Yang Shao Hou was born as Yang Zhao Xiong in 1862 and died in 1930. He was also named Meng Xiang, and later called Shao Hou, most just called him “Mr. Big”. From the age of seven he studied with his grandfather Yang Lu Chan, his father Yang Jien Hou and his uncle Yang Ban Hou. Shao Hou was unusually gifted in learning martial arts and because of this all three of his family seniors privately taught him as much as possible. He learned the greater part of his skill from Ban Hou and was said to be similar to him in temperament.
Yang Shao Hou’s grandfather, Yang Lu Chan, the founder of Yang family Taijiquan, learned his art from Chen Chang Xin of the Chen village, who studied under Jiang Fa. Chen Chang Xin’s learning an art other than the village art made him forbidden to teach the family art of Pao Chui, which the Chen family was famous for several generations, earning the name “Pao Chui Chen Family”. Weather Chen Chang Xin’s art was a totally separate art from that practiced in the Chen family, or was just heavily modified by his learning with Jiang Fa, is unknown.
Yang Lu Chan taught his art to his sons, Yang Ban Hou and Yang Jien Hou. Yang Jien Hou later modified the form to create his middle frame, making the hidden internal circles manifest on the outside thus making the form easier to learn.
When Shao Hou was young, he taught the middle frame established by his father, but later changed direction. He developed the small frame form that was high with small movements done in a sometimes slow and sometimes sudden manner. This “small frame” was mainly developed by the teachings Shao Hou had received while living and training under his uncle, Ban Hou.