@Carsten: "It is ukes responsibility not to get hurt."
Aikido - even at the jiyuwaza level - is about cooperative training. It is not sparring - where both parties attempt to give and take to the best of their ability while freely defending themselves.
Shi'te signals what attack he wants, where he wants it, and uke delivers it as ordered. These are not real attacks - they are overextended punches or dagger thrusts, ritualized tegetana strikes, scripted grab attempts, etc.
Uke is giving his body to shi'te for shi'te's benefit - whether in training or performance. In many situations, uke willfully places himself in a situations where shi'te could easily and seriously injure uke if he was so inclined. Inherent in that is a sacred trust that shi'te will safeguard his partner.
To place the ultimate responsibility for safety on uke within this paradigm is completely illogical.
I kind of feel sorry for you that you have never gone beyond that level of training. Even in low level training, the only time I place myself in a dangerous position is when showing a beginner where he supposed to try to get me, the rest of the time they have to get me there themselves. How much resistance or countering I offer will then have to do with how much I think my partner can handle, as well as the type of training (exercises, basic forms, set attack jiyu waza, free attack jiyu waza, etc).
And you really need to add free attack jiyu waza to your repertoire, then move to free attack and free to counter.
Back to shiho nage. Though I have not seen his DVD, the description Ellis gave on how to protect youself seem good to me . I once got pretty badly hurt because I was not fast enough as uke and nage went one way with my arm while my body stayed planted. Both me and nage share responsibility for that one, me for not being prepared, quick enough or in a position to protect my arm, and nage for not being carefull enough and throwing me without first getting my balance (we were practicing throws, not arm tearing).
Yes, aikido is cooperative. But it needs to be much more intense and martial than what you are describing if you're going to get everything you can out of it, IMHO.