In my opinion now, this is not a modern method, but in fact an early method perhaps before the use of the tinderbox, or perhaps this method was simply easier to use when lighting a candle.
In this illustration from Gutenberg for instance a tinderbox is being used, but the sketch appears to be showing the flint being struck by the steel as no sparks are shown as being created at this stage. Using this incorrect method would send the sparks upward before they fall on the tinder. If in fact they did reach the tinder in this round about way, the sparks would have lost their heat & may not catch on the tinder at all.
Here though in this detail of the altarpiece of the Saint Georges church in Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, France, you can see the flint is about to be struck with the steel to catch sparks on the tinder held by the hand on top of the flint.
English: Detail of the altarpiece of the Saint Georges church in Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, France.
Français : Détail du retable de l'église Saint-Georges de Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, France.