked my primate teachers for teaching me the best essence in life: "Inhale pain with your body, and breathe out softly like downy feathers." They have never known what I really thought of them with their primitive minds.
When I got to school hours later, my teacher Mrs. Van Dalm could not believe the exciting experience I had undergone that morning. She made me write one thousand times: "I shall not lie, I must tell the truth, and I will not lie." Poor teacher, she thought that I had lied to her, and all the kids in class were laughing at me too.
Deep inside of me, a high voltage of energy dwelled through my veins for a desire of expanding my horizons for more lessons. I knew then I was not about to give up until I learned the monkey's art for survival.
The next day I came back, and did exactly what they were doing. Together we played fun games, and one of the alpha males came around in a big leap and hit me so hard that I felt down to the ground like a log of wood, and saw before me the American flag with its stars and stripes forever. The primate's merciless slap was another good lesson for me; off the ground I suddenly jumped up and punched the monkey in the face. I thought I did, he countered me so fast, and quickly scored on me with bites, kicks and more of the monkey slap happy go 'round.
The monkey and me fought for ten minutes, and I became so tired that I was leaning against a tree with extreme weariness, and my opponent was a happy camper fighting other monkeys in his tribe.
Freshly remembering my friends in the jungle, and eminently with my most compassionate feelings toward them was truly a life's treasure endlessly grieved for in my soul. For what they have taught me without them even knowing, were foremost the best experiences of my life in the practice of martial behaviors. Amazingly with the macaques they don't seem to care about nothing but playing, fighting, eating and chasing each other around without stopping. Their energy level is far surpassing any of the world's greatest athletes. A well-trained martial artist has a full day's of workouts after four hours of training, a macaque does it constantly in his daily practice of training without training. Observed once the behavior of these primates, I discovered with astonishment that the males in general played, fought, eat and were practicing their skills for 16 hours at a time. They rest when they sleep, and to them fighting each other was the greatest fun of relaxation.
Understanding them in their own environment of the animal kingdom as they were 50 years ago - emotional, play-full, canny and strong, the impact of their reflections on me, must definitely to be the best years of my life.
With my deep concern and their future at stake for newer generations to come of this ever expanding society in greed, man's destruction of his own world environment leaves him nothing of the species behind to be admired. My compassion in spirit for the black macaques shall forever be!
It had saddened me for a long time that many of my jungle friends found their fate in the hands of poachers, they killed ruthlessly whole colonies of the primates to extinction only for their meat and beautiful pelts they sold on open markets in Taiwan, China and South East Asia.
In my memorabilia of some of the deep seated happenings were perhaps my most profound expeditious encounters with primates in the forest. On one occasion I saw the alpha male who had beaten me weeks before, in riotous action of beating up the smaller males and females and chased the poor defenseless creatures way up in the trees.
If it were not enough to his pleasure he also picked on the bigger males by antagonizing them, he was spitting, biting and almost "human-like" also kicking the tribal members that were in his way. This aggressive behavior was fiercely returned like for like by the other males, and soon all the males were chasing this young rebel into the trees.
The females displayed their full support for their counter parts and were letting out very loud screams of encouragement that could easily be heard miles away in the jungle. Macaque monkeys could really perform a display of acrobatics, high in the trees when they pursue each other in anger. The young alpha male, who provoked the incident was so quick, he escaped like a trapeze artist flying through the air and landing perfectly on tree branches while hanging on a twig with his two fingers. He was really on the rampage with his continued fighting spirit; he took his aggression out on the poor females by slapping their heads forcefully with his open palms.
When he chased a female high into the tree, almost nearing the top, another huge alpha male suddenly appeared, presumably the leader, he was quite large weighing 90 pounds. He stopped the young alpha male from his chase and a very interesting match between the two males evolved into a vicious battle, they leaped on thin tree branches and tore each other apart at the same time. Their balancing act still amazes me today.
The leader all of the sudden grabbed the other male, picked him up like a light feather and threw him literally spinning through the air in a fall 150 feet down. It came first to my mind with great concern for the ape that the primate was unable to survive the fall and I felt sad with emotion. Somersaulting to the ground with only seconds to spare the monkey grabbed on to a twig only 5 feet off the ground, and jumped quickly to a larger branch above, while catching it with his two fingers. Letting out challenging screams at the leader, he awfully sudden, jumped to a nearby branch and punched another male off the tree.
Finally the young alpha had enough of himself and withdrew into the trees. Lots of the younger males were very play-full and some of them climbed on my shoulders and took everything what I had in the upper pocket of my shirt. They were all use to of me being around the group. And I felt like I was one of them in a changed mentality. When any of the larger males approached me I was prepared to do battle, fighting to me as a human means to them a friendly play.
Some of the martial arts experts in Indonesia were classified as players rather than masters. The name player came from the playfulness of the monkeys. A player in many ways has more tricks from formless martial practices than so many of the traditional fighting arts experts.