Monkey Guards live on the ground floor and first floor of Ape Atoll's temple. They have a large amount of health and throw vicious punches that can hit up to 256. When they have very low health, they will beat their chest, causing them to heal around 20% of maximum life points; they appear to be able to do this indefinitely but only while in melee range.
Because there is an altar in the temple, players can train combat on them by fighting them with Protect from Melee on the whole time. When they are low on Prayer, they can pray at the altar and continue their training. Players can also use stat-boosting prayers such as Piety to aid training.
Most players wear a form of Prayer armour and damage boosting armour (depending on what they prefer). However, prayer isn't needed that badly because of the nearby altar. It is recommended to bring a bonecrusher, as their bones are worth slightly more prayer experience than normal bones.
When ranging the guards, use range-boosting prayers. This will drain your prayer twice as fast than using only Protect from Melee, but being next to an altar to recharge makes this irrelevant.
If you kill a Monkey Guard, you can bring its bones, along with a Monkey Talisman, to Zooknock in the tunnel under ape atoll to create a gorilla greegree. Whether or not your gorilla form has a beard depends on the monkey guard you received the bones from.
The Bearded Monkey Guards can be very annoying during the quest, Monkey madness. They cannot be walked through, and after exiting the dungeon in the temple, Bearded Monkey Guards can surround you, stopping you from exiting the temple. At this time, the Monkey Guards will take turns attacking you, so it is suggested that you go back into the dungeon and log out. Then, go to a another world (highly populated). If this problem persists, ask some other players in the temple to help distract the Monkey guards. Another way out of this is to climb up the ladder near the trapdoor.
The monkey guards only heal themselves when being directly attacked. They will not heal if they are not in combat.
Monkey guards used to be one of the most popular training areas for the 3 melee skills. However, due to the introduction of the Evolution of Combat, it has been considered less useful as, protection Prayers will only reduce the damage, rather than cancelling it out all together, although Soul Split may still be sufficient to sustain a player. Also, experience is now awarded by maximum health, not damage dealt, so the healing is now a drawback.
A combat training method using Monkey Guards that used to be popular was equipping a Dharok's set when life points were low, and proceeding to use protect from melee to deal extremely high hits with no chance of dying. This method was popular due to the altar nearby that recharges Prayer points. Players who did this would have to be careful of the poisonous spider nearby.