Jude receives Master Credentials

In February 2016, Master Jim bestowed the title of Master in the Nam Hoa tradition to Jude Forsyth. In his ever-gentle, and always humerous but sincere way, the 'ceremony' was typical Master Jim. As I understand it, the exchange went something like this during one of their routine phone conversations:

Master Jim initiates the phone call.

Teacher Jude, upon seeing the caller ID answers, "Hello, Master Jim."

Master Jim replies, "Hello, Master Jude."

There follows a long period of silence on the line.

You can imagine for yourself all of the emotions and gratitude that occured on both sides during the silence, which progressed when Master Jude was finally able to speak.

I continue to be grateful for what both of these Masters have given me personally, for their sharing of the practice and themselves. They were the Masters that appeared when I as the student was ready. Please join me in congratulating them as they continue their respective journeys, and I look forward to the continued growth of our tradition.


Tom Wolf Receives Teacher Credential

While visiting for a retreat in Virginia Beach, Master Jim certified Tom Wolf, Senior Instructor for the Nam Hoa tradition at Bending Tree Tai Chi as Teacher. The ceremony happened as a surprise for Tom who thought the ceremony would be at the retreat.

Tom received his Teacher credential from Master Jim and a message from Teacher Jude, who initially trained Tom but could not be present for the ceremony. Phillip Szpiech read the message that included Tom reading his original paper titled, "My Readiness to Instruct" that was written in 2006 when Tom was certified as an instructor. Tom later told Teacher Jude, "As I reflected on the writing, I realized that what I had written was still true for me today." The final paragraph read, "I know that I have always been on the path. Now I see that path opening a little wider, allowing me to walk alongside others, students and teachers all, so that we can all share our experiences. I will share the path with gentleness, caring, acceptance, humility and compassion." Tom also received the complete file of all of the instructors who trained at Bending Tree.  All except his own- which Teacher Jude retains (a little joke between them). 

Special thanks to all the other instructors and students, family and friends who supported him throughout his nine year journey to become a teacher with the Nam Hoa tradition, “when the students are ready, the teacher will appear.”Congratulations to Tom Wolf!


New Tai Chi Writing Posted

Tom Wolf, Senior Instructor for Nam Hoa students and instructors with Bending Tree Tai Chi in Virginia, and his wife, Elise Wolf, a Nam Hoa system practitioner, recently wrote a paper titled. "Form Progression Within the Nam Hoa System.  It can be read in the student section under the folder, "Tai Chi Writings." Additionally, a discussion on the instructor aspect of this information is available on the instructor discussion page.

For questions about this subject, contact Teacher Jude at

All students and instructors are welcome to submit papers on subjects of interest. Please submit to the email listed above. 


New Instructor Question Posted

Bill Cronenberg, instructor with Bending Tree Tai Chi in Virgina Beach submitted an instructor question for Mstr Jim and Teacher Jude. Instructors may read the question and answer on the instructor discussion page (Submit a question section).

Instructors missing their log-in may email the webmaster, Brett Casto at

Thanks to Bill for the great question!


Teacher Jude on the Move Again

Teacher Jude recently moved from the FT Walton Beach, Fl area to the Mobile, AL area. The move was prompted by the loss of her husband's employment and a return to the area where her husband's family lives. 

Jude is maintaining the Blue Willow Tai Chi group in the Florida area by traveling there once a month to support the students and instructors in training.

"I don't want to say here I go again, but..." says Jude. "I keep reminding myself that if I could learn and get certified in all six forms 3000 miles away from my teacher (Mst Jim), then anything is possible, especially if it is only a two hour drive."

Jude moved from Virginia Beach in 2008, where she was the Nam Hoa Senior Instructor for Bending Tree Tai Chi.  Her husband was reassigned with a military contractor to Florida. Says Jude, "That's the life of a military family; it's hard in so many ways."

The Nam Hoa group continues in the Virginia Beach area under the watchful eyes of Senior Instructor Tom Wolf and other Nam Hoa supporters. Bending Tree Tai Chi is owned by Tai Chi East West Alliance (TEA), a non-profit organization formed with dedicated instuctors and students of Bending Tree. The Nam Hoa program, as well as other Tai Chi programs, thrives there today.

"It's wonderful that the Bending Tree group continues to grow in Virginia. It tells all of us that all that is really needed are committed students and wonderful people who love to offer the teaching," says Jude.

Jude plans to slowly grow the Florida group, eventually start a Mobile, AL group and fuse the two groups together to form Gulf Coast Tai Chi.

"When the Tai Chi community is strong enough, I hope that Master Jim will travel here when he travels to Virginia. I know the students would be so blessed to meet him and practice with him," she explains. "I recall his first visit with the Virginia students really brought so much enthusiam and dedication to the practice."

Teacher Jude can be reached at