- Keep our thumbs and fingers together (not splayed), so that an adversary can't snap 'em off, and for concentrated force
- Grip more tightly with the weaker fourth and fifth fingers to strengthen them, while keeping the thumb, index and middle finger more relaxed and sensitive; these guidelines apply whether taking a grip of your partner's gi, forming a fist, or a holding a sword
- Breakfall mainly with the hands (thumb and fingers together!), even though there is greater surface contact with the fleshy part of the forearms.
It's one thing to read tips like this; it's another to make them second nature. Good luck!