Every riding school I’ve been to has braking drills for new riders. The key is to practice pulling the lever lightly to set the suspension, then squeezing harder to slow the bike. You have to practice so it becomes a reflex action. I learned proper braking technique after 20+ years and at least 200,000 miles of street riding. Even us old dogs can learn new tricks. I work on the technique every time I ride.
And always anticipate stupid moves from cagers. As the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers used to say, “You aren’t paranoid when they really are out to get you.”