Master Gong responded after her promotion with the following essay. Click below for the complete text:
A Tribute to Friendships
Master Gong is deeply saddened by the loss of her long-time friend Master Ruben Casanova who was a student of Grand Master Suk Jun Kim since the early 1970's. This loss created a large void in both Grand Master Kim and Master Gong lives. Their friendship goes way back to GM Kim's Bergenfield NJ TKD School and their common bond and passion for taekwondo.
Master Gong and Master Casanova first crossed paths in Junior High School #125 around 1967 when they were two skinny 12-year-old kids living in the Bronx. Master Gong's grandfather signed her up to Sihak Henry Cho Bronx satellite school. One evening, in walked Ruben, his uncle Danny and his maternal grandfather. All of them were enrolled in the same S Henry Cho satellite school. All were practicing diligently every day, sometimes two classes per evening. This was the beginning of 47 years of friendship. (more ...)
Complete text of Master Gong's heartfelt and touching essay (PDF)