.......it also sounds to me like a recipe for burying the axe head in the ground.
Recently, I viewed several hewing videos on YouTube. One fellow did mention that his axe did get into the ground sometimes....
I would assume that once a good chip pile was present that this would prevent the axe from entering the ground again.
I saw one fellow scoring to his chalk line along the top of the log while standing on the side. He then rolled the log to have this scored side on the side. Then he hewed off the side.
I've noticed new comers to hewing have difficulty standing on top of the log to score the side, and wondered if this method would be an advantage to a newcomer? Although it may not be historically correct, it could be easier to some.