The Asheville Bujinkan Dojo is unique in the fact that it is owned and operated by its students. All of the staff members of the dojo have professional careers; the dojo is not run as a full-time job for any of its instructors. Because of this, the training programs are more grounded, as each instructor is teaching Budo Taijutsu with their own personal experiences intertwined.

Bujinkan Instructors

Jon Rooneo

Nana-Dan, 7th Degree Black Belt

Lead Instructor

Jon trained in karate, wrestling, and kickboxing on and off until finding the Bujinkan in 2004. 


In 2014 He accepted an opportunity to stay in Japan for several months and train with senior members of the Bujinkan at the Honbu Dojo where he reached Go-Dan. Jon continued his training after returning to the United States, reaching the rank of Nana-Dan before moving to Asheville, North Carolina in 2018.


In 2012 Jon began training in Kodokan Judo, reaching an Instructor level for Judo and the rank of San-Dan. 

Owen Hempton

Yon-Dan, 4th Degree Black Belt

Assistant Instructor

Owen began his martial arts career when is was in middle school with a karate program at school. Since then his martial arts training was off and on with different styles, such as Judo and Kendo. He never found a style he really liked and connected to until 2006 when he came across the Bujinkan when living in Orlando, Florida.


Owen trained in Orlando for several years until he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He received several awards while enlisted, but unfortunately he injured his shoulder while serving. After receiving an Honorable Discharge when his enlistment period ended, Owen took a year off to settle back into civilian life and attend physical therapy to get the full use and strength of his shoulder back. Picking back up with training in Titusville, Florida during 2012 in the Bujinkan, he eventually earned a Ni-Dan before moving to Asheville, North Carolina where he earned his San-Dan in 2019.

R.J. Burle

Systema Instructor

R.J. Burle has trained in martial arts most of his life and started training in Systema in 2013 at 41 years old.  He started teaching in 2016.


As a chiropractor and former acupuncturist and massage therapist, Dr. Burle became interested in movement, dealing with injuries and more importantly avoiding injuries.  At 49 he is more agile than when he was in his 20s and strives to always improve. 


In his classes, the drills will have martial application, of course, but the focus is on exploring those movements with an eye on fluidity, relaxation and breath to promote longevity.