Yang Shao-hou 楊少侯 along with Yang Cheng-fu 楊澄甫 represent the third generation of 楊氏太極拳.
Although Yang Shaohou studied Taijiquan from his father Yang Jianhou (楊健候), it is said that he mainly learnt from his uncle Yang Banhou 楊班侯 . Likely influenced by his uncle's teaching style, Yang Shaohou was also known to have had a slightly eccentric and bellicose nature, and both of these masters are considered to have been very demanding teachers, only interested in teaching those that could stand their tough training regimes. Yang Shaohou's influence on modern Taijiquan is also represented in his instruction of many influential teachers of generations after his; among those who were referred to him for instruction were Wu Kung-i, Wu Kung-tsao and Tung Ying-chieh.
According to the famous Taijiquan historian and disciple of Wu Jianquan, Wu Tunan 吳圖南 , who also studied under Yang Shaohou for four years, this master was famous for his “small circle” style. This form was known as the Small Frame, Fast Frame or Applications Frame, and was considered to require the highest level of skill to perform, being practiced at higher speed with fast jumps and kicks, actions that have generally been deleted from most of the modern styles of Taijiquan.
It is said that when Yang Shaohou demonstrated this style of Taijiquan the movements alternated between fast and slow, soft and hard, along with crisp fa jin expressions supported by intimidating shouts. In application the most developed characteristic of his martial art style was the use of soft interception to overcome hard energy or Hua Jin, followed by the use of powerful Fa Jin pushes as a counter attack.
During practice with his students, Yang Shaohou was not known for pulling his punches and subsequently few were able to complete the full course of training and become disciples.
Yang Shaohou's branch of the family isn't as well known internationally as his younger brother's, but his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still teaching in China, as well as descendants of his disciples.