Semantics. What one person means by "FLOW into" a technique is not what another person means by it. Don't get caught up in semantics like this that are prone to interpretation. Use clear, unambiguous terms, and ask others to do the same when explaining things to you. I'd argue that it is what people at any level need, but as a beginner, it's a necessity.
I couldn't agree more. Pure semantics.
In terms of when you should change your technique into something else, yes, you should be able to do this to match the situation eventually, but as a relative beginner, this is a bit unrealistic. If you find that your partner is spoiling your technique by ending up in a position that makes it difficult to practice, maybe you could have a word with them and get them to help you practice the technique that sensei demonstrated.