there's a school of thought that advises against engine braking in general. The logic is that brake pads are cheaper than a clutch and easier to replace. Personally I'm not against engine braking when you're idling down to a long slow stop.
But really, you should practice braking and downshifting together. There are two techniques here, and I use them both.
The first combines braking AND engine braking:
1. Throttle off
2. apply brakes (front AND rear)
3. as you approach an appropriate downshift speed, clutch in and bang down a gear.
4. clutch out, rinse and repeat
The idea is you're always in gear and able to accelerate again. This is best used for cornering, and my approach is to be in the gear you need before you turn in.
Also, you can STAY clutched in, and just shift down at the appropriate times as you brake to a stop. Then you can release the clutch and accelerate away. This, of course, eliminates the engine braking aspect altogether.
I'm sure others will chime in and potentially think I'm crazy. We all kinda have our own ways of doing stuff.
2011 Victory Cross Roads, crimson red
"There is only one God, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'not today.'"