Drîmbă was born in 1942 in Timișoara. He began fencing at age 8 at a local club and quickly showed talent: he competed with seniors from the age of 13 both in foil and sabre, joined the national foil team at age 16, and won the national championship at age 18. The same year, he won a silver medal in foil and reached the semi-finals in sabre at the Junior European Championships in Luxembourg. He then transferred to CSA Steaua București. He earned a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in 1963.
He defected in 1969 or 1970 to Germany, during a competition, worked for about two years as a coach in Ulm, before settling down in California and later in Brazil. He also coached in Venezuela. He temporarily returned to Romania in 1996.