I must say because of the type of randori we do there is a very heavy emphasis on safety. Center facing uke is not that relevant but we make very sure that uke's hand is behind the neck at the end of the application - thereby relieving pressure on the elbow. The shift to nasty is actually very small and really not necessary.
Where shihonage fails is not at the end but at the beginning. Unless balance is taken before turning under the arm - it is very easy to counter the technique. Once that balance is taken - it does not matter how you finish the technique.
Originally posted by Abasan
Point noted Peter, but one thing still makes me uncomfortable. There are ppl out there regardless of style, that performs shihonage without their center facing uke, thus they will pull uke's hand downwards and away from uke's body. Of course this seems to be a particularly devasting way to employ shihonage and will almost certainly result in uke doing a flip breakfall. And if uke is somewhat unfortunate, a dislocated shoulder as well.
However, I learned to perform shihonage with my center facing uke, and to actually pull uke's fingers downwards closer to his body. This method will seldom harm uke's shoulder and its effectiveness cannot be doubted either. The latter method is also advocated by aikikai shihans in their seminars. Does that mean, the spectacular type of shihonage is wrong?