Re: Letting go of thinking through techniques
Three great qualities -- energy, thoughtfulness, and enthusiasm.
You already seem to understand the basic nature of the problem with relying on the second one during class.
My suggestions (for what they're worth):
When techniques are being demonstrated, focus on what you're seeing. Just try to really see what's being shown (on both sides).
When practicing what you were just shown, focus on what you are doing and what your partner is doing.
In between repititions, stay focused on your partner, but be aware of where other folks are and what they are doing.
In between techniques, focus on what's happening all around you.
If you find yourself thinking, take a breath; start over; refocus.