By the sounds of it you aren't so much a newbie as a beginner - you know what needs to be done to learn, and have started doing it. I also spent a lot of time in defence when I was learning (I still do, or on "flag retrieval" in CTF games).
As for the rest of it, practice does indeed make perfect, and the ability to smile when you lose, and come back for more. The lightsaber down code is being slowly superceded by the typing icon (which it originally symbolised), though the addendum to that is "if they have saber down AND your are either not fighting them already, or they are acting in a non-agressive fashion". But then, not everyone likes that or sticks to it.
As for training, depending on your location (learning is hard when your ping places you at a disadvantage straight away), I am more than willing to help you out. I'm based in the UK, and on during large chunks of the day. Either do a player search for me (I go by the name Sutek online as well), or email me and arrange a time/place to meet online. I'll certainly do my best to help out.
If it's not convenient for you, try getting in touch with the Jedi Academy, though they are still in the setup phases apparently - http://academy.jediknightii.net/