I don't understand why you guys play so nice with dead wood. i just stomp on it, drop rocks on it, or whatever, sending splinters all over the place, and then i pick up the dry ones and make the fire. My technique does a lot to relieve pentup male aggression and I am nice and warm as well....
when the dead wood will cooperate I'll certainly do this..
but try getting small size stuff out of dry large driftwood, and the caveman technique will only leave you exerted and tired
It really depends on the wood you've got, whether or not you can break it, and how wet it is.
However you remind me of a time in a BC backcountry campground where I walked in and set up, and the two other newb groups there (it was pouring) complained there was no wood, and they didn't have a "hatchet" - I went to the stream bed, hauled up 4-5 large dry avalanche kills that had washed down it, and proceeded to simply swing them overhand onto a rock to break them into pieces small enough to go in the steel "firepit" - made a fire, and then rigged my silponcho over the seat - boiled water for tea and waited - didn't take long for them to come over and look forlorn (I did share my dry seat and heat... silly buggers)
but back to the original topic - I've seen scouts get hurt doing silly stuff to break firewood - and while I'm a big guy and have the upper body strength to overhand a 6 foot log and break it (and know when to let go to not whack my hands) - most 11 to 13 year olds really don't. and so then end up jumping on stuff or doing silly things.. so they may need to be "coached" a little on caveman wood breaking methods.