yes you can learn the machine learning without python and go for either Java or MATLAB but unfortunately you will end up your journey with the python because of its rich libraries and community support 👍
To learn Machine Learning you have to learn statistics and algorithms and which ones use for each situation. After that you can choose a programming language; The two more popular are, as you know, python and R. I chose python because it is a all purpose language too, not only useful in ML or Data.
Python is probably the most commonly associated language because it skips right to expressing the logic and algorithms. Honestly, you could write machine learning software in C if you wanted. What makes Python appealing is getting the idea expressed quickly.